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Tense atmosphere: Police officers pack City Hall, alderman calls Manney firing “injustice”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- More than 100 Milwaukee police officers and police supporters packed City Hall on Thursday, October 16th in support of fired Officer Christopher Manney. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Wednesday announced he signed an order terminating Manney from the Milwaukee Police Department in connection with the shooting of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park on April 30th.

In firing Manney, Chief Flynn said his reason for doing so wasn’t Manney's 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 when Manney arrived at the scene he should have immediately assessed Hamilton as an “emotionally disturbed person” and treated him as such -- saying Manney's pat down of Hamilton escalated the situation -- leading to the fatal shooting.

“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. 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 during a press conference Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon at Milwaukee's City Hall, police officers stood in support of Manney as the leader of Milwaukee's police union and a Milwaukee alderman spoke out against Manney's firing.

Michael Crivello, the president of the Milwaukee Police Association and Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan say the decision to fire Manney was a political one -- meant to satisfy protesters who have been demonstrating all summer -- who have another demonstration planned for Thursday evening.

Crivello and Donovan were joined Thursday by dozens of officers who weren't shy about stating they no longer have confidence in Chief Flynn.

"In my opinion, (Manney) has become the scapegoat for the racially-charged political environment we live in," Alderman Donovan said to rounds of applause during Thursday's press conference.

Chief Flynn says Manney performed an unwarranted pat down of Hamilton, and that led to the altercation that ended when Manney shot Hamilton more than a dozen times. Crivello and Donovan are defending that pat down.

"It would be poor policing not to do so. Just ask any good cop and they`ll tell you," Alderman Donovan said.

The Milwaukee Police Association has provided FOX6 News a copy of a memo sent by Manney to Chief Flynn on October 1st. The officer writes his pat down of Hamilton "was completely reasonable, responsible and common sense, based on the circumstances."

When asked about the fact two officers had previously checked on Hamilton that April day in Red Arrow Park and didn't pat him down, Alderman Donovan and many of the Milwaukee police officers who packed City Hall got defensive.

During Wednesday's press conference, Chief Flynn said he knew his decision would upset many officers.

"The challenge is gonna be the initial reaction, which I expect and understand, which is anger, frustration and a sense of betrayal. I get it. I totally get it," Chief Flynn said.

Crivello is calling Chief Flynn's decision "unprecedented," and said it's left officers confused and betrayed.

"The fact that his political concerns outweigh his public safety concerns are rapidly breeding no confidence. Rapidly breeding no confidence," Crivello said.

FOX6 News asked Crivello whether the Police Association would consider taking a "no confidence" vote on Chief Flynn -- a question that brought loud applause from the police officers in attendance during Thursday's news conference. Crivello simply said he's listening to the members of the Police Association.

Meanwhile, supporters of Dontre Hamilton, who want to see criminal charges filed against Manney rallied again Thursday evening.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office will make the decision regarding whether charges will be filed against Manney. FOX6 News spoke with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm on Thursday about this pending decision.

"I understand people want as much information as they can possibly get as quickly as they can. My obligation is to allow independent experts to complete their review and then assess whatever they give me before I make my final decision one way or the other," Chisholm said.

Chisholm added his decision is completely independent from the Milwaukee Police Department's decision to fire Manney.

READ IT: Complaint filed by the Milwaukee Police Department to the Fire and Police Commission on Christopher Manney.

READ IT: Statement by Alderman Bob Donovan on the Milwaukee Police Department's decision to terminate Christopher Manney.

Michael Crivello's statement issued Thursday is pictured below:

CLICK HERE for further coverage of the Dontre Hamilton case via


    • wtf

      SBD what basis do you have has the officer been charged with murder… no…so don’t label him a murderer that is prejudicial

      • soulobigdaddy

        do you have proof that Dontre beat this cop? All you have is the cops word, yet you have convicted him a cop beater. Where are the medical records? The pictures showing this cops “beating” ? He could, quite easily, be lying through his teeth to save his trigger happy, murdering , tail feathers!!!

  • JokeEnthusiast

    Injustice? For being fired? A man is dead. Get real. Oh and of course Bob “Showboat” Donovan was there. Of course.

  • DasBoot76

    Of course ignorance of those who know nothing of the law or what it takes to do the job have the most to say !

  • dianne

    Soul b daddy…there are no murder Charges…so innocent until proven guilty..if charges filed. .still innocent until proven guilty….this is America…have you seen the news out of Ferguson? …some times things aren’t always as they seem….I support the law…..I support police officers ..are there BAD..officers..yes…but they aren’t in the majority..the bigger fish to black on black violence..and….people need to take responsibility for their own lives..have dreams and goals…funded by their own hard work..and not government handouts. .I believe. The culture that has become dependent on “qualifying..” for every possible freebies..phones…and so on is the downfall of the poor…the I am owed attitide. .has destroyed…the inner city…where is the work ethic..moral responsibility…self respect. ..since when do you have multiple children you cant take care of…that is where the working class taxpayers become frustrated.. we dont mind helping the poor…but not as permanent dependents…

    • soulobigdaddy

      PSSSST diane…thought you should know 1) According to the New York Times blacks comprise 22 percent of the poor, but blacks only take in 14 percent of government benefits. Conversely, whites make up 42 percent of the poor , but take in a disproportionate 69 percent of government benefits. GET THE FACTS AND DO THE MATH…now you know where our tax money is really going…imagine that

      • dianne

        Out where i live..there aren’t nightly shootings in the neighborhood, we report susupicious acitvity when we see it, we are kind to our neighbors, we support the local shelters, food pantries and the homeless, we do not tolerate crime, we report shoplifters, gas drive offs, God forbid for 25+ years if there has been a neighbor killing a neighbor over drugs, yes there is crime, robberies, and so on…kids go to school..we aren’t stupid..out in the “burbs” we are vigilant and watchful..more so in the last few so the african american population is doing much better than everyone thought… and oh the poor white people… so I guess we no longer need affirmitive action or minority quotas? I wonder if some of the white poor are the white elderly who have paid taxes all their lives and collect meager SS beneifts??? Of 4+ generations of my family not a one has been on government assistance all are immigrants from prussia, scotland and germany, they all made a life for of my grandparents refused to collect SS benefits..never cashed one check lived to 92 years old, stated “he didn’t need it” let someone else have it,,yup he was too proud to even accept that which he had earned!!! so please don’t preach to me….sounds like you are bitter..angry and stuck on some issues I only beleive strongly in personal responsibility, integrity and taking care of your own and not being a slave to government welfare.. which all these programs do… people of all skin tones have and do take great advantage of what they can get, and don’t strive to work..when it is just easier to “collect that check and get the free phone and so on” I loathe those that are able bodied, refuse to work a few jobs, get an education, work their way up, loive a moral life and don’t take it upon themselves to better themselves..I do not hesitate or mind helping the truly needy, but the truly needy sometimes drive a nicer car, have coach purses, fancy jewelry and on and on.. they aren’t suffering just playing and scamming the system and don’t deny that this is true… have a nice winter…

      • soulobigdaddy

        you sit on here and write a book that mostly discusses how much better you think you are and say I’m preaching. You sound like the bitter one! Here’s a shocker for you: I also live in the “burbs”. Yea, don’t have a heart attack. I worked my half black assets off to give my children a better place to grow up. Many black people have. :-) I bet that pisses you off lol

      • soulobigdaddy

        I think you would do better to take your own advice. Yes I have a problem with some law enforcement. My first dealing with cops was when my Mother’s car was stolen and they came to our house and shot my dog WHO WAS BEHIND A FENCE clearly marked “beware of dog”. They didn’t apologize, nor pay a cent on the vet bill. I’ve been lied to and witnessed lies told by cops. I’ve been beaten, (and unfortunately no witnesses) by cops. I’ve been profiled on several occasions and I even had a cop steal my personal property. And as far as mentoring, I do that!!

  • JC

    So what did the first 2 cops do? Take a pulse, check to see if he was breathing and walk away? By the third time this should have been a call to the paramedics and to get him out of there. The cop isn’t a murderer he did shoot his gun 13 more times then he needed to. Bob Donovan needs to keep out of this one but he won’t he loves the camera too much.

  • diane

    SBD i am not bitter or pissed off because you “a black man” live in the burbs..thats real nice.. maybe you should mentor and /or counsel the young black youth of the inner city as a adult male example of success. a positive role model, some of your comments aren’t positive. lie: calling a man a murderer prior to charges being filed in the court system.. at times it seems you show little regard and/or respect for the law? You are not special because you have decided to make a better life for yourself..that is what ever person regardless of skin tone should do..if you can do it so can anyone else..your parent(s) must have done something right.. that is what it boils down too.. you and i can agree to disagree..but personal responsiblity and accountability are greatly lacking in the city of one is perfect..but we can all try to live a respectful, responsible, moral life…put hands to work not hands out..

  • dianne

    SBD. ..sounds like you have your share of bad experiences…so do I..I have been black thugs..purse stolen. Car broken into..pregnant.white neighbor..lady murdered by the young black teenager..who lived next door… (when I still lived in the Sherman park area…yes I graduated years ago from Washington. .)..I was the token white girl..I lived in the hood..and got the hay out so do not preach to me blacks are just as mean and prejudicial as whites can be…I would NOT live long if I chose to drive past my old house..I dare say…that doesn’t mean I dont have African american friends.I do and biracial…cousins..I all have life experiences…it works both ways…

  • dianne

    No follow up…very tense at Washington park senior center…manneys.supporters there in large numbers last night….but dontres supporters rude and do not let us voice our opinions…it is a country where everyone is allowed there right to speak..and again the outrage where is another child shot while in her home. .why isnt the community outraged. About that..and why not about the black men terrorizing..uwm.students…why doesnt the does the that they..have young black men..terrorizing college students….and daily black on black crime…why don’t they have a need conference and a rally on that?

  • 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. 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. He 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.

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