Officer who fatally shot Dontre Hamilton fired from the Milwaukee Police Department

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has announced the firing of Officer Christopher Manney for his handling of Dontre Hamilton when the two met in Red Arrow Park on April 30th. 31-year-old Hamilton was shot and killed during a struggle that occurred with Manney.

Christopher Manney

Chief Flynn said Wednesday, October 15th he signed an order, terminating Officer Manney from the Milwaukee Police Department -- but Chief Flynn says his reason for firing Manney wasn't his deadly use of force, but rather, the events leading up to it.

Chief Flynn said he has reviewed every aspect of this incident, and has found that Manney violated the values of the Milwaukee Police Department in his handling of Dontre Hamilton.

Chief Flynn said Officer Manney showed no malice in his actions on that April day, but he says Manney made errors in judgement.

Chief Flynn said he has determined that Manney's shooting of Dontre Hamilton was a necessary use of force. However, he says when Manney arrived at the scene he should have immediately assessed Hamilton as an "emotionally disturbed person" and treated him as such.

"Christopher Manney treated Hamilton as though he were a dangerous criminal, instead of following his training. If the outcome had been benign, we would be looking at a training issue, but the outcome matters," Chief Flynn said.

Chief Flynn says Manney should not have proceeded to pat down Hamilton -- saying that pat down escalated the situation.

"This was not a call of a mentally ill man waving a gun. This was not a call of a mentally ill man threatening to kill other people. This was a check welfare call. There's a set of training and approaches that you are taught, and you don't go hands on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill," Chief Flynn said when he addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon.

Following that pat down, a confrontation ensued in which Hamilton grabbed Manney's baton and started to hit him with it. That's when Hamilton was fatally shot.

"There was no malice in his decision. He did not act outside of policy using the force he used. Bad tactics and bad decisions resulted in this escalation that necessitated a use of deadly force," Chief Flynn said.

A statement released by Chief Flynn Wednesday discusses the events of April 30th, after Officer Manney responded to Red Arrow Park:

"Officer Manney approached Mr. Hamilton, identified himself, and asked Mr. Hamilton to stand up. When Mr. Hamilton stood up, Officer Manney approached Mr. Hamilton from behind, reached under Mr. Hamilton’s arms, placed his hands on Mr. Hamilton’s chest to conduct a pat down search, and asked if Mr. Hamilton had any weapons. As Officer Manney began the search, Mr. Hamilton began fighting with Officer Manney and a violent physical confrontation ensued. Officer Manney and Mr. Hamilton engaged in a series of punches and strikes to each others’ heads and faces. Officer Manney then attempted to use his baton to subdue Mr. Hamilton, but Hamilton was able to take the baton from Officer Manney. Mr. Hamilton swung the baton at Officer Manney multiple times and struck Officer Manney on the side of the neck with the baton. Fearing that Mr. Hamilton would seriously injure or kill him, Officer Manney transitioned to his service weapon and discharged rounds at Mr. Hamilton to stop the threat. Mr. Hamilton died of his wounds."

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

The president of the Milwaukee Police Association, Mike Crivello, released the following statement on the matter:

“The use of deadly force by an officer is a difficult decision that must be made accurately and instantaneously – the MPA is confident in the officer’s training and trust the action taken was of necessity.”   …”there is no doubt that the officer involved in this situation wishes he wasn’t – officer’s come to work each and every day hoping to affect life to the positive, not to be forced into a deadly force scenario” …“with that being said, we wish for peace for the family of Dontre; our officer has expressed concern and compassion for the family as well”  … “as to the MPD leadership and City leadership, today is an unfortunate  day – the decision to terminate this officer is cowardice and certainly unfounded and unsupported by fact.”

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan issued the following statement on this latest development:

"It’s been brought to my attention that the officer involved in the Red Arrow Park shooting has been or will soon be fired by the Milwaukee Police Department. If that is indeed the case, I am saddened and sickened by the way it seems some people are apparently playing politics. I find it hard to believe that, without looking over the report from the Wisconsin Department of Justice and without yet knowing the district attorney’s decision, Chief Flynn feels he has sufficient grounds at this point to fire this officer. Decisions like this need to be based on facts and should not be influenced by anything other than a thorough investigation. Although I too am frustrated with how long the process is taking, firing this officer now is unjust and unfair. Cooler heads need to prevail, and before decisions like this are made, we need to know what the investigation revealed. Even if the officer was guilty of these alleged rule violations, under normal circumstances they would never, be considered grounds for firing. To me, this entire matter reeks of politics."

Dontre Hamilton

Dontre Hamilton

For the last several months, family and supporters of the Hamilton family have protested the lack of a decision on charging in this case. The protestors also wanted the name of the officer who shot Hamilton to be made public — and the injuries the officer is said to have suffered that day to be detailed.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office will make the final decision as to whether any criminal charges will be filed in Dontre Hamilton’s death.

When asked about possible criminal charges Wednesday, Chief Flynn said he found the deadly use of force to be justified, but he stopped short of saying exactly what he thinks the District Attorney should decide.

The state's Department of Criminal Investigation has completed its investigation into this incident -- and has handed its findings over to the District Attorney's Office. Subsequently, the District Attorney's Office ordered a second independent investigation be conducted in the case.

Officials with the District Attorney’s Office tell FOX6 News the FBI is reviewing the specific question of the use of force. We’re told a national use of force expert is also reviewing the use of force in this case. The D.A.’s Office says a local police agency has already reviewed the use of force in this case. Which agency that is, hasn’t been made clear.

CLICK HERE to read more stories about the Dontre Hamilton case on FOX6Now.com

48 comments

  • Semper Fidelis, USMC

    OPPS, TO MANY BULLETS TO THE CHEST, will get you fired, cop should be locked up. Much more training needs to be done with police on the streets and a TEMPER test should be given once a month, because most police are mad at the world, not married anymore and drink in cop teams(drunks) after work. Semper fi

  • My Mind Uncensored

    Wow! This officer, who was found to have done nothing wrong, is getting fired because of a “cowardice” decision by politicians who don’t want fingers pointing at them. Shame on the MPD.

  • John

    People who know nothing of police work, know nothing of deadly force decision making, and know nothing about the facts of this case should keep their uneducated opinions to themselves.

  • Milton

    About time. Chief Flynn is the only political figure in this city not afraid to make a decision. Good job chief!

  • f%@#$!!!!

    Why? The family dident care about Hamilton before he was shot if they did he would of been in their care or in a mental hospital getting help not a homeless man sleeping in a park. The family only came forward after the fact to block roads and rallied around to make noise. I think this is bs, he assaulted a officer who was responding to a call, doing his job! A lot more then the demonstrators where doing at the time the calls where made. Bottom line, the family didn’t love Hamilton at least not enough to care for him the familky is a bunch of hypocrites looking for a quick buck off someone they couldn’t love enough to keep out of a park.

  • Jeff

    Wow, So Cops shouldn’t pad suspects down for weapons? Obviously, this cops instincts were justified. This is sad.

      • Wlliam

        If you worked in any law enforcement field before, you would know a pat down is for the officer’s safety and not to see if they are criminals. Officer safety is number one in all their books and rules. It may not be part of a welfare check protocol, but this officer wanted to make sure he was safe and has every right to make sure he goes home safe and sound. Being in law enforcement, everything is a double edged sword. If he did or didn’t he would be at fault because there is no right way to do the job but there is a million ways to do it wrong. You try to work a job like that and still have motivation to do it for 25+ years as a career. A good example, look up San Bernardino County where they didnt pat this man down and he shot himself in the head in the interview room after he was arrested.

    • Semper Fidelis

      Jeff, since when is (sleep) become a suspect for a pat down? Pat down because he was snoring to loud? Come on man. Cop should be jailed. A cop touching me I’d be fighting also.

  • Jeri Burke

    I am very happy to see this-maybe other Police officers will see this and not be as quick to resort to shooting people. I for one am quite sick of seeing a new person shot by the police in the news everyday. I do not want to live in a Police state. There have been 1620 people accross the united states killed by police JUST THIS YEAR!!!! IMO that is out of hand!!!

  • Melissa

    Flynn is a spineless leader who buckled to political outcries from the dredge of society in Milwaukee. The family even had a restraining order against him. And NOW they care because they see dollar signs. Disgusting.

  • Lynn

    everyone who commented below, look up the definition and symptoms of “schizophrenia”…. then let me know whether the shooting was just, or a bad judgment call. the end.

    • Wlliam

      Please don’t start piggy backing the situation especially since the media gave out all the details. Police officers are not psychic nor can they tell if someone has mental health issues just by looking at someone. At the time of the incident, the only information this officer had was a person who had been sleeping at the park for a long extended period of time. Thats it. Time doesn’t stop when you are in a scuffle, you have to make a life or death situation in that split second which determines if you’re going home at the end of the day or being stuffed in a body bag regardless of who you are fighting. Just because he has schizophrenia doesn’t mean I should let him take my life.

  • Wlliam

    More than one person can call about the same thing over the course of the day if the concern is still present. If you need me to dumb it down for you ; If one person saw a man sleeping in the park at 10am, they call the police, they come out and check, find that he is okay, the man goes back to sleep at 11am — Say in another hour at 12pm, a different person sees the same man and calls. Regardless if officers checked on this man earlier in the day, another citizen was concerned and they have to go back out. Make sense now?

  • sara

    I am so sickened by the spineless “leaders” of Milwaukee. Chief Flynn, the Mayor of Milwaukee and the District Attorney should all resign. I have lost all respect for these three cowards. The DA is a coward for having a decision well over a month ago but who refuses to release their findings because they are afraid of rioting. Instead, he passes the buck to another department to investigate. How many closed door meeting were held between the three of them? I feel absolutely sorry for officers who work in the City of Milwaukee. We NEED new city leaders in this city.

  • guest

    Mentally unstable/ill + a pat down for weapons = safety. I am very sorry for the family of the individual who died. At the same time the word unstable is a key word for precaution. He was obviously not stable enough if he decided to grab an officer’s weapon and then attack the Officer with it. Use of force is justified but is he really going to say that the pat down is not???? Makes no sense.

  • Mpd friend

    It’s obvious that chief Flynn just lost all respect from anyone in law enforcement. Completely justified shooting of a man that was attacking the officer with a deadly weapon. 100% political decision at the expense of a good officer. If I worked for Milwaukee police department I would call for the resignation of chief Flynn citing incompetence in decision making. It’s a sad day when the men and women in uniform not only have to go to war when they put their uniforms on… But also have to fight for their jobs when administration makes the WRONG decision. Anyone who has a brain in their head should rally behind this officer and call on the politicians that are to scared to go on the streets to do what the officers do on a daily basis. Milwaukee police department officers should not have to deal with enemies in the same uniform. I just lost all respect for chief Flynn. It’s a sad day for law enforcement.. a sad day for Milwaukee.. and a sad day for anyone that thinks this is a good decision…. Because you are wrong.

  • bderk.

    God is looking out. This nut case of an officer should of been fired along time ago! this man was laying on the ground minding his own. Did he have cit training? if you know how to deal with the mentally Ill, You would know not to touch them. People need to learn to communicate better with our mentally Ill population in Milwaukee. They have rights too!

    To the family keep asking for god to guide you all in this storm!

    • wtf

      so it is ok to call the officer a nut case..how insesitive to the mentally ill including dontre, you sound prejudice to me and perhaps a tad of hatred, intolerance, and a wee bit of racisim

  • Anonymous

    In before people start saying “Well yeah but he was a thug, look at this picture of him wearing baggy pants 6 years ago!”

    • Dustin

      Black people are crime prone. We can give the benefit of the doubt when they’re not encountered in a WAR ZONE.

      Cordon off the north side and shell ’em.

  • Don

    As I read it, everything was going pretty well until the end….when “the other shoe dropped.” The Chief is spineless…..what a damm shame…..really. I hate to say it and judge based on one press release,l but if it went down the way it read……I stand by my opinion.

  • Harold d

    To many what ifs in this 1.what if the police officer was black 2.what if the caller was wrong and he was armed 3.what if he wasn’t sleeping in the park ETC.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Show the people of Milwaukee photo’s (face pictures) of the officers conditions after he was being hit over the head etc etc, SHOW THEM and put everyone at rest, but I am thinking they have NO such pictures……..so, jail this rude, disrespectful loser cop.

  • Hooligan

    typical white political coward finding a way to appease the poverty pimps b/c he is too afraid to stand up to them

  • robert run (@robertrunwords)

    This is an interesting situation because most people do not know just how powerful the Police Union is and how far they will go to protect police who do not do their jobs properly, and also to protect the ones who have contempt for the Bill of Rights. This guy will probably get his job back.. most people lose their jobs when they fail egregiously. Police usually get a paid leave when they screw up, even when they kill someone wrongly. Tens of thousands of dollars, some of it tax money, will be spent to help him get his job back. Personally I do not understand what the beef is with firing someone who did their job wrong. He wrongly killed a person and he is complaining that he lost his job. It is very bizarre and frightening that this is normal. Most people would be charged with Manslaughter or some kind of death as the result of negligence and incompetence.. but watch how sick this is. The Police Union, even more so than the Dept. of Homeland Sec and the others that were the result of the Patriot Act, is the single most responsible organization for the loss of the Bill of Rights and for the loss of a reasonable expectation of Civil Rights.. It’s an unconstitutional entity, all the way. There are more good people in this Country than people who think they can do whatever they want because they’re in a uniform and get away with it. We will prevail..but in the mean time.. just remember that there are people working very hard to be able to apply the Bill of Rights selectively and not universally. Stay vigilant, in the future, when Police break laws and do their jobs wrong, they will have double penalties, because anyone who claims to want a job defending the people should be held to a higher, not a lower standard. Even though it makes some Police mad, you have to use your Bill of Rights and understand them and understand due process.. because the Police Union works really hard to make those things irrelevant. Don’t worry, we’ll win but the more who get on board the faster it will happen. Thanks to the good cops who are starting to finally speak out!! good for you and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!.

  • Donald McIntosh

    This now begs the question of why ANYONE in this day and age would ever want to become a Police Officer. No matter how well you do your job, someone is going to Monday morning quarterback it and question every aspect of the incident. I was a Police Officer in a Detroit suburb for nearly 30 years and I am thankful I was able to retire when I did. Why issue guns to officers? Why have them drive police cars (God forbid they are involved in a pursuit)? Why don’t we hire people to do exactly what society is expecting of our police today? Have them come to your home or office after a crime has been committed and become the professional report writers these politicians expect them to be. Has anyone ever noticed that the police are called when all else fails and those of the last resort are tasked with dealing with a situation that no one else can handle. Then the results of the actions taken by those of the last resort are questioned by those that were not there or exposed to the dangers that the officers at the scene were? Simply boggles the mind and again begs the question of any college educated individual considering law enforcement as a career……WHY?

  • Michael

    Chief Flynn is a worthless piece of cr—. Gutless and just a politician in mine and many others. The Mayor is also worthless always crying about reality not knowing when to shut his mouth.
    Chief Flynn signed Officer Mannings death certificate. Blood is on your hands Chief!

  • DJ

    Sorry guys>but Mr Hamilton should of just waited till he was brought in and asked for a Lawyer. Instead he struck and fought the Officer which is a crime. Mr Hamilton is not totally innocent. He should not be thought of as a martyr. He was stopped because of a crime. Think Milwaukee!

  • HA A

    The Officer had every right to protect himself since Hamilton had taken away the Officer’s metal night stick and was using it on him, which could kill the Officer if hit in the head. It is an extendable solid piece of metal that can be fatal if hit in the head. Should have waited for back up if needed to take him into protective custody as he may have been a suicide risk.

Comments are closed.