UPDATE: Victim's family takes step toward suing Milwaukee

UPDATE: The family of a man shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer two months ago says the officer should be criminally charged.

Credit: WITI

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 --- 5:55 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The family of a man killed by a Milwaukee police officer four months ago has filed a notice of injury with the city, a procedural step that hints at a possible lawsuit.

The notice was filed Tuesday by the family of Dontre Hamilton.

The 31-year-old had been sleeping in a park April 30 when an officer confronted him. A struggle ensued and the officer shot him some 14 times.

Police say the officer was acting in self-defense, but Hamilton's family says police haven't documented their claims that the officer had been beaten in the head.

A message left with the Milwaukee city attorney's office was not immediately returned.

An attorney for Hamilton's family says they're waiting to see the results of the investigation before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The family of a man shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer two months ago says the officer should be criminally charged.

Nathaniel Hamilton Jr. says his brother was murdered for the legal act of sleeping in a park. He says his family is still trying to grasp why the officer reacted so violently.

The family met Monday with Milwaukee County's district attorney and medical examiner, as well as with three state Department of Justice investigators. Nathaniel Hamilton says prosecutors are still deciding whether to file charges.

The officer, responding to a call, approached 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton on April 30. A scuffle ensued, and some witnesses say Hamilton took the officer's baton to protect himself from being beaten.

Nathaniel Hamilton says the officer then shot his brother 15 times.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
UPDATED: Monday, June 30, 6:17 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two months after a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed a man in a downtown park, the victim's family is criticizing the pace of the investigation and the apparent lack of transparency.

The officer was responding to a request for assistance April 30. He found Dontre Hamilton on the ground, and a subsequent pat-down led to a struggle. The officer eventually shot Hamilton as many as 10 times.

On Monday, the family's lawyers released a statement saying authorities continue to keep the family in the dark. The attorneys say investigators aren't returning calls or providing updates.

Milwaukee police referred questions to state Department of Justice officials, who are leading the investigation.

DOJ spokeswoman Dana Brueck says authorities are communicating with the family to the extent possible during an ongoing investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

UPDATED Friday, May 9, 2014 --- 3:40 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A woman who says she witnessed the altercation in which a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed a homeless man says the officer didn't appear to be in imminent danger.

Kelly Brandmeyer was working in a coffee shop April 30 when she heard a shout. She told The Associated Press on Friday she looked up and saw 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton holding an officer's baton.

She says the officer lunged for the baton and missed, and then stepped back as Hamilton waited in a defensive position. She says the officer issued no verbal command to defuse the situation, and instead opened fire.

Police have said the officer was being beaten in the head. Brandmeyer acknowledges there may have been a beating before she looked up, but not immediately preceding the gunfire.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, May 1, 2014 --- 2:47 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says a man shot and killed by a police officer in a downtown park was mentally ill and had a long arrest record.

The man was shot Wednesday after a struggle in which he grabbed the officer's baton and struck him in the head. Flynn says the shooting follows three officer-involved shootings last year that involved people who were mentally ill and combative.

Flynn said Thursday that federal, state and local governments are not doing enough to help people with mental illness and police have become the social agency of first resort. He says his department receives about 7,000 calls a year involving people with mental health problems.

He says the nation is failing in its obligation to care for people with mental health problems.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014 --- 4:29 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at a downtown park where workers and children often gather.

Milwaukee police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said in an email that a man was shot about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Red Arrow Park.

The park is in one of the most visible areas of the city, across the street from city hall. Children often play in an ice rink there, and a Starbucks in the park is popular with downtown workers.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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