Ex-officer not charged in fatal Milwaukee shooting

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Ex-officer not charged in fatal Milwaukee shooting
Dontre Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton participates in a protest Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Dontre Hamilton's brother, Nate Hamilton yells on the steps of the federal courthouse Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. At right is Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Dontre Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton, whips her eyes as she is is flanked by her sons Dameion Perkins, right, and Nate Hamilton on the steps on the federal courthouse Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Dontre Hamilton's brother, Dameion Perkins cries on the steps of the federal courthouse Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Dontre Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton and brothers Dameion Perkins, left, and Nate Hamilton lead a protest Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Dontre Hamilton's brother, Dameion Perkins and mother Maria Hamiton listen to speakers on the steps of the federal courthouse Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
FILE - This file photo provided by the Milwaukee Police Department shows Christopher Manney who was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in connection with the shooting and killing of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill man in a downtown park in April. Milwaukee city officials said they plan to speed up training so that all Milwaukee police officers will get training to deal with mentally ill people. Mayor Tom Barrett said about 400 officers and dispatchers have received the 40 hours of training to be certified under the Crisis Intervention Team program since 2006. But now they plan to get the 1,400 or so others trained by 2018. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Police Department, File)
FILE - In this May 8, 2014 file photo, flowers and stuffed animals form a makeshift memorial in a Milwaukee park where a white Milwaukee police officer shot and killed a black man. Prosecutors said Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, that Christopher Manney won’t face criminal charges because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. (AP Photo/Dinesh Ramde, File)
In this Oct. 11, 2014 photo paint left in Red Arrow Park by Dontre Hamilton's family marks the area where Officer Christopher Manney shot and killed Hamilton on April 30 in Milwaukee. Family and friends say they will continue to hold rallies and protests in an effort to convince Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to bring criminal charges against Manney in Hamilton’s death. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
In this Oct. 11, 2014 family, friends and community members of Dontre Hamilton rally in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee where Officer Christopher Manney shot and killed Hamilton on April 30. Family and friends say they will continue to hold rallies and protests in an effort to convince Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to bring criminal charges against Manney in Hamilton’s death. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm speaks at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm demonstrates bullet trajectory at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm speaks at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm demonstrates bullet trajectory at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm demonstrates bullet trajectory at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm points to a graphic at news conference Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Chisholm announced that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
In this Oct. 13, 2014 photo Nate Hamilton wears a bracelet honoring his brother Dontre Hamilton while he plays a song in Milwaukee that he and another brother wrote after Dontre's death. Family and friends say they will continue to hold rallies and protests in an effort to convince Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to bring criminal charges against Officer Christopher Manney shot and killed Hamilton on April 30. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
Dontre Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton listens to her son speak on the steps of the federal courthouse Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced earlier in the day that there would be no charges against former police office Christopher Manney in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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MILWAUKEE (AP) - A white Milwaukee police officer who was fired after he fatally shot a mentally ill black man in April won't face criminal charges, the county's top prosecutor said Monday.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Christopher Manney won't be charged because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney is at least the third white police officer to avoid charges in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black man's death.

"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," Chisholm said in a statement.

The Hamilton family reacted with disappointment and anger, immediately asking the U.S. attorney in Milwaukee to seek a federal investigation. At a chaotic news conference on the steps of the federal courthouse, two attorneys for the family urged that protests be peaceful "so as not to dishonor Dontre's name and the Hamilton family name."

But Hamilton's brother Nate spoke bitterly, saying the family had "cried too long."

"We don't have to be the voice of reason," he said. He called on people to stand with the family "so we can get rid of these pigs that kill us. Because that's what they are."

Manney's attorney did not return a message seeking comment Monday morning.

The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, Chris Ahmuty, issued a statement saying the decision not to charge Manney left "a cloud of uncertainty over the circumstances of and the responsibility for Mr. Hamilton's death."

Manney shot 31-year-old Hamilton on April 30 after responding to a call for a welfare check on a man sleeping in a downtown park. Manney said Hamilton resisted when he tried to frisk him. The two exchanged punches before Hamilton got hold of Manney's baton and hit him on the neck, the former officer has said. Manney opened fire, hitting Hamilton 14 times.

Several witnesses told police they saw Hamilton holding Manney's baton "in an aggressive posture" before Manney shot him, according to Chisholm's report. Police said they have no video of the event.

Chisholm consulted with experts on the use of force by police officers, who concluded Manney's conduct was justified. Emanuel Kapelsohn of the Peregrine Corporation said all the shots were discharged in 3 or 4 seconds and there was no evidence that Manney continued firing after Hamilton hit the ground.

Manney suffered minor injuries, including a bite to his right thumb, a neck strain and neck contusion, the report said. He was treated for post-concussion syndromes, a mild traumatic brain injury and had physical therapy for bicep and rotator cuff injuries, the report said.

Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October. He said at the time that Manney correctly identified Hamilton as mentally ill, but ignored department policy and treated him as a criminal by frisking him.

Hamilton's family said he suffered from schizophrenia and had recently stopped taking his medication.

At a news conference, Chisholm said his assessment covered only whether Manney was justified in using deadly force, not whether the initial stop was handled properly. He invited anyone to review the full investigative file. "They'll think we made a fair decision," he said.

The Milwaukee Police Association condemned Manney's firing as a political move, and members voted no confidence in Flynn soon after the firing. Manney has appealed his dismissal.

Hamilton's death preceded the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, but the case hasn't attracted as much attention. Hamilton's family has led mainly peaceful protests, trying to raise awareness about mental illness. Other protesters said his death underlined race concerns.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has said he will call up the National Guard if there is any violent reaction to the prosecutor's decision. Police arrested 74 protesters Friday who blocked rush hour traffic on Interstate 43. On Monday, the state Department of Military Affairs activated its emergency operations center to monitor the situation in Milwaukee and coordinate activities between any affected state agencies.

No Charges Against Former Milwaukee Cop In Fatal Shooting


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