A former Milwaukee police officer will not face charges in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a city park, authorities said Monday.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm called the death of Dontre Hamilton, who is black, “tragic” but said evidence and witness accounts supported claims by Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, that he acted in self-defense.
“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and for the community,” Chisholm said in a report published Monday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But, based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.”
Officer Christopher Manney shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in late April, following a struggle that ensued after Manney approached Hamilton, who was sleeping in the park.
Workers at a nearby Starbucks kiosk called the police to complain about Hamilton. Two officers checked on him before Manney arrived, according to the report. According to witnesses, at one point Hamilton grabbed the officer’s baton from him and hit him with it. The officer fired his weapon 14 times.
The police department terminated Manney’s employment, but Hamilton’s family was hoping he would face criminal charges.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an attorney for the family says they are pursuing Federal charges. In a statement, the attorney made connections to the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.