MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Looking for answers. Wednesday, May 21st marked three weeks to the day since a mentally-ill man was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer inside Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee — and Alderwoman Milele Coggs wants answers. Coggs requested an update from MPD and the Fire and Police Commission regarding this incident -- and a forum was held on Thursday at Milwaukee's City Hall.
"I think it is always critically important for us to take a closer look," Coggs said.
31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer inside Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee on April 30th.
According to police, the incident began when a foot patrol officer on his beat learned of “trouble with a suspect” in Red Arrow Park.
Police say the officer encountered Hamilton laying on the ground.
Police say the officer helped him to his feet — and was attempting to conduct a field interview.
The officer was patting Hamilton down when a struggle ensued.
The officer withdrew his wooden baton to defend himself, and police say Hamilton took the officer’s baton from him and began striking him in the head.
That’s when police say the officer withdrew his service weapon — a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson — and fired “several shots” at Hamilton — striking him several times, ultimately causing his death.
Chief Flynn indicated during the news conference that Hamilton was diagnosed with schizophrenia — and had a history of mental illness and criminal activity.
The Criminal Investigation Division of the Department of Justice is the outside agency leading the investigation into this incident -- as now required by law.
Gov. Walker recently signed into law a bill that requires an outside agency investigate officer-involved shootings.
"Because it is a pending investigation, they have no information to share at this time. When the investigation is complete, we will get a copy of it at the same time that the District Attorney gets a copy of it," MPD Chief of Staff Joel Plant told those gathered inside City Hall on Thursday -- including Dontre Hamilton's family.
That's not what Dontre Hamilton's family wanted to hear.
"We're still waiting on answers. They didn't tell us anything in there," Hamilton's brother told FOX6 News.
Alderwoman Coggs also wanted MPD to talk about officer training when it comes to dealing with the mentally ill.
MPD Inspector Carianne Yerkes discussed the voluntary Crisis Intervention Team -- or CIT.
"When you go through CIT training -- one of the things we really try to emphasize is de-escalation and dialogue," Yerkes said.
Twenty percent of MPD officers have been CIT trained.
The officer who shot and killed Hamilton was NOT CIT trained -- according to Yerkes.
Hamilton's family's attorney questioned why the officer who shot Hamilton did not contact an officer who had been through the training.
"That's the concern I have. From the initial contact this officer had, what did he realize? What did he think? What should he have done? That's what the family has concerns about," Jonathan Safran said.
A couple members of the city of Milwaukee's Public Safety Committee suggested that ALL MPD patrol officers should undergo the CIT training.
The plan now is to bring all the involved parties back together after the investigating is complete -- and discuss the shooting in Red Arrow Park and existing policies in detail.