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Hamilton Family Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against City and Manney

Christopher Manney shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times killing him in Red Arrow Park

The family of Dontre Hamilton on Wednesday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over his death. A Milwaukee police officer shot Hamilton 14 times, killing him in Red Arrow Park downtown in 2014. The Hamilton family says that while the suit will not bring back their beloved brother and son, it could cast light on harmful police practices.

The fatal shooting occurred two years ago this weekend. The federal lawsuit Dontre Hamilton’s family has filed names former MPD officer Christopher Manney and the City of Milwaukee.  Johnathan Saffron is a family attorney. He says the city dropped the ball in a number of ways.

“These include the city’s failure to conduct psychological testing of police officers, including Christopher Manney. Their failure to discipline to police officers for misconduct. The code of silence within the police department, the widespread practice and pattern of police officers conducting unconstitutional searches and using excessive force and the city’s failure to provide promised and necessary crisis intervention team training,” Saffron says.

Saffron says the family is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.  Still, Nate Hamilton, Dontre’s brother, says members of the family want to be clear on the fact that the federal lawsuit is not about the money.

“We’ve been struggling two years with our emotions, with our families, and money doesn’t solve the struggles that we have amongst ourselves and amongst our families. It’s not going to bring Dontre back, and people fail to realize the realness of this whole event. It was a man life who was taken,” Hamilton says.

Hamilton says, if the family does receive a settlement, members would use it to take care of Dontre’s son as well as to keep the movement here going - a movement calling for justice for all residents.

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