Dontre Hamilton’s Family Sues City of Milwaukee, Manney

A business woman fills out a form on a clipboard

The family of Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed African American who was gunned down by a white Milwaukee police officer in 2014, has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department, former officer Christopher Manney, and the city.

Manney shot Hamilton 14 times after responding to complaints from an employee of Starbuck’s Red Arrow Park location about a man sleeping outside. MPD Chief Ed Flynn fired Manney, saying he defied department protocol by unnecessarily frisking Hamilton, who was mentally ill, and sparking the deadly confrontation.

Manney was not charged with a crime, and he fought to get his job back.

Hamilton’s death sparked protests in Milwaukee that coincided with demonstrations around the nation over other black men killed by police.

The Hamilton family has never given up their fight for justice. Maria Hamilton, Dontre’s mother, created the support group Mothers for Justice United for women who’ve lost children in police encounters. She organized a march in Washington, D.C., on Mother’s Day 2015, and her group has met with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Now, the family is seeking unspecified damages in the civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court on April 27. The suit contends that the department engaged in unconstitutional policies and practices that caused Hamilton’s death.

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