Amid controversy and violence surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has announced that a white police officer who shot and killed a mentally ill black man in May will not face charges. According to Chisholm Officer Christopher Manney acted in self-defense when he shot Dontre Hamilton.
This news comes on the heels of the assassination of Officers Raphael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in New York City. The deaths of these two officers are due at least in part to rhetoric from Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and others who have ignored facts and the rule of law to paint all police officers as racists. With this backdrop those who have used their positions of leadership to agitate have yet another opportunity to divide us, or to turn back the vitriol and appeal to a more rational side of their followers.
In anticipation of possible protests, Gov. Scott Walker placed the National Guard on alert. Protests so far have been mainly peaceful, but police did arrest 74 protesters on Friday for blocking traffic.
We can only hope the tragic deaths of these two public servants have shocked them back into the real world where their words and actions have real consequences. We shall soon see if that is the case.