“We’ll be back:” Hamilton supporters vow to continue to fight

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It was a decision 8 months in the making. The District Attorney finally released a report indicating Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney’s use of force in the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton was justified self-defense and he would not be charged. As you can imagine, that further infuriated Hamilton supporters.

Red Arrow Park is where the shooting took place back in April, it is also ground zero for supporters and protesters. They gathered early Monday morning when they knew the decision was being announced. They tell FOX6 News their desire for justice has not stopped.

Following a decision, no charges are coming, about 100 protesters took to the streets. First to the Federal Building, then past Red Arrow Park. A peaceful walk sharing their disappointment that marched to All Peoples Church at 2nd and Clarke. Elected officials met the group there.

“We need the police, we need a police force that is responsive, to us a citizen to protect and to serve, not a police that over reaches in its power,” said U.S. Representative Gwen Moore.

Protesters say they have something big planned for Tuesday, December 23rd. However, they say they do not plan on being arrested and they will be smart about it.

Nate Hamilton, Dontre’s brother, has led the charge seeking criminal charges against Manney. On Monday afternoon, he told the people gathered, “We’re not going to cover up injustice with our tears…We deserve justice, justice is our right.”

Prior to Nate Hamilton taking to the podium, the Hamilton family attorney, Jonathan Safran, spoke. Safran proceeded to announce he has reached out to U.S. Attorneys Office for Eastern Wisconsin and formally requested that they communicate with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division criminal section to immediately commence a federal investigation into the Hamilton case. They believe federal charges are warranted in this case.

FOX6 News has now learned the U.S. Department of Justice will open a civil rights investigation into the incident. We should note that even though the internal police review led to Manney firing, police also determined the shooting was justified — it was the pat-down that breached protocol.

John Chishold sought advice from local and national use-of-force experts before deciding that charges will not be issued against Officer Manney.

“I am deeply aware of the very real and serious reasons for concern that are not swayed by passion or judgment of making these decisions regardless of how popular or unpopular that decision is,” said Chisholm.

CLICK HERE to read complete report released by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office