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Running head: CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS

Conflict Diagnosis Paper


Julie Perman
CJHS/430
October 27, 2014
Jennifer Macneil

CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS PAPER

Conflict Diagnosis Paper


Conflicts happen every day worldwide whether it is a conflict in the household such as
who is going to take out the trash to larger conflicts that make the front page of the newspaper. In
this paper it will review a police shooting and the community's reaction that occurred on April
30, 2014, and will discuss its significance for conflict diagnosis and conflict resolution. Also, a
recommendation for approach and the facts that support that approach as well as how the ABC
model is applied to this event.
Dontre Hamilton a 31-year-old died after being shot by a Milwaukee police officer (Lee,
2014). According to Hamilton's family Dontre had a history of paranoia and schizophrenia, and
was not on his medication but was not a violent person. Family members state that Hamilton was
running scared for days and was exhausted. He found a spot to rest at Red Arrow Park where
early that day two officers had responded to a call to check on Hamilton. The two officers
checked on him and determined that Hamilton was no threat to the area and left him alone.
Another call came in later that day again to check on Hamilton, and that is when the third officer
responded to the call (Lee, 2014).
The police officer began to pat down Hamilton, and a scuffle arose. It reports that the
police officer pulled out his baton and hit Hamilton who then took the baton away from the
police officer (Lee, 2014). Some witnesses reported that Hamilton did hit the officer with a
baton while other witnesses stated Hamilton did not swing the baton. The police officer then
fatally shot Hamilton (Lee, 2014). The conflict in this case is if deadly force was necessary to use
knowing that Hamilton has had a prior history of mental illness, which was known to this police
officer since he was a beat officer who worked the area regularly.

CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS PAPER

Along with Hamiltons family the community came together to protesting reforms,
including mental health training for all police officers (Fox6 News, 2014). At the time of
Hamilton's death only five Milwaukee police officers completed a 40-hour training program for
Crisis Interventions which officers learn how to deal with persons with mental illnesses (Lee,
2014). The officer who shot Dontre 14 times did not have any crisis intervention training and
family wonders if a trained officer that would have recognized the signs of mental illness may
have handled Dontre differently (Kissinger, 2014). However, according to the Milwaukee Police
Chief Edward Flynn the 40-hour training for all police officers would take a lot of officers off the
street for a long time. The crisis intervention training is an ABC model that is designed to help
people work through a selection of situational and changing crises (Kanel, 2012). The ABC
model of crisis intervention is a very brief mental health interview that may be used with a
person who shows signs of psychological issues.
Witnesses report the officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton did not ask Hamilton
any questions nor did Hamilton pose as any danger to others. If the officer was trained in the
crisis intervention program, the outcome may have been different as he would have had
knowledge on how to handle a person in mental distress. Dontre Hamiltons family and the
whole community in general wants to bring peace and balance back into the city. Hamilton's
family and community believe the use of deadly force was not necessary and demand's justice.
Hamilton's family wants charges filed against the officer. In Wisconsin, Hamilton's death is the
first to be investigated under the new law that requires an outside agency to lead the criminal
review of any officer-involved death (WISN 12, 2014). In 2013, Milwaukee Police officers were
involved in three fatal police shootings that involved mentally ill suspects who were armed.
Chief Flynn reports that the Milwaukee Police Department responds to more than 7,000 calls

CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS PAPER

involving mentally ill individuals about an average of 26 calls a day (Ross & Delong, 2014). An
average of 26 calls a day involving mentally ill individuals with only five Milwaukee police
officers who are trained in the crisis intervention program.
The officer who killed Hamilton on April 30, 2014 is identified as Officer Christopher
Manney. Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney about one month ago because it was
determined Manny did not follow department rules in the moments before the shooting. Manney
is the first officer that has been fired after an on-duty shooting in 45 years on the Milwaukee
Police Department (WISN 12, 2014). It still has not been determined if Manney will face any
criminal charges.
Nonetheless, officer-involved shootings within one's community effects both law
enforcement and the whole community. Recently it has been seen on television communities that
have come together to support the victim's family that has been fatally shot by police officers and
were demanding justice. There are many times a police involved shooting has been justified for
the fear of the officer's and public safety. However, in the case discussed above was the use of
deadly force necessary? Several witnesses report that deadly force was not needed. Hamilton
was exhausted and tired he was not armed or posing any threat to the public he was just simply
resting. Thus, two officers earlier that day checked on Hamilton and decided he was no threat
and was not doing anything illegally wrong. Hamilton was known to officer Manney of having a
mental illness. Manney did not have any crisis intervention training however; he did know that
there were five officers who had been trained, but yet did not call for any trained officer's help.
The community's reaction to this police shooting wants to see justice and more officers trained in
the handling of individuals with mental illnesses.

CONFLICT DIAGNOSIS PAPER

References
Fox6 News (2014). Dontre Hamilton protests: How long will they continue? "Forever, as long as
I live." Retrieved from: http://fox6now.com/2014/10/10/developing-protesters-walk-tomilwaukee-police-administration-building/
Kanel, K. (2012). A Guide to Crisis Intervention (4 ed.): Cengage Learning.
Kissinger, M. (2014). Milwaukee police promise on mental health training unmet. Retrieved
from: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/milwaukee-police-promiseon-mental-health-training-unmet-b99347957z1-277344381.html
Lee, L. (2014). Family, community deserve answers in police shooting. Retrieved from:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/family-community-deserve-answers-in-policeshooting-b99328673z1-270833871.html
Ross, J. & Delong, K. (2014). Witness account of officer-involved shooting is very different
from police account. Retrieved from: http://fox6now.com/2014/05/05/witness-accountof-officer-involved-shooting-is-very-different-from-police-account/
WISN 12 (2014). Report: Manney is the first officer fired after on-duty shooting in 45 years.
Retrieved from: http://www.wisn.com/news/report-manney-is-first-officer-fired-afteronduty-shooting-in-45-years/29229444