Officer will not face charges in shooting

A white Milwaukee police officer fired after fatally shooting a mentally ill black man in April will not face criminal charges, the county’s top prosecutor said Monday, a decision that prompted the man’s family to immediately demand a federal investigation.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Christopher Manney won’t be charged because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney is at least the third white police officer to avoid charges in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black man’s death.

“Based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime,” Chisholm said in a statement.

Manney shot 31-year-old Hamilton on April 30 after responding to a call for a welfare check on a man sleeping in a downtown park. Manney said Hamilton resisted when he tried to frisk him. The two exchanged punches before Hamilton got hold of Manney’s baton and hit him on the neck, the former officer has said. Manney opened fire, hitting Hamilton 14 times.

Witnesses told police they saw Hamilton holding Manney’s baton “in an aggressive posture” before Manney shot him, according to Chisholm’s report. Police said they have no video of the event.

— Associated Press

General to decide next step for Bergdahl

A four-star Army general in North Carolina will determine whether or not to bring charges against a U.S. soldier who went missing in Afghanistan in 2009, Army officials said Monday.

Service officials said the results of an investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was recovered in May in exchange for five Taliban detainees, has been forwarded to Gen. Mark Milley, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. Milley will determine what will happen next for Bergdahl, with the options ranging from no further action being taken by the Army to the soldier being court-martialed. Army officials declined to provide any additional information.

The investigation will likely ­determine whether Bergdahl ­deserted his patrol base in Afghanistan in 2009 and what kind of treatment he faced after being taken prisoner by insurgents.

— Dan Lamothe

Water usage cuts upheld by court

Federal officials acted properly when they cut water extraction from California’s Sacramento­­-San Joaquin Delta to protect fish and orca species at the expense of farmers and other water users in central California, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday.

The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the San ­Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a 2009 opinion by the National ­Marine Fisheries Service to force the cutbacks in water use, which have been in effect since then.

— Associated Press

Drugs used for lethal injections to change

Arizona officials said Monday they are changing the drugs they use in executions after an inmate in July gasped repeatedly over the course of nearly two hours while being put to death.

According to a letter from Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan to Gov. Jan Brewer (R), the department no longer will use the combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a pain killer.

Instead, the agency will try to obtain sodium pentothal, the powerful but obsolete sedative that was used in most lethal injections in Arizona until it became difficult to obtain, and sodium pentobarbital.

If the state cannot obtain those drugs, it will use a three-drug combination that includes midazolam and potassium chloride, among others.

The July 23 execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood called into question the efficacy of the drugs used after it took nearly two hours for Wood to die.

— Associated Press