Documents describe Dontre Hamilton's battle with mental illness, his family's efforts to get him help

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- This week, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney‘s “use of force” in the shooting death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was “justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.” With that announcement, dozens of documents related to the investigation were released, and we're now learning more about the mental health issues Dontre Hamilton was battling before he died.

Dontre Hamilton

The documents show the Hamilton family was desperately trying to get help for Dontre, and a woman told police about her conversation with Dontre just before he went to Red Arrow Park on April 30th, 2013.

The woman, a stranger to Dontre Hamilton, told Milwaukee police she spoke with Dontre moments before he was shot and killed by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney inside Red Arrow Park. She says she was walking to her car -- parked near Water and State.

The documents show Dontre Hamilton addressed the woman, saying: "Excuse me Ma'am, I'm not a robber or an axe murderer. I just got out of the hospital."

The report says Hamilton told the woman he worked for a temp agency, and he needed money for the bus. The woman told Hamilton she doesn't carry cash. That's when the woman told police Dontre said: "Well why don't you give me your phone..." The woman kept walking, and Dontre Hamilton said: "Well, why don't you give me your phone number?"

The woman kept walking. She told police Dontre Hamilton stopped following her and called her a name. She turned, and saw Hamilton walking toward Red Arrow Park.

The documents also show Hamilton's family members were trying to get him help in the days before his death.

Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton told police the day before Dontre was shot and killed, the last time she talked with her son, Dontre told her he was "tired and hungry, and that somebody was going to kill him." The documents show Maria Hamilton told police her son was schizophrenic.

Hamilton's mother told police she told her son she was going to send mental health crisis folks to give him his shot. Maria Hamilton told police the mobile mental health evaluators found Dontre, and told her "Dontre didn't seem like he was going to harm himself or anyone else, so they let him stay at his residence."

The documents show those mobile mental health evaluators did see signs of schizophrenia.

On April 27th, three days before his death, there was a three-way phone conversation involving Dontre Hamilton, his mother and his brother. The documents show they were arranging to pick Dontre up the following morning so he could get his shot.

The next morning, Dontre Hamilton's phone battery was dead.

The documents describe another incident occurring in the days before Hamilton was shot and killed. Hamilton reportedly believed his aunt was in a neighboring apartment, and people were trying to kill her. The documents indicated Hamilton was banging on that neighbor's door, trying to get in.

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