Statement from ACLU of Wisconsin on DA Decision in Police Shooting of Dontre Hamilton
Statement from Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director
According to media accounts, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has announced that his office will not file charges against Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney, who shot and killed Mr. Dontre Hamilton on April 30, 2014 in Red Arrow Park. In response to the announcement, ACLU of Wisconsin issued the following statement. It is attributable to ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty.
The ACLU of Wisconsin regrets District Attorney Chisholm’s decision because it leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the circumstances of and the responsibility for Mr. Hamilton’s death. If Officer Christopher Manney did not violate the law, then is anyone legally responsible for Mr. Hamilton’s death? Does the criminal law protect individuals like Mr. Hamilton from deadly force exercised by police officers? Are police officers above the law?
Furthermore, what will the Milwaukee Police Department do to ensure that Milwaukee police officers stop killing unarmed individuals? The MPD needs to find ways to hold officers accountable, so that they will know there will be consequences for their actions.
City leaders need to continue to work to make sure that the Milwaukee Police Department and all its members work to protect and serve all residents in an unbiased and professional manner.
The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 7,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.