“I feel for the family:” Community members discuss the Dontre Hamilton case

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The death of Dontre Hamilton, and Monday's decision by the DA has sparked more than just protests. It undoubtedly will steer discussion in the city for possibly years to come.

The former officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton will not be charged. Some of the reaction we've already seen is people marching through downtown Milwaukee. But protesting is just one way to voice an opinion -- talking while waiting for a bus, is another.

"It's going to be very hard, I mean, I feel for the family," said Kim Austin.

24-year-old Austin is trying to stay dry in the cold rain. The red line will take him home to his wife, then Austin has time to think about a shooting that happened miles away and months ago.

"It's crazy, it's very crazy and right now that's why I'm trying to become an officer so I can make justice right for black and white," said Austin.

Over the last 8 months, the criticism of police has been loud. As rush hour traffic from the corner of Capitol and 27th, Austin says he knows the job is one of the most difficult.

"I know it's hard. I know it's hard. I know it's not easy. I know it is, but I say you've still got to learn what's right, what's right for the community and what's right for yourself," said Austin.

Like any cross section through, people's opinions can go in different directions. Including that of 53-year-old Daryon Miller.

"Just being able to give people the same due. So it is more of a diverse issue too. But historically black and brown people have been unjustly done, so it's hard to get away from that when you still see the affects of slavery today," said Miller.

It's a decision that can happen anywhere between anyone, about issues they feel, should never have to wait.

"I mean, you need somebody on the force that's going to take down bad cops," said

It's a complicated discussion going forward because as the DA pointed out this morning, it was an investigation, essentially unaffected by the emotion of the public -- yet the nature of the shooting has the elements to incite a strong emotional reaction.

1 Comment

  • bob

    I feel bad for Dontre, why was he sleeping in the park ??? Where was his family then ???? If someone had been with him they could have let the police know he had mental health issues. Families need to be at the forefront for their relatives with mental health issues. Look how many horrible news stories could be avoided if families took responsibility for their family members who suffer with mental health issues.

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