Wisconsin's top cop weighs in on the Dontre Hamilton case

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Wisconsin's Attorney General, JB Van Hollen weighs in on the Dontre Hamilton case, saying he's keeping himself at a 'deliberate distance" from the situation.

Van Hollen opposed the legislation which mandated an outside agency must investigate officer involved deaths.

"We didn't have an example of how the prior system was broken. The way these were being investigated, people may not have liked the outcomes, but I didn't see any cases where changing the outcomes of the investigations would have changed the outcomes," said Van Hollen.

Still his department of justice's division of criminal investigation completed its own probe of the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton.

DCI turned over its report to Milwaukee County District Attorney, John Chisholm, three months after the shooting.

Van Hollen says he has not read the report.

"I have not. I very deliberately, at times, distance myself from certain information, because if it's not information I don't need to act on, sometimes it's best if I don't know," said Van Hollen.

31-year-old Hamilton was shot and killed by (now fired) Milwaukee Police Officer, Christopher Manney, in Red Arrow Park back in April.

More than 7 months later, Chisholm has not made his decision about criminal charges for Manney.

The case has sparked months of protests.

"I hate to see any injustice done. But I also hate to see a whole field such as law enforcement being disparaged for perhaps at worst, some poor decision making by a few decision makers out of hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers," said Van Hollen.

As Milwaukee County District Attorney, John Chisholm weighs the evidence, Van Hollen says those calling for charges have to know that prosecutors are guided by evidence, not emotions.

"We can't let every accusation that exists out there by the general public go to trial. Our system can't handle that. Some people say, well, just this case isn't going to break the system, well, everybody's got a 'just this case,'" said Van Hollen.

Again, the attorney general emphasized that he wasn't taking a side as to whether Manney should be charged or not.

He did say he thought body cameras could be a useful tool in disputes -- and one he feels would vindicate officers far more than vilify them. He says he's waiting to see Chishom's decision along with the rest of us.

We've posted the full video of JB Van Hollen discussing the Dontre Hamilton case.