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'Dontre didn’t die in vain': Family, supporters remember Dontre Hamilton seven years later

Dontre Hamilton
Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 23:14:22-04

MILWAUKEE — Loved ones continue to remember Dontre Hamilton, seven years after he was killed.

Supporters gathered at Red Arrow Park Friday, playing music and joining in fellowship in honor of Hamilton.

Hamilton, who had a history of battles with mental issues, was sleeping in the park when police were called. The encounter ended with Hamilton being shot 14 times by officer Christopher Manney.

“It was hard getting up this morning, even though I didn’t sleep at night," said Maria Hamilton, Dontre’s mother.

Hamilton said she’s still bothered by what she says was a lack of accountability for Officer Manney. She also finds peace in other ways.

Dontre Hamilton memorial

“I love the fact that Dontre’s death has caused our young people to step up and be leaders. To learn about laws. To learn about the government,” she explained.

Following Dontre’s death, Milwaukee spent $1.2 million to complete crisis intervention team, or CIT, training for all MPD officers - a 40-hour training for each officer coming through the academy.

Maria Hamilton said it’s tough coming to the park sometimes, but seeing the support for Dontre nearly a decade later helps.

Dontre Hamilton memorial

“It makes me happy that Dontre didn’t die in vain,” Maria Hamilton said. “Even though a lot of the people in the park never met him. But they have learned to love him through the love that we had.”

County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor said she’s pushing to install a bench in honor of Dontre and also a plaque to raise awareness about mental health.

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