Milwaukee Officials Demand Federal Probe Into Police Shootings Of Black Men

Calls For Probe Come As Hundreds Rally In City To Remember Michael Brown, Dontre Hamilton


Some African-American elected officials in Milwaukee want a federal probe into some controversial deaths of black men in the city.

The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and the national attention that case has received has revived community interest in some recent deaths in Milwaukee, such as that of Dontre Hamilton’s. Hamilton was a 31-year-old black man who was shot by police on April 30 in Red Arrow Park.

Hamilton’s brother Nathaniel was part of a group that met with high-ranking Milwaukee police officials on Monday. Nathaniel said that not much was resolved because Chief Ed Flynn was not there to retract some statements about Dontre.

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“Tell the people in the community that Dontre wasn’t a homeless man. Dontre wasn’t an armed robber,” he said.

Nathaniel Hamilton spoke after a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse briefly blocked a main city street. Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen, who is running unopposed in a state legislative race this fall, was at the event. He said that a coalition is calling for a federal probe of the Hamilton case.

“We don’t know if our local prosecutor, if our local authorities, are handling this the right way,” said Bowen. “We are very sure that if it goes to the federal level, just like in Ferguson, we’re sure to see more accountability.”

Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs said the federal government needs a permanent commission to look into police shootings of citizens, saying it would actually save money.

“Ask them how much they spent in Ferguson the last two weeks,” she said. “And when there become more Fergusons, I bet if you equaled out the financial investment, it would have been worth it.”

Federal offices were closed by the time the rally ended, but outreach to U.S. Attorney James Santelle is expected on Tuesday.