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A Milwaukee police officer has been fired six months after allegedly shooting a mentally ill man 14 times in a park, killing him.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said officer Christopher Manney of the Milwaukee Police Department instigated a fight with the man that eventually led to the fatal shooting.

Dontre Hamilton was sleeping in a downtown park when Manney began to pat down the 31-year-old. Hamilton resisted and the two exchanged punches and strikes before Hamilton hit Manney on the neck with his own baton.

Flynn said that while Manney correctly identified Hamilton as someone who was emotionally disturbed, he ignored his training and police policy and treated him as a criminal.

“You don’t go hands-on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill,” Flynn said during a news conference announcing the firing.

Hamilton’s family has said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia but was not violent, and they doubt he struck Manney. They called Wednesday for police to release photographs documenting the officer’s injuries. They also said that while the firing was “a victory,” they would continue to lead and participate in marches in an effort to persuade the district attorney to bring criminal charges.

“Yes, he was fired, but he took a man’s life,” Hamilton’s mother, Maria, said during a separate news conference.

The Milwaukee Police Association condemned the firing, but Flynn stood by his decision, saying it was based on an internal affairs investigation.

“There’s got to be a way for us to hold ourselves accountable absent putting cops in jail for making mistakes,” he said.

Manney could face criminal charges.

SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Screengrab

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