EXCESSIVE FORCE

Officer Who Shot Mentally Ill Man Is Fired

A Milwaukee police officer accused of instigating a fight with a mentally ill man then shooting him to death has been fired. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said that Officer Christopher Manney, 38, ignored his training and police policy by treating schizophrenic 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton as a criminal after responding to a welfare check in a local park where Hamilton was sleeping. Flynn says that Manney began a patdown of Hamilton, which the mentally ill man resisted. The two then apparently exchanged blows before Hamilton hit Manney’s neck with his baton. Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times, killing him. “You don’t go hands-on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill,” Flynn said. Hamilton’s family has expressed doubt that he struck Manney, saying that he was not violent. They have vowed to continue participating in marches to persuade the district attorney to bring criminal charges against Manney. “Yes, he was fired, but he took a man’s life,” Hamilton’s mother, Maria, said during a news conference.