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Dontre Hamilton’s mother Maria reflects on visit to Ferguson: “I felt like I was in a war zone”

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FERGUSON/MILWAUKEE -- A day of civil disobedience that saw several arrests in Ferguson ended Monday, August 10th with some protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police. About 23 arrests were made late Monday and early Tuesday, police said. Earlier Monday, a top St. Louis County official declared a state of emergency, saying violence had marred demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death. Several protesters were arrested during demonstrations that began Sunday night.

Shootout in Ferguson

Shootout in Ferguson

Peaceful marches in the St. Louis suburb planned by day on Sunday were shattered that same night when gunfire broke out, sending protesters and police scattering to safety. An accused gunman, 18-year-old Tyrone Harris of St. Louis, was hospitalized in critical condition and in police custody. St. Louis County police said officers shot the teenager after he unleashed a "remarkable amount of gunfire" at them. Prosecutors charged Harris with four counts of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.

Darren Wilson and Michael Brown

Darren Wilson and Michael Brown

Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on August 9th, 2014. On November 24, 2014, it was announced a St. Louis County grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson. On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting, finding that witnesses who corroborated his account were credible while those who incriminated him were not, and that according to the evidence, Wilson shot Michael Brown in self-defense.

Maria Hamilton

Maria Hamilton

Maria Hamilton is the mother of Dontre Hamilton. The 31-year-old man was shot and killed by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney in April of 2014 -- four months before the death of Michael Brown. Maria Hamilton says it was a rally at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, a few months after her son's death, when she and others in Milwaukee stood in solidarity with Michael Brown's family that pushed her into action. She says she felt she needed to be in Ferguson on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death. "I felt like I was in a war zone. It's overwhelming," Maria Hamilton said.

Scene where Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson

Scene where Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson

Overwhelming, but Maria Hamilton says she felt she had to be there. She says the anniversary of Michael Brown's death is also an anniversary of sorts for her. "I was awakened by the loss of Mike Brown because that allowed me and my family to see what protesting and rallying was about," Hamilton said. Hamilton described what she saw while in Ferguson. "Most of the police that I saw, they`re fully dressed in combat. They have their guns. They walk with their hands on their guns or on their club. When they speak to you, they speak with aggression," Maria Hamilton said.

Dontre Hamilton

Dontre Hamilton

Hamilton says she was able to visit with Michael Brown's family, and see the support they continue to receive from members of the community. "This community has shown the Brown family that -- yes, you all have started this movement. Mike was a seed that was planted in Ferguson, so their voices could be heard," Hamilton said. This trip has offered Maria Hamilton another realization: "We`re in a long journey for change. I don`t think it's going to happen in my lifetime -- where we can come together and there's no division," Hamilton said. Hamilton says she participated in the peaceful marches, prayers and the moments of silence in honor of Michael Brown -- but even at those events, she says she noticed plenty of "agitators" in the crowd.



    what a joke she has no clue what a war zone is. The riots in MO are a result of those wanting to cause problems with the police. they have zero regard for others. I wish the local media would stop giving this family air time every time they’re on TV they sound worst than the time before. They are attention hungry and Nate is looking for $$$ to help pay off his back child support and a poss. run for county supervisor

  • really

    timiri too funny Nate for supervisor don’t you need common sense for a job like that oh wait maybe not

  • hunter

    he will run for supervisor , lose then protest in the streets till they let him in. hamiltons mom has never been in a war zone so maybe backoff on the comments! what are police supposed to wear when the people are running around acting like animals!

  • yabba dabba dooo

    look at our current county supervisors the majority of them lack common sense. he plans to run on his brothers name thats why he wants them to finish all these investigations.

    Ironic how the media hasnt covered once the planned day of resist in Milwaukee on aug 21 being led by dead beat father nate

  • richard cranium

    terrible parents. always blame someone else. never take any responsibility. and then make a few bucks off their dead kids.

  • Booker

    “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” BOOKER T. Washington

  • $15 an hr is bad for the economy and job growth

    to bad her family will never know what a real war zone looked liked. I suggest she talk to Veterans who served in such a theater before she sounds any more dumber than she already does.


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