Christopher Manney, a former Milwaukee police officer who was sacked after he fatally shot a black man last April, violated department protocol and will not get his job back, a panel of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission ruled late Monday. Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times by Manney after the officer responded to a complaint of a man sleeping in a park.
The three-commissioner panel unanimously agreed that Police Chief Ed Flynn made the right decision when he fired Manney in October 2014 for violating department practices. The review panel upheld Manney’s permanent discharge from the Milwaukee Police Department. Manney had reportedly claimed that Hamilton grabbed the officer's baton and attacked him with it following which he fired the shots. Hamilton's family had reportedly said earlier that he suffered from schizophrenia and had stopped taking his medication.
“I support the decisions reached by Fire and Police Commission’s disciplinary appeals panel upholding the decisions made and actions taken by Police Chief Ed Flynn,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett reportedly said in a statement. “Last October, I stated my support for the Chief’s decision to terminate then Officer Manning. I said at the time that many people would be unhappy with the Chief’s decision. Some would feel it went too far and others would feel more needed to be done.
“The tragic death of Dontre Hamilton has shaken our community and we have much work to do,” he reportedly added.
In December 2014, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced that Manney will not be charged in the fatal shooting of the 31-year-old unarmed man. The decision sparked protests in Milwaukee as many compared Hamilton’s death to Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014.
The U.S. Justice Department has said it will review Hamilton’s shooting death to determine whether authorities should pursue a federal civil rights prosecution, NBC News reported. In recent months, law enforcement officials in the U.S. have come under heavy criticism over the use of excessive force by police following several officer-involved killings of black men.
“And we're happy that they finally stood up on the community's behalf, on Dontre's behalf. Dontre has no voice no more, but today, he spoke,” Hamilton’s brother, Nate, said, according to a local report.