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Slew of Controversial Police Encounters Precedes Latest Shooting in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — Violence erupted in a predominantly black north Milwaukee neighborhood on Saturday night several hours after a police officer shot and killed a man who police said fled a traffic stop and was armed with a handgun.

Details of the shooting, including the race of the victim and officer, haven't been released. But the violence came against a backdrop of tension in recent years between police and some in the community because of a series of racially tinged incidents.

A look at some of them, all involving black victims:

DONTRE HAMILTON

Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee police officer responding to a complaint of a man sleeping in a downtown park in April 2014. Family members said the 31-year-old man was suffering from mental illness but was not violent.

Image:
This undated family photo provided by Dameion Perkins shows Dontre Hamilton. Uncredited / AP

Officer Christopher Manny was not charged in Hamilton's killing, but he was fired for not following procedures. Manny said he was defending himself after Hamilton took his police baton.

The killing triggered months of protests and calls for police reform. The Justice Department is working with police on what's called a collaborative reform process, a less stringent review than a review of the department's patterns and practices requested by some critics.

DEREK WILLIAMS

Derek Williams, 22, died in a police car in July 2011. Squad car video showed him handcuffed, struggling to breathe and pleading for medical attention from the officers who detained him as a robbery suspect. He died soon after.

His death and that footage brought national attention to the Milwaukee police department. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn later clarified that officers should immediately call paramedics if a prisoner has trouble breathing or is in pain.

None of the three officers involved in the incident was charged. His family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit earlier this year.

JAMES PERRY

James Perry died inside the booking area of Milwaukee's County Jail in September 2010.

He had been taken to the hospital earlier that day after hitting his head and suffering a seizure, but was released back to police. He had been arrested because he was driving a car that was linked to an armed robbery.

Perry was still struggling after being released from the hospital, and begged for help after police put a spit mask on him because he continually drooled into his lap. An officer can be overheard in video footage accusing Perry of faking.

JEANINE TRACY

The city of Milwaukee was forced to pay $100,000 to Jeanine Tracy, who was punched and dragged out of her car by her hair during a 2011 traffic stop.

Tracy had been arrested for being argumentative during the traffic stop, allegedly spitting and cursing before officer Richard Schoen pulled her from the car. A panel's decision to suspend Schoen for 60 days was later reversed after public outcry. Schoen was fired.