Dontre Hamilton and Christopher "Chris" Manney
Milwaukee Police Officer Manney was terminated by Chief Edward A. Flynn for violating protocol in a pat-down of a Emotionally Disturbed Person.
By H. Nelson Goodson
October 15, 2014
Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn announced that he fired Police Officer Christopher "Chris" Manney, 38, for failing to follow a pat-down policy dealing with a Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP). Chief Flynn said, that Officer Manney decided to pat-down (hand searching for weapnons) without reasonable suspicion to do so and Manney treated Dontre Hamilton, 31, as a criminal before the incident escalated to a confrontation. Manney ended up killing Hamilton.
Officer Manney began to search Hamilton on April 30 for weapons. Two other officers had checked on Hamilton twice who was sleeping on the ground near a Starbucks place and was not bothering anyone.
Manney had received a voicemail to check on a person at Red Arrow and didn't know that two other officers had already checked on Hamilton. Manney never called the voicemail sender or checked in to find out, if the call was taken care off. If Manney would have checked in, he would have learned that the call was serviced by two other officers who followed EDP protocol, instead he went to Red Arrow and confronted Hamilton.
Hamilton and Manney got into an altercation, punches were thrown, Manney took out his baton, but Hamilton managed to take it away and allegedly struck Manney with it several times. Officer Manney fearing for his life, then fatally shot Hamilton multiple times, according to Flynn. Chief Flynn said, that Manney was justified for shooting Hamilton for fear of his life.
Chief Fynn stated, "Christopher Manney, by his own statements in his response to charges, accurately assessed Dontre Hamilton as an Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP). He made a determination that Mr. Hamilton was dangerous based solely on observations of apparent mental illness, absent any overt actions on the part of Mr. Hamilton. Despite his accurate assessment of Mr. Hamilton as an EDP, Christopher Manney treated Mr. Hamilton as a dangerous criminal instead of following his training and treating Mr. Hamilton as an EDP. Christopher Manney's approach, including an out-of-policy pat down, was not based on individualized reasonable suspicion but on an assumption of his mental state and housing status. This intentional action, in violation of training and policy, instigated a physical confrontation that resulted in a deadly use of force."
The Milwaukee District Attorney's Office would have to decide whether to press charges against former Officer Manney.
Milwaukee District Attorney John T. Chisholm had received an independent investigation report concerning the shooting three months after Hamilton's death, but has not made it public. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee and the FBI are investigating Hamilton's shooting as well.
In May, Hamilton a homeless man with a mental illness was shot 10 times at Red Arrow Park from 10 feet away as he stood holding a baton and watched a Milwaukee cop named "Chris" pull his gun to fatally shoot him without saying a word, according to Kelly R. Brandmeyer, a barista at Starbucks and witness of the killing on April 30. Several other Starbucks workers also witnessed that Hamilton was ten feet away from Officer Manney before he was killed, Brandmeyer stated.
Brandmeyer published her statement in the Occupy Riverwest paper dated May 3.
Brandmeyer's and two other workers at Satrbucks eyewitness accounts contradict Chief Flynn's statement on Wednesday that former Officer Manney was justified in killing Hamilton.
Hamilton's family learned the identity of former Officer Manney from Chief Flynn for months and neglected to release it to the media. Manney's identity was made public by Chief Flynn at the press conference.