MILWAUKEE - A
Milwaukee police officer who shot a man as many as 15 times
in a downtown park should be charged with homicide, the
victim's family told reporters Monday, shortly after being
briefed on the investigation by a prosecutor and detectives.
has been waiting for answers since April 30, when the
officer killed Dontre Hamilton following a scuffle.
Prosecutors haven't yet decided whether to charge the
officer, whose name hasn't been released, but Monday's
meeting provided the family with a few more details from the
details are undisputed. Hamilton, 31, was sleeping in a park
across the street from City Hall on a weekday afternoon. The
officer, responding to a call, came to investigate, and when
a pat-down turned into a scuffle, the officer shot and
brother, Nathaniel Hamilton Jr., said the family had been
given more details from witness accounts that suggest the
officer may not have been acting in self-defense when he
used lethal force.
example, in the hours following the shooting, Police Chief
Ed Flynn told reporters Hamilton grabbed the officer's
wooden baton and struck the officer in the head, injuring
him. But Nathaniel Hamilton said the family was shown
photographs of the officer, who appeared unhurt except for a
small cut on his finger.
also said his brother had bruises on his arms as though the
officer had beaten him, and that witness reports were
conflicting on whether Dontre actually swung the baton.
Dontre Hamilton took the baton, the officer stepped back and
said, "So you want to fight?" said Nathaniel
Hamilton, citing what investigators told the family. The
officer then shot Hamilton 15 times — in the neck, upper
chest, back, abdomen and forearm — even when Hamilton was
on the ground, Nathaniel Hamilton said.
just feel like my brother was murdered that day,"
police referred a request for comment to the state
Department of Justice, which said it couldn't comment while
the investigation remains open.
shooting was the first since the passage of a state law
mandating that officer-involved shootings be investigated by
an outside agency. The Department of Criminal Investigation,
a part of the state Department of Justice, took the lead.
the family's attorneys said all 62 witness interviews were
conducted by the Milwaukee Police Department, with just a
handful reviewed or overseen by the state authorities.
believe that would be contrary to the law," attorney
Jonathan Safran said.