Christopher Manney "permanently discharged" from Milwaukee Police Department
MILWAUKEE-- After five days of public hearings, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission determined Christopher Manney, the police officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton at Red Arrow Park on April 30th, 2014, violated protocol and that he will be \"permanently discharged\" from his duties with the department.
The final vote in this decision was 3-0.Hamilton was patted down by Manney after calls came in complaining about him sleeping in Red Arrow Park.
During the pat down, Hamilton who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, began to struggle with Manney's baton. Manney then pulled out his firearm.
Hamilton's DNA was later found on the baton.
The issue of the hearing was not the use of force, but if he was justified to conduct the search. The three members of the Fire and Police Commission hearing team all decided Manney had violated procedure by conducting the pat down.
Hamilton's family erupted in cheers and tears after the decisions were read aloud at a special venue for the proceeding; a public library downtown.
In the second phase of the proceedings, Manney took the stand again and talked extensively about his awards and commendations earned while serving in both the military.
It did not sway the panel which decided Chief Flynn's firing of Manney was justified.
Mayor Tom Barrett issued the following statement shortly after the announcement:
\"I support the decisions reached by Fire and Police Commission's disciplinary appeals panel upholding the decisions made and actions taken by Police Chief Ed Flynn. I thank the citizen members of the panel and Retired Judge Michael Skwierawski for their patience, professionalism and willingness to serve. Last October, I stated my support for the Chief's decision to terminate then Officer Manning. I said at the time that many people would be unhappy with the Chief's decision. Some would feel it went too far and others would feel more needed to be done. What was most important then, and still is today, is to find a way for our City to heal and move forward.The tragic death of Dontre Hamilton has shaken our community and we have much work to do. We have taken proactive and positive steps to address additional critical incident training and to evaluate how we, as a community, provide services and support to individuals with mental illness. Our work is not complete and together we must move forward.\"
The shooting is the first in the state to be investigated by an outside agency since a new law went into effect relating to officer involved shootings.
In recordings obtained by CBS-58, Manney was heard calling for back up after he said Hamilton tried to strike him with a baton.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn fired Manney for violating pat down procedures during the incident.
In December, after months of demonstrations, District Attorney John Chisholm, of Milwaukee County decided to not pursue criminal charges against Manney.
The decision not to charge Manney sparked more demonstrations with the Coalition for Justice, an organization founded by Hamilton's brother, Nate Hamilton, after their family's tragedy.
Nate Hamilton and dozens of demonstrators have spent the last few months attending Fire and Police Commission meetings to demand a hearing date to be set for Manney, and for the hearing to be public.
The first day of hearings began on Thursday, March 19. Originally, the hearings were set to span three days, but extended to five.