California attorney takes interest in Dontre Hamilton's death, flies to Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Los Angeles-based attorney, Ian Wallach, has been retained by the family of Dontre Hamilton for the possible filing of a lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department because of Hamilton's death.

Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in Red Arrow Park last Wednesday, April 30th.

Wallach has given legal commentary on national and local programming. He's had cases ranging from international to state issues, but his current focus is on a case in Milwaukee -- involving the death of Dontre Hamilton.

"I heard about a family whose kid was killed," said Wallach.

Wallach along with attorney Jovan Blacknell made the trip into Milwaukee to help the family of 31-year-old Hamilton.

"Actually I know the whole family -- so I know Dontre, I know his brother Damien, I know his mom and his dad. A friend of mine, Jovan, said we need to see what's up and what the options are. That was enough to get on a plane," said Wallach.

Police say Dontre Hamilton had been lying on the ground inside Red Arrow Park on April 30th when an officer came over to investigate. Authorities say Hamilton grabbed an officer’s baton and starting beating him with it. That’s when the officer shot and killed Hamilton.

"They want to know about the officer who 'has been treated for injuries,' but there's no evidence presented to them that he's been treated for injuries," said Wallach.

Wallach believes there is at least one account of what happened that's different from the police account, and says investigators have kept Hamilton's family in the dark.

"No one's called the family aside from the call to tell them their son was dead," said Wallach.

Police dispute the claim saying, "Milwaukee Police Department members have spoken with the family on at least two occasions. I cannot confirm what additional conversations may have occurred with family members."

Wallach says the claim is simply not true.

Both Wallach and Blacknell say no lawsuits have been filed against the city or MPD at this time, but that could change.

"This is not a case of a family that's trying to get wealthy off of what happened. They're just trying to figure out what happened," said Wallach.

The attorneys made the trip to Milwaukee on their own dime. State investigators said they typically do not comment on ongoing investigations, and there's no time-frame on when this investigation will be over.