Ear Hustle

Autopsy Report Of Dontre Hamilton Killed By Milwaukee Police Officer Paints A TOTALLY Different Picture

dontre hamilton

Half the bullets that hit Dontre Hamilton traveled in a downward direction and one hit him in the back, according to a portion of the autopsy released Monday by his family.

In addition, a toxicology test showed that Hamilton, who was killed by a Milwaukee police officer in Red Arrow Park, had no drugs in his system, the report says.

Attorneys representing the family released the records a day after the seven-month anniversary of Hamilton’s April 30 death.

“I just think there continues to be a misunderstanding, sometimes out in the public, of the facts,” attorney Jonathan Safran said.

Officer Christopher Manney shot Hamilton 14 times during an incident that began when workers at the nearby Starbucks called police to complain about him sleeping in the downtown park.

A pair of officers checked on Hamilton twice and found he was doing nothing wrong, according to a summary of the Milwaukee police internal affairs investigation that led to Manney’s dismissal from the department.

Manney was not aware the other officers already had been to the park when he retrieved a voice mail regarding Hamilton’s presence there and responded to the call, the summary says.

A confrontation ensued after Manney tried to pat down Hamilton, who resisted. Manney tried to use his baton to subdue Hamilton, but Hamilton got control of it and swung it at Manney, hitting him on the side of the neck, according to the summary.

The portion of the autopsy released by the family confirms that Hamilton was shot 14 times, leaving 15 gunshot wounds.

The autopsy also notes that Hamilton suffered blunt force injuries to his chin, scalp and neck and had bruises on his upper arm, and that Hamilton had no drugs in his system.

“We felt it was important to get some of the information out about the physical injuries to (Hamilton’s) head and face, as well as more information about the toxicology test,” Safran said. “Some people have speculated that he must have been amped up on cocaine.”

Chisholm waiting

The investigation into Hamilton’s death is the first to be subject to a new state law that requires a team of at least two investigators from an outside agency to lead reviews of deaths in police custody.

The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office received a report from the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation on Aug. 8.

The report from the state has not been released because the district attorney has yet to make a charging decision.

If the district attorney charges Manney, the report will become part of the court case file.

If no charges are filed, the report must be released to the public, per state law.

Information made public thus far has come from the Milwaukee Police Department and from Hamilton’s family, who has met with investigators multiple times.

District Attorney John Chisholm has said he will make a decision about whether to charge the former officer as soon as two outside use-of-force experts complete their reports.

Chisholm has given no time frame for when he expects that will occur.

In October, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney not for using excessive force but because he failed to follow department rules in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Manney has appealed his termination to the city’s Fire and Police Commission.

At a news conference the day after the shooting, Flynn highlighted Hamilton’s history of mental illness and said the mental health system failed him.

Flynn also described Hamilton as homeless last week when he told a Fox News reporter that “last April we had a shooting that was controversial that resulted in the death of a homeless, mentally ill man and stirred some broad public concern that was not unjustified.”

The Hamilton family, through their attorneys, reiterated on Monday that Hamilton lived independently in his own apartment and had a history of traffic violations but no criminal record of violence.

The family maintains that they were actively involved in his treatment for schizophrenia.

Source: Journal Sentinel

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