Estimated 1,200, including Dontre Hamilton’s family, take part in protests during GOP debate

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MILWAUKEE -- Protesters filled the streets of downtown Milwaukee, as GOP presidential candidates took center stage during the fourth GOP presidential debate, held at the Milwaukee Theatre on Tuesday evening, November 10th. Joining the masses was the family of Dontre Hamilton, and their supporters.

Supporters of Dontre Hamilton's family have often used their voices and their feet to protest decisions they disagree with -- and that happened again on Tuesday evening, November 10th. This, as Republican presidential candidates were in Milwaukee for the fourth GOP presidential debate, and several other groups had organized demonstrations ahead of and during that debate.

"I say destroy the whole constitution, because it never worked to begin with for black people," Nate Hamilton, the brother of Dontre Hamilton said.

Dontre Hamilton and Christopher Manney

Dontre Hamilton and Christopher Manney

Officials with the Justice Department announced on Tuesday, November 10th that there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney for the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton at Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park on April 30, 2014. It's a decision that the Hamilton family is not happy with.

In a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, following the DOJ's announcement, the Hamilton family expressed disgust with the criminal justice system and its findings.

The family is disappointed and frustrated after waiting months for a decision they feel was extremely delayed.

The decision came more than 18 months after Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee -- and more than 10-and-a-half months after the federal review was launched.

Supporters of the Hamilton family gathered at City Hall in Milwaukee on Tuesday evening.

"We are mad. We ain't burned down nothing yet," Nate Hamilton said. "We ain't tore up nothing yet."

Groups organizing protests against GOP Milwaukee debate join Dontre Hamilton family for march

Groups organizing protests against GOP Milwaukee debate join Dontre Hamilton family for march

Other groups, such as the "Fight for $15" protesters, Black Lives Matter, demonstrators with Voces de La Frontera and more joined the Hamilton family for the protest and march on Tuesday evening.

Nate Hamilton

Nate Hamilton

"I'm a person that believes in change by the strength of people -- and right now we got a lot of people," Nate Hamilton said.

An estimated 1,200 people took part in the protests -- marching in support of multiple issues. The group ended up outside the Milwaukee Theatre, where GOP presidential candidates were taking part in the debate.

There, some frustrations boiled over into anger.

"We're down here for Dontre Hamilton...not for the 15 union tonight," one demonstrator said.

During the protests, an American flag was set on fire, and then confiscated by police.

"History repeats. We tried the Martin Luther King approach. We tried the peaceful and pleasant approach. Now -- the Malcolm X approach," Nate Hamilton said.

Milwaukee police officers were standing by as this large group of demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Tuesday he understands the Hamilton family's frustration, but asked that people who would choose to protest on Tuesday evening and Tuesday night do so responsibly.

"I understand their anger, but I also understand that the legal requirements that have been put forth by federal law would have made this prosecution very difficult. It's a difficult day for the Hamilton family. There's no question about that. Had I lost a son, had I lost a brother, I would be frustrated and angry as well," Mayor Barrett said.

"We've been respectful of the rights of individuals who protest. That's something guaranteed to them under the First Amendment of our United States constitution. At the same time, the police have an obligation and a duty to make sure this is a safe city," Mayor Barrett said.

Barrett added that since the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton nearly 18 months ago, the Milwaukee Police Department has mandated critical incident training for all MPD officers.

Milwaukee is one of the first cities in the country to require this training.

"What I've tried to do as mayor of this city is to use this...this tragic incident, and regardless of how anyone feels, the loss of life here was use it as a way to try and make our Milwaukee Police Department better," Mayor Barrett said.

CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the Dontre Hamilton case via


  • Tom Wilson

    Too bad we can’t split the country in half (libs and conservatives). As a conservative I would build a wall to keep you out However you should be happy because you can have everything you are demanding (you libs just have to pay for it). Which brings me back to the wall once you run out of $

  • JP79

    Milwaukee’s real issue is black on black violence, maybe Nate should work on that. He is such a good mouth piece for the black community that less than 1% show up to support him. In that 1200 people how many were there for his cause? Nate you are not helping anything, your brother attacked a police officer…..


    • 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 !

  • hillarylies

    These protestors are not furthering any cause, since their demands are ridiculous. If they had their way all police officers would be fired and everyone would be making 20 dollars for starter jobs and whites would have to move out of the city becuase of the insuing drug spree with thier new dole. Well, smart black folks don’t see it that way but are to afraid to speak up. Why don’t ya’ll spend your resources and attend anything but liberal studies and arts and get some real training to become a welder.

  • hillarylies

    Thank you for your family service to our great country. Hopefully the military will get stronger after the next election when we remove liberal PC clowns from offending our great country that was built on the blood sweat and tears of our greatest generation.

  • Amy

    Is the editor a member of thr Hamiltons Coalition or something? Are the reporters of this piece involved in any of the mentioned organizations? One has to ask because the story completely ignores the number of union or party paid protestors. Also, that aerial photo clearly shows well under 1200 individuals.

  • Monica

    The Hamilton family won’t be happy until they get a check for millions. Justice was already served and the cop was fired..all they want is $.

    15 an hour got to be kidding me! People will quit eating fast food before they have to pay another cent for your already over priced, COLD fast food.

    The illegal supporter crowd..they are ILLEGALS and don’t belong here even more so the ones that come to mooch and live off others backs!

    • Jackson Wilson

      Am I the only one that sees the irony in a protest that both supports illegal immigration and at the same time expects minimum wage to double up to $15? One of the main reasons unskilled labor wages are low is because of supply and demand. There are illegal immigrants willing to work for LESS than federal minimum wage. That is the only reasons employers break the law in hiring them is to save money.

  • Me i said it

    They may as well join the hillsboro baptist church, their doing the same thing then again maybe their already members.

  • Itsabouttime

    Nate: Why don’t you take your blasting Horn along with your group and protest about the black on black violence wouldn’t that be more productive.

  • bombacim

    Seems to me that Nate is mad at the wrong people. It is democrats who fill Milwaukee City, County, Department of Justice, White House, etc that have made decisions based on his brothers death. Not republicans.

  • Latrell

    Hey liberal anarchist trash !!!! Dontre Hamilton died as a result of his family (yes his momma and his brother) kicking him out on the streets because THEY COULDNT HANDLE his mental illness, and DONTRE HAMLTON attacked a police officer with a stick and tried to KILL him ! So in SELF DEFENSE the officer shot poor Dontre !!! A tragedy all the way around BUT HIS DEATH had nothing to do WITH HIS COLOR no matter how much his lazy brother and family want to try and shake down the city for with the aide of an ambulance chasing lawyer. If Black lives really matter why do black people keep killing each other. Those shot in police encounters are shot fighting or assaulting police WHICH we as a civil society are NOT allowed to do.

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