‘Thank you for the outpouring of support:’ Chief Morales releases video after 2 officer deaths in 2 months

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, in a video released on Friday, Aug. 3, thanked the community for its “outpouring of support” after the loss of two Milwaukee police officers in two months. Officer Charles Irvine Jr. died on June 7 after a crash near 76th and Silver Spring Drive during a pursuit. Officer Michael Michalski died on July 25 when he was shot by a wanted suspect near 28th and Wright.

“Thank you for the outpouring of support these past two months as we grieve the loss of two of our members. We are deeply grateful for the letters, flowers and your presence along the procession route. We are your police department, and want to thank you for your support. God bless you,” said Chief Morales in the video.

Officer Michalski was laid to rest on Wednesday, Aug. 1. His funeral was held at the Oak Creek Assembly of God church, and after the service, there was a procession to Wisconsin Memorial Park in Brookfield, where the 52-year-old Officer Michalski was buried.

Officer Irvine’s funeral was held at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield on June 16. A procession followed the service to Forest Home Cemetery, where the 23-year-old officer was buried. Irvine was a police aide for two years and an officer for nearly two more.

Ladell Harrison has been charged in connection with the death of Officer Irvine.

Prosecutors say Harrison is a heroin dealer that undercover officers had been tracking for some time. According to prosecutors, Harrison had his 5-year-old son in the vehicle with him at the time of the pursuit, along with a gun. His son was not in a car seat, according to investigators, and he shouldn’t have been driving because he had a revoked license due to an OWI conviction.


He faces 12 charges — 11 felonies and a misdemeanor, and has pleaded not guilty. He’s due in court Aug. 16 for a scheduling conference. He’s being held on $500,000 cash bond.

Jonathan Copeland Jr. is charged in connection with the death of Officer Michalski.

Prosecutors say he “ambushed” the officer after hiding upstairs in a home near 28th and Wright — shooting Officer Michalski as he ascended the stairs in the search for Copeland, wanted for felony drug crimes and absconding from DOC supervision. Officer Michalski was shot in the head, and Copeland was arrested at the home. According to prosecutors, he fired from the window of the home at officers outside, and threatened to kill officers as they transported him from the scene.

Jonathan Copeland

He faces three felonies, and is due in court on Aug. 9 for a preliminary hearing. He’s being held on $1.5 million cash bond.

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