Hamilton family elated with panel decisions: "We know Christopher Manney didn't do his job properly"

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- An emotional night for the family of Dontre Hamilton, as a Fire and Police Commission panel ruled in former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney's appeal hearing. There was an audible sigh of relief and some cheers Monday, March 23rd as the panel ruled that Manney violated MPD policy in his pat down of Dontre Hamilton on April 30th, 2014 at Red Arrow Park. That pat down preceded Manney's fatal shooting of Hamilton. The panel also moved to uphold Christopher Manney's termination from the Milwaukee Police Department.

Phase one of Manney's appeal hearing involved two questions: 1) Did Manney violate MPD's protocol and code of conduct in his pat down of Dontre Hamilton -- and 2) Did Manney's use of force violate MPD's protocol and code of conduct?

The Fire and Police Commission panel said "yes" to those questions -- with all three commissioners on the panel signing the ruling. The panel later moved unanimously to uphold Manney's termination from MPD. The decisions came after five days of testimony that began last Thursday and continued through the weekend.

Dontre Hamilton's family members addressed the media following the phase one and phase two verdicts, and said the panel made decisions they are elated with. They were heard applauding when the decisions were read.

“Now – we go to Washington. We’re going to the federal government to tell them we won’t stop. We are going in a month. We have about 200 organizations all around the state that are going to meet us there. We want to live in our communities and feel safe with the police — not afraid to leave their home. We want to call people that are actually going to do their job and protect us, and that’s why we’re going to Washington,” Maria Hamilton said.

“We have become activists. We have become a voice for Milwaukee, and we’re humbled by it,” Nate Hamilton said.

Dontre Hamilton's brother Nate has said throughout this hearing that his brother Dontre is the only person who didn't have a chance to tell his version of what happened in Red Arrow Park last April. He's now convinced that the panel's decisions were the voice of his brother.

Immediately after the panel's decision in phase one of Christopher Manney's appeal hearing was read on Monday evening, Hamilton family members cheered and embraced one another.

As they gathered before the media, the Hamilton family chanted: "We won't stop until we get justice."

Nate Hamilton says his family has no doubt the Fire and Police Commission panel made the right decision.

"We know Christopher Manney didn`t do his job properly. We`ve been stating that to this Fire and Police Commission for a long time," Nate Hamilton said.

Nate Hamilton says regardless of the final outcome, his family and its supporters are far from being finished.

"We have so much more to do and we will not stop until justice covers this world, until justice covers this nation. We are not going to stop until the world is changed," Nate Hamilton said.