Police union, Alderman Donovan speak out in support of fired MPD officer
For the first time we're hearing about that fateful afternoon in Christopher Manney's words. He wrote of fear and intense suffering. That account by Manney is why the police union and Alderman Bob Donovan say they're fighting to get his job back
\"Did not even have the presence of mind, did not even stand here like a man and say come in here, I'm going to fire you today,\" police union president Mike Crivello said.
Police union president Mike Crivello and Alderman Bob Donovan spoke strongly against Chief Flynn's decision to fire Christopher Manney, the officer who shot Dontre Hamilton dead in Red Arrow Park. They say the officer was unfairly crucified.
\"Sadly, he has become the scapegoat for the racially-charged political environment we live in,” Donovan said.
Flynn charged Manney with breaking policy when he conducted a pat down of Hamilton without, what he calls, reasonable suspicion. That issue could come into play as the D.A reviews the case.
District Attorney John Chisholm explained the complications, \"unlike most cases involving use of force, say citizen to citizen, you have to assess from the standpoint of say the training of the officer, the circumstances they were confronted with,\" he said.
Manney defended his actions in a four page response letter to Chief Flynn. He says he feared for his life when approaching Hamilton saying he had a \"stare that made me feel as if he was looking through me and wanted to hurt me.\" He added, Hamilton had \"bulges in his clothing\" and he thought he was homeless and armed, noting that Hamilton was bigger and in better shape.
During that pat down Manney says he was \"viciously attacked\" and “forced to defend his life.\" Manney says he now suffers from PTSD.
Alderman Donovan says the Chief's actions set a dangerous precedent.
\"I fear that an increasing number of officers will put their blinders on and do the absolute minimum, fearful that any difficult decision made on the streets will come back to haunt them,\" Donovan said.
We also learned today that Manney applied for duty disability retirement before he was officially fired. If approved, he could receive his pension until his official retirement. Manney has not yet appealed his firing, but is expected to do so.