Rally at Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park this afternoon to mark one-year anniversary of Dontre Hamilton shooting

Louis Weisberg, Staff writer

The Starbucks at Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park is closed today, and the surrounding area was quiet around noon except for arriving TV news vans and engineers setting up broadcast equipment.

But hundreds of people will gather at the site this afternoon to remember Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill and unarmed black man who was shot 14 times there by a white police officer exactly a year ago today.

MPD officer Christopher Manney lost his job over the killing but escaped criminal charges, setting off months of demonstrations in Milwaukee that were echoed last summer and fall in cities across America where unarmed black men were killed by police.

This year, the killings and protests have continued, with the most recent incident sparking riots in Baltimore.

Milwaukee’s Coalition for Justice is sponsoring a march and rally beginning at 5:30 p.m. today in Red Arrow Park “to honor the life of Dontre Hamilton,” according to a CFJ post on Facebook.

Dontre Hamilton’s brother Nate Hamilton said organizers are committed to keeping the gathering peaceful.