MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Jonathan Safran, the attorney for the family of Dontre Hamilton, the 31-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer inside Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee in April has filed a “Notice of Injury” with the city of Milwaukee’s Clerk’s Office. The Notice of Injury document — filed on Tuesday, August 26th, is said to be a precursor to a lawsuit — giving rise to a future claim for relief, in the form of monetary damages to be paid to the Hamilton family.
Milwaukee police have said the police officer shot and killed Hamilton after Hamilton took the officer’s baton and beat him with it.
The “Notice of Injury” says Dontre Hamilton was “legally sleeping” inside Red Arrow Park on the afternoon of April 30th. The document says two Milwaukee police officers visited Hamilton twice (after they received complaints) and determined Hamilton wasn’t doing anything wrong, or bothering anyone.
The document says a third officer came to Red Arrow Park although there were no further complaints or evidence that Hamilton was bothering anyone or doing anything wrong.
The document says this officer decided to wake Hamilton using his wooden baton — and the officer searched Hamilton “for no legally justifiable purpose” — which caused a confrontation and allegedly, a struggle — culminating in this third officer shooting Hamilton 14 times, and emptying the clip of his police-issued firearm, resulting in Hamilton’s death.
The document alleges this action was done “in an inappropriate, unwarranted and unconstitutional manner.”
The document claims as a result of this officer’s actions, Hamilton “sustained serious emotional injuries, including fear and conscious pain and suffering.” The document says Hamilton sustained serious physical injuries due to him being shot 14 times, culminating in his death “resulting from the confrontation, struggle and police shooting.”
The document alleges the action of the police officer who shot and killed Hamilton was “negligent, intentionally inappropriate, unwarranted, excessive, improper and unconstitutional.”
The document also accuses the Milwaukee Police Department of: “failing to properly hire and do adequate psychological screening of its police officers,” “failing to adequately train, supervise and control its police officers,” “failing to provide sufficient and thorough CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training to police officers,” “failing to adequately punish and discipline prior instances of similar conduct by police officers,” “allowing a police force that promotes cavalier attitudes in conduct, leading to a belief that police actions will never be scrutinized and/or prosecuted,” and “encouraging misplaced loyalties and a Code of Silence among police officers in refusing to report unlawful actions by police officers,” and “refusing to cooperate with officials investigating unlawful actions by police officers.”
The document says Hamilton’s death was a result of the “negligence on the part of the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department” in allowing the police officer to be hired and to remain employed — “knowing that his being hired and remaining a police officer would involve unreasonable risk of harm to others.”
The document calls the actions of the police officer in shooting Hamilton to be “unreasonable,” and “undertaken intentionally, with malice” — with “reckless indifference” to Hamilton’s rights.
The document says as a result of his death, Hamilton’s family has incurred funeral and burial expenses, and losses due to his loss of income and loss of future earnings.
We have also learned on Tuesday — Safran and the Hamilton family had the opportunity to meet with Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and two other members of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Command Staff.
Safran says the Milwaukee Police Department has agreed to review its statements and information disclosed about the case to determine whether incorrect information was provided about Hamilton.
Safran says the Milwaukee Police Department continues to remain unwilling to release the name of the officer who shot and killed Hamilton, and any information regarding injuries he alleges to have suffered during his interaction with Hamilton on April 30th.
Safran says Hamilton’s family is waiting to see whether the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office charges the officer involved in Hamilton’s death before they file a formal lawsuit.
CLICK HERE for a collection of coverage on the officer-involved shooting of Dontre Hamilton, via FOX6Now.com.