Dontre Hamilton's family to file federal lawsuit

Posted at 10:09 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 08:52:02-04

A federal lawsuit is expected this week in the Dontre Hamilton case.

Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee Police Officer in Red Arrow Park nearly two years ago this Saturday.

A lawyer for the family tells TODAY'S TMJ4 in an exclusive interview that the federal lawsuit could be filed as early as Wednesday.

Milwaukee lawyer Jonathan Safran says the federal lawsuit will challenge the Milwaukee Police Department's policy and procedures and how the investigation was conducted under a new state law.

The suit names the City of Milwaukee and Officer Christopher Manney as the Hamilton family continues to seek answers to this tragic case.

The Hamilton case sparked a movement in Milwaukee. 

It all dates back to April 2014 when Hamilton, a mentally ill man was shot 14 times by Officer Manney. It happened during a pat down in the park. Manney says there was struggle and Hamilton grabbed his baton and attacked him.

The family has questioned the details from the beginning, they believe it was an illegal search.

"My community deserves to know why my son was asleep in a park and his life was taken by 14 bullets," said Dontre's mother Maria back in September of 2014.

Months later Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney saying the pat down was not necessary and he didn't follow department rules.

The shooting was investigated at the state and federal level.

In December of 2014, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm concluded criminal charges were not warranted.

"He was confronted with a decision that posed the real threat of death or great bodily harm. Was he justified in using force in this circumstance and was the amount of force appropriate? My conclusion is yes."

Federal prosecutors at the Justice Department also issued no charges based on eyewitness accounts and physical evidence.