"Time is weighing on them heavily:" Family marks six months since Dontre Hamilton was shot, killed

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It has been six months since 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Family members and supporters of Dontre Hamilton marked that anniversary with a rally and march on Thursday evening, October 30th.

Dontre Hamilton's family members and close to 100 supporters marched throughout downtown Milwaukee on Thursday evening -- renewing their call for criminal charges to be filed against Christopher Manney. They say they want to know why, six months later, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office has yet to make its decision on whether charges should be filed against Manney.

"It's been six months.  I haven't grieved the loss of my son. It hurts. Nobody in this community should have to wait this long to grieve," Hamilton's mother, Maria Hamilton said.

Manney was recently terminated for his role in the fatal shooting.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says the firing was due to Manney violating the values of the Milwaukee Police Department in his handling of Hamilton on April 30th. Chief Flynn said Officer Manney showed no malice in his actions that day, but he says Manney made errors in judgement. Chief Flynn said when Manney arrived at the scene he should have immediately assessed Hamilton as an “emotionally disturbed person” and treated him as such — saying Manney’s unwarranted, out-of-policy pat down of Hamilton escalated the situation — leading to the necessary use of deadly force.

Manney has filed an appeal of his termination with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.

On the six month anniversary of Dontre Hamilton's death, his family's lawyer released a song recorded by Hamilton's brothers.

Attorney Jonathan Safran says despite Chief Flynn's decision to terminate Christopher Manney, the family still isn't satisfied because the District Attorney's Office has yet to make a charging decision.

"I would just tell you the time is weighing on them heavily since it`s been six months now. That`s an awfully long time to wait for a decision to be made about criminal charges, in any type of case," Safran said.

Manney wrote to Chief Flynn on October 1st, in response to an internal charge that his pat down of Hamilton prior to the shooting was without cause, writing: "I felt that the subject posed a significant danger to my safety and may have had a weapon on his person that he could use against me" adding "as I attempted the pat down I was viciously attacked by him."

Safran says he saw photographs of Manney after the shooting and didn't see any cuts or bruises.

"When we see those photographs, and the family has seen those photographs that don`t seem to depict those injuries, it just doesn`t make sense to them," Safran said.

Previous rallies by the Hamilton family and supporters have spilled into the streets of downtown Milwaukee and onto freeway ramps.

Safran says while they may have been disruptive, the marches have always been peaceful.

"Obviously as emotions continue, one doesn`t know what`s gonna happen -- but again, in Milwaukee, we have six months of showing this. There has not been any violence. There has not been looting. There has not been anything you`ve seen in other cities that have gone through these kinds of things," Safran said.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office said last month it would have the FBI and an independent expert review the case before making a decision.

A spokesman at the District Attorney's Office tells FOX6 News they're still waiting for those reports.

The six month anniversary of Dontre Hamilton's death comes on the same day the Milwaukee Police Association is holding a "no confidence vote" on Chief Ed Flynn due to his decision to terminate Christopher Manney.

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