Gatherers for the Dontre Hamilton rally lay down in Red Arrow Park
MILWAUKEE--For the fourth time in just two weeks, people of all ages and ethnicities gathered to protest the death of Dontre Hamilton, 31, who was shot by a Milwaukee police officer on April 30th.
This time around, protesters didn't march, chant, or occupy police headquarters. Instead, they took a very different approach, in an effort to honor Hamilton in the place he was killed.
They gathered at Red Arrow Park in solidarity, to simply lay down.
"We sympathize with what he went through that day," says Hamilton's brother, Nathaniel. "His blood is on this ground."
They say Hamilton, who suffered a mental illness, was laying in the park when he was approached by a Milwaukee police officer.
According to police, Hamilton grabbed the officer's baton and started hitting him. In response, the officer shot and killed Hamilton.
For Hamilton's brother, the pain has only intensified with time.
"It was an unconditional love that was lost, and it hurts," Nathaniel says. "It hurts every day. I just miss him. I really do."
Hamilton's family wants to know more details about what happened, and the name of the officer. But the Milwaukee County District Attorney is still reviewing the case for possible charges. Until a ruling is made, the police department will not provide any answers.
"The reality is, things like this damage our city," says Megan McGee, who showed-up to be a part of the rally. "People are being killed under questionable circumstances. As a community, we should all be upset about this."
Their hope is that this protesting will ultimately lead to open dialogue and improved relations between the public and police.
"We need their help, and they need our help as well to make this a better community, but we first need to have trust," Nathaniel says.
Hamilton's family, friends, and supporters plan to rally again next week. Meanwhile, there's still no word on when the district attorney will be done reviewing the case.