The Latest: Lawyer seeks enhanced Milwaukee police review

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2015 6:14 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The latest news on developments with the Milwaukee Police Department in the 2014 death of a black man at a downtown park. All times local:

4:55 p.m. (CST)

A lawyer for the family of a mentally ill black man who was killed in an encounter with a white police officer at a downtown park last year says the Justice Department should subject Milwaukee police to a more severe patterns and practices review.

Jonathan Safran says he hopes the collaborative reform process announced Tuesday helps identify and fix systemic problems within the department, but he says still wants to see a stricter probe.

Safran says the family has exhausted it efforts toward criminal prosecution of former officer Christopher Manney and that they plan to file a federal civil lawsuit at some point soon.

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3:00 p.m. (CST)

Milwaukee police say Chief Ed Flynn asked for the U.S. Justice Department to assist with enacting reforms following the fatal shooting of a mentally ill black man by a white officer in a downtown park.

Flynn requested a partnership and examination by the DOJ after it announced that it wouldn't pursue criminal civil rights charges against former officer Christopher Manney in the death of Dontre Hamilton.

The department notes in its brief statement that federal officials say the collaborative reform process is neither a formal investigation nor a consent decree but rather a "proactive, nonadversarial, and cost-effective form of technical assistance" for agencies committed to reform.

The Justice Department says Thursday it will announce a plan for enacting significant reforms for Milwaukee police.

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1:40 p.m. (CST)

The Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, traditionally agrees to police department requests for review.

Such reviews are considered less of a stigma for a troubled department than patterns and practices investigations undertaken by civil rights investigators, which can lead to an overhaul in policies and protocols as well as court-enforceable agreements between the police force and the federal government.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn invited a partnership and examination from the DOJ after it announced last month that it wouldn't charge Christopher Manney in the death of Dontre Hamilton.

Flynn hasn't responded to a request seeking comment on why he asked for the review.

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1:05 p.m. (CST)

The U.S. Justice Department says it will announce a plan for enacting significant reforms in the Milwaukee Police Department.

In Milwaukee, a black man was killed by a white officer in a downtown park in 2014. The death has prompted ongoing demonstrations.

The DOJ announced last month that it wouldn't pursue criminal civil rights charges against the officer, and Police Chief Ed Flynn responded by saying he invited a partnership with and examination from the agency.

Milwaukee police didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.