Milwaukee officer appeals firing to police board

October 21, 2014

   

In this photo provided by the Milwaukee Police Department is Christopher Manney who was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in connected with shooting and killing a mentally ill man in a downtown park in April. The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission confirmed Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 that it had received an appeal from Manney. Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney last week, saying the officer instigated a fight that eventually led him to shoot and kill 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton.

MILWAUKEE A Milwaukee police officer fired after shooting a mentally ill man in a downtown park has appealed his termination to the board that oversees the city's police and fire departments.

Chief Edward Flynn fired Christopher Manney on Wednesday, saying the officer instigated a fight that eventually led him to shoot and kill 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton.

Manney responded April 30 to a call to check on a man sleeping in a downtown park and found Hamilton lying on the ground. He began a patdown, Hamilton resisted and the two fought. Manney shot Hamilton after Hamilton grabbed the officer's baton and struck him with it.

Flynn said he found no malice in Manney's actions but the officer treated Hamilton like a criminal despite recognizing that he was mentally ill. Hamilton had recently stopped taking medication for schizophrenia.

Police officers have rallied behind Manney, saying they often have to make split-second decisions in dangerous circumstances. Hamilton's family, meanwhile, has called on District Attorney John Chisholm to file criminal charges, saying Hamilton was sick but not dangerous.

Manney appealed Flynn's decision in a letter to the Fire and Police Commission dated Friday. The commission released the letter Monday in response to an open records request.

Manney has hired an attorney, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The officer applied for duty disability before he was fired. If his application is approved, it would effectively negate his firing and provide him with at least partial pay indefinitely.

 

Associated Press