Chanting "the people united will never be defeated" and "black lives matter," demonstrators marched to the Milwaukee federal courthouse Friday to protest a prosecutor's decision not to charge a white police officer who fired 14 shots in killing Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man, in April.
The march was led by civil rights activist Jesse Jackson Sr., who met with Mayor Tom Barrett for a little under an hour Friday morning for what a spokesman for the mayor called a "constructive discussion." Jackson told the demonstrators that it was "immoral" and "illegal" for Officer Christopher Manney to have shot Hamilton 14 times after the two struggled over the officer's baton.
"They killed Dontre, but Dontre still lives," Jackson said. "There is power in the blood of innocents."
The district attorney's office declined to press charges against Manney, saying the shooting was justified self-defense, but the U.S. Justice Department has opened a separate investigation. Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney last month, saying Manney wrongly started the fight that ended up with Manney's opening fire on Hamilton, who had been sleeping in a park. Investigators said Hamilton had schizophrenia and had stopped taking his medication.
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