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Wisconsin DOJ nearing completion of investigation into cop killing of mentally ill man

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The state Justice Department says it's almost finished investigating the death of a mentally ill man shot by a Milwaukee police officer in a downtown park over two months ago.

31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was killed April 30th by a 13-year police veteran in Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park.

Attorneys for his family have complained about the slowness of the investigation, and a lack of communication about the progress of the probe. Lawyer Jonathan Safran said that until Monday, he didn't hear anything from the Justice Department for five weeks.

Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the investigation was more complex than others because the shooting happened in the middle of the day in a busy location -- and lots of witnesses had to be interviewed.

A new state law requires an outside agency to investigate deaths that involve police officers. In many cases, the Justice Department is that agency.

Milwaukee Police said a 13-year veteran officer was sent to Red Arrow Park to check on Hamilton, who was lying on the ground. The officer was said to have helped Hamilton up.

When the officer patted him down, a scuffle ensued -- Hamilton beat the officer with his baton -- and the officer responded by shooting the man. Witnesses heard up to ten gunshots.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)