MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On a night to show appreciation for law enforcement, the Milwaukee County Sheriff throws his support behind a man who has been at the center of protests in Milwaukee.
Sheriff David Clarke showed support for Christopher Manney, the police officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton last April. A sentiment that was applauded by supporters.
It was a room filled with thank you as dozens turned out for a night of appreciation.
At the time where support for those in blue is met with backlash.
The past few months there have been protests across the city and county -- criticism of police policies and training.
In Milwaukee, crowds have marched through the streets angry over the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton at the hands of Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney.
"We're not saying that all officers on the street are bad individuals, we're saying this one was," said Curtis Sails, with Coalition for Justice.
Manney was fired for his actions leading up to the shooting and is currently appealing that decision.
"Under similar circumstances, an officer would be awarded for bravery and courage under fire," said Sheriff David Clarke.
On this night, Sheriff David Clarke expressed his support for Manney.
"Christopher Manney has been made a scapegoat and I don't like it because that could happen to you, that could happen to me ladies and gentlemen," said Sheriff Clarke.
Promising that support for law enforcement will not waver.
"Hang in there, keep fighting, keep your chin up. We will win this," said Sheriff Clarke.
The room letting the community know their voices will be just as loud as those against them.
"The fight's not over, we're going to continue to fight," said Sheriff Clarke.
Manney is appealing his termination. A hearing for that appeal has been set for the first week in February.