A Milwaukee police department has admitted that it killed an unarmed black man who had his hands up and was walking away from officers in an apparent attempt to negotiate with them.
Milwaukee police Sgt. Christopher Swann fatally shot 28-year-old Eric Harris on August 6 after Swann responded to a 911 call about a man who was threatening to harm himself and others, the city’s police union announced on Tuesday.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against Swann on Wednesday, saying he had killed Harris by mistake.
Swann’s family said in a statement that he and his wife, Jennifer, were “heartbroken and shocked” by the news.
The police department is currently under investigation for the shooting, and Swann’s department has yet to comment on the charges.
Swans family and the city have denied that the police were in a panic when Swann approached Harris.
The police department said it did not have enough time to decide whether to arrest Harris.
The department said that Swann had been called to a domestic violence call in August 2016, where Harris was “suspected of domestic violence.”
The department said he was not armed and did not threaten anyone with a gun.
The department also said that Harris was unarmed.
Harris’ family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department in August, saying that the officer did not use reasonable force to stop Harris, that Swans actions were excessive and that Harris’ hands were up when he was shot.
The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of Harris’ two sisters.
In a statement on Tuesday, the department said: “The officers actions were not in the moment, but were based on information provided by the caller.
The information was presented as part of an ongoing domestic violence investigation.
It was not part of a routine stop.”
The Milwaukee Police Department said it is “actively working with the District Attorney to determine what charges we can bring.”
The district attorney’s office said it was not able to comment immediately on the new charges.