Protesting the death of Dontre Hamilton, his family takes casket to City Hall

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Taking their demands to Milwaukee's City Hall, and Mayor Tom Barrett. People protesting the death of Dontre Hamilton on Tuesday, September 2nd went to new extremes in an effort to be heard, and it seems they may be getting results.

It wasn't the first demonstration held since 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer back in April, and it's not likely to be the last.

Police say Dontre Hamilton was shot inside Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee after he took an officer's baton during a struggle.

On Tuesday, September 2nd, demonstrators took their demands to City Hall.

A casket and headstones were part of the demonstration -- a sort of symbolic funeral in the place where 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was fatally shot by a Milwaukee police officer.

"Red Arrow (Park) is where this all took place -- where it all stemmed from," Nathaniel Hamilton said.

From Red Arrow Park on Tuesday, demonstrators formed a sort of funeral procession -- heading down Water Street and toward City Hall.

Nathaniel Hamilton says the goal was to get the attention of city leaders.

"We can`t just go talk civil with them, have them come to talk to us. We have to do things that make them feel uncomfortable," Nathaniel Hamilton said.

Inside City Hall, the casket was laid outside the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Hamilton's brother and mother went inside for a private meeting.

Hamilton's family members and others want more information in this case, including details on why Hamilton died, and the release of the name of the Milwaukee police officer who shot and killed him.

When Hamilton's mother and brother stepped out of City Hall on Tuesday -- Mayor Barrett joined them.

"We had a conversation about Dontre. We had a conversation about police procedures," Mayor Barrett said.

Mayor Barrett explained that an outside agency (the state's Department of Justice) investigated Hamilton's death and handed over its report to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.

The District Attorney's Office will rule as to whether anyone should be charged in Dontre Hamilton's death, and Mayor Barrett says he expects a decision soon.

"I want this to be a city where people respect and trust our police department," Mayor Barrett said.

Nathaniel Hamilton and his mother say they believe Mayor Barrett's sympathy is genuine, but they say their work isn't done.

"Our battle is far from over because he can`t get us that information. He`s gonna talk to the police chief and see why we can`t have that information. That`s a step in the right direction," Nathaniel Hamilton said.

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