A young officer with the Milwaukee Police Department died in the line of duty earlier this month when the patrol car he was in crashed during a high-speed pursuit.
According to WITI, that officer was 23-year-old Charles Irvine Jr., who had been in pursuit of a reckless vehicle along with his partner, 36-year-old Matthew Schultze, who had been driving the car and survived the rollover accident.
The suspect being chased, who turned out to be a career criminal with a rap sheet full of drug law violations dating back to 2006, was taken into custody a short time after the June 7 crash, along with two associates.
On June 8, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales briefed the media with regard to the incident, where he praised the young officer’s service and sacrifice to the community and expressed the deep grief felt by the department at his loss prior to taking a pair of questions.
Both of the questions posed asserted that the high-speed pursuit had been called off prior to the squad car’s accident, the clear implication being that both the crash and Irvine’s death were unnecessary, an assertion Morales had no intention of letting stand unchallenged.
Following the first question, Morales replied, “I will say this right now: An investigation is ongoing. Let’s pay respects to a 23-year-old officer who lost his life during his tour of duty, committed to his community.”
Another reporter then asked virtually the same question of Morales, which prompted his savage response: “Can you tell me what the officer’s name is who was shot at by a drug dealer three weeks ago?”
“We pay no mind at the danger of our police officers. We have an officer that died yesterday. We’re grieving, and you are trying to create controversy.
“We have an officer that died, committed to the community,” stated Morales. “All he wanted to do was be a police officer, and we loved him.
“Can you give us some days to grieve? Please!” he snapped at the reporters before turning away from the microphones in disgust.
You can watch the entire briefing right here, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The two questions from reporters and the chief’s responses came during the last two minutes.
This police chief was simply trying to brief the media on the death of an officer and express the grief of his department over the loss of a young colleague.
But that wasn’t enough for at least a couple of the gathered reporters, who insisted on asking questions designed to stir up controversy that could have been more quietly addressed in a different setting.
Unfortunately for them, Chief Morales wasn’t about to let these media jackals — and that’s really what they showed themselves to be, lowly carrion-feeders who yap loudly and nip at the heels of others — mar his moment of tribute to a fallen officer.
Chief Morales was absolutely right to rip into those jackals for ignoring the grief felt at the loss of the officer and instead attempting to solicit a controversial “gotcha” quote or stir up yet another scandal for a department that has seen plenty in the past few years.
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