Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Amanda Kraus, CNN Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Christopher Manney, the Milwaukee officer who shot and killed Sylville Smith last August, was released on Thursday from an extended mental health stay, CNN affiliate WISN reports.
The officer was also banned from working for law enforcement organizations in Wisconsin, California, Nevada and Colorado after he had appeared emotionless when police officers tried to apprehend him on February 6.
Manney and a colleague approached Smith’s vehicle on August 13, 2017, when a struggle ensued and the officer shot the young man in the back. Smith was unarmed. The case gained national attention as videos emerged which contradicted the police’s account of the shooting.
Smith’s death caused riots in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, a city with a large African-American population. Protesters vandalized businesses and police cars and set fires, claiming police had no justification for shooting Smith.
Christopher Manney was allowed to return to work at the Milwaukee Police Department after a mental health evaluation, according to a WISN report. Photo: Courtesy WISN Milwaukee
But Wisconsin state attorney general Brad Schimel said the decision to allow Manney to return to work at the Milwaukee Police Department was reasonable. “He has exhibited very well that he is capable of sitting there and taking a breath and getting ready to be interviewed,” Schimel said.
“It’s very obvious there’s been a degree of healing and there’s been significant progress in this relationship,” Manney said about his return to work. “They are doing everything they can to make this work.”
Manney and the mother of Smith’s girlfriend, Sherell Jones, both declined to comment to WISN.
One of Smith’s lawyers, Jonathan Safran, told CNN in December: “I agree with anything they’re doing because this case is critically important for criminal justice reform,” Safran said at the time. “Police officers need to be treated as suspects as much as citizens are.
“Police officers are on the frontline of protecting people from harm, and they’ve got to be held to the same standard as any other citizen,” Safran added.
The case has been adjourned until February 26.