Hamilton police shooting: Timeline of what's happened since April

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The protesters are seeking justice in the death of Dontre Hamilton. 31-year-old Hamilton was shot and killed by now former Milwaukee Police Officer, Christopher Manney, in April.

The group is calling for changes to be filed. It's a decision that's been months in the making.

So how did we get to this point?


It was a cloudy last day of April when several shots were fired at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee. We quickly learned that shots came from a Milwaukee police officer who tangled with a man he was trying to pat down.

We didn't know the victim's name at first, and we wouldn't learn the officers name for awhile. Just that he was 38 years old, and had been on the job for 13 years. And that authorities were making sure it was an isolated incident.


Early May came the first of many vigils. Dontre Hamilton was the man killed by that officer -- he suffered from schizophrenia. The Hamilton family would make their first of many eventual demands.

"We want educated social workers, we wanted educated police, we have to keep pushing that as a group," said the Hamilton family.

One week later, FOX6 News started to hear from attorney's representing Hamilton's family -- our first indication they are not happy with how things are proceeding.

"No one's called the family except to tell them their son was dead. The family is waiting for answers," said the Hamilton's attorney, Johnathon Safron.


June arrives and the Department of Justice is investigating in accordance to a recently passed law that says agencies cannot investigate themselves when an officer is involved in the death of a person.

"I think it'll help the citizens of this community that the new law has had an effect," said Safran.


The Hamilton family meets with the DA and they learn Dontre was shot 15 times, a number that would soon be revised to 14.

This is the first time the family mentions they'd like the officer charged criminally -- even though he's not yet been named.

Late August brings more protests to Red Arrow Park -- as demonstrators lie down to an effort to show what Dontre Hamilton was doing when approached by police.


September brings frustration with demonstrations flowing into traffic -- it is not well received by some.

About 30 protesters marched demanding justice in the Dontre Hamilton case, stopping traffic across downtown Milwaukee and a I-794 off ramp.

Later, the Hamilton's vow to be a part of protests that disrupt traffic. Throughout the protests, no arrests were made and no citations were handed out.

Police are clearly letting protesters have their say.

"It's been our hope all along that by exercising restraint and allowing people who were behaving opportunistically to expose themselves, the family would eventually reach this point," said Milwaukee Police Chief, Ed Flynn.


We finally learn the name of the officer involved in the Dontre Hamilton shooting in October. Christopher Manney was fired, but not for shooting and killing Hamilton, but for violating department policy on approaching mentally unstable citizens.

"While I find errors in the judgement of Officer Manney, there was no malice in his decision," said Flynn.

Flynn says the initial pat-down, violated a department core value. But Manney's use of deadly force against Hamilton was justified.

This leads to a no confidence vote against the chief which he shrugs off as a political move by the Milwaukee Police Associaton.


The release of the autopsy report in November confirms Hamilton was shot 14 times -- and furthers the belief by his family and their supporters that Manney should be criminally charged.

Attorney Johnathon Safran says the report backs the Hamilton family's version of events.

"The wounds show that at least half of them were in a downward direction even though they were both supposedly standing. There's one shot that refects it was shot into Dontre Hamilton's back," said Safran.

November also brings protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the failure to indict a white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen in suburban St. Louis.

Riots ensue, and the Hamilton family watches from afar -- sympathetic to Michael Brown's family.

The protests in Milwaukee stay peaceful as Hamilton supporters decorate the Red Arrow Park Christmas tree with reminders of what happened -- 7 months and no decision.


December brings a demonstration indoors as protesters take over City Hall, demanding a meeting with the mayor. A meeting Mayor Tom Barrett described as "conductive" -- Hamilton's family agreed.

"It's making sure that we can build a relationship with the police department. Saying 'hey, you guys are getting educated on how to deal with your people, now' we can respect that," said the Hamilton family.

Protests continue to go on in Milwaukee as the decision to criminally charge Christopher Manney is still pending.