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Manney and Flynn Both Testify in Appeals Hearing

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Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn walking into the courtroom.

The appeals hearing for former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney will continue on Monday, a fifth day. He shot and killed Dontre Hamilton.

Manney is appealing his dismissal. Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney for the way he confronted Hamilton in a downtown park, last April.

Three members of the Fire and Police Commission are acting as jurors and must decide whether Manney deserved to lose his job.

At issue, is whether he violated police procedures for patting down Hamilton, who was mentally ill and napping in Red Arrow Park,when someone at the coffee shop called police. Manney says he followed protocol in approaching Hamilton.

“What was going through my head at the time is, I got very odd behavior that’s consistent with somebody under the influence of drugs. I’ve got bulges on him. I’ve got some bags that were stacked over here. So what I want to make sure that I calm him down and that I get his name for good rapport, and if something doesn’t seem right; then I’m going to go into a full pat down,” Manney told the commissioners on Sunday.

Manney went into a pat down.

“People who I’ve dealt with through my training and my experience in the past, that have the homeless bags and different pockets all over them, you can find almost anything. Sometimes just a shard of glass, sometimes a crack pipe, sometimes just a driver’s license,” Manney said.

Hamilton did not have a weapon and was not homeless, but the pat down prompted him to begin struggling with the officer. Manney says he feared for his life and fired 14 shots, killing the 31-year-old.

When Chief Flynn took the stand on Saturday, he told the commissioners that Manney changed his story, over time, but was wrong, in either case.

“Whether we choose to believe version one which is, I really didn’t have a reason to pat him down except he looked like he was homeless - which is a violation of our training and policy, or we believe version two which is, I saw him, I was immediately afraid of him and knew I had to do something immediately - that also placed him in complete violation of his training. Either way, his bad decision-making created a chain in events which would ultimately place him in a situation of using deadly force,” Flynn testified.

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