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Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn addressed the media this afternoon regarding the termination of Officer Christopher Manney, who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park in April. Flynn charged Officer Manney with failing to follow proper procedures when dealing with mentally ill person, not posing an immediate threat, which ultimately led the officer to use deadly force.

Flynn told the press, on April 30, 2014, two officers, responded to call from starbucks in red arrow park to check the welfare of Hamilton, who was laying on the sidewalk nearby.

The officers dispatched to the scene checked on Hamilton and “found no cause for action.”

Later in the afternoon, at 3:30 pm Officer Chris Manney responded to a voicemail regarding the same call officers responded to regarding Hamilton earlier.

“The officer was not aware of the previous investigation,” said Flynn. He explained, Manney arrived and asked hamilton to stand up. When hamilton stood up, Manney searched him by physical body pat down, which Hamilton then began to struggle with the officer, and then resulted in a fight, with both men slugging each other. Officer Manney then used a baton to subdue Hamilton, but Hamilton was able to get the baton away from Manney and began swinging it at Manney.

It was then that Manney shot Hamilton 14 times resulting in Hamilton’s death.

Flynn said, “we must always calibrate our circumstances based on the challenge we are facing…in this case we have a series of decisions by officer Manney that resulted in the loss of a human life.”

“We did not simply review the use of force by officer Manney,” he said, we reviewed every single aspect from the call to the ultimate use of force.

Flynn said, “despite of Manney’s accurate assessment of Hamilton as an EDP (Emotionally Disturbed Person), Manney treated hamilton as a dangerous criminal.” The physical search, however, was outside of standard policy because it was unjustified by reasonable suspicion, and that ultimately led to the use of deadly force against Hamilton:

You don’t go hands on and start frisking someone because they appear to be mentally ill…because of those actions, bad decisions resulted in the use of deadly force.

This was not a call of a mentally ill man waving a gun.

The police union has slammed the decision to fire Manney, calling it “an act of cowardice.”

 

 

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