The Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot a man in a park has been fired because he did not follow department procedures for dealing with emotionally disturbed people, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Officer Christopher Manney did not use excessive force when he shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times, said Police Chief Edward Flynn said; rather, the officer did not follow department rules in the moments leading up to the shooting. Manney decided Hamilton was dangerous “based solely on observations of apparent mental illness, absent any overt actions on the part of Mr. Hamilton,” Flynn said. Hamilton, an unarmed man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia, was killed April 30.
Workers at a nearby Starbucks called police to complain about Hamilton, 31, sleeping in the park. Manney, the beat officer in the area, instead of following his training about how to deal with emotionally disturbed people, came up behind Hamilton, placing his hands under Hamilton’s arms and on his chest in what Flynn described as an “out of policy pat-down.” Manney had no reason to believe Hamilton was dangerous. Rather, the officer made assumptions based on his perceptions that Hamilton was mentally ill and homeless, the chief said. “This intentional action, in violation of training and policy, instigated a physical confrontation that resulted in a deadly use of force,” Flynn said.