Milwaukee Ald. Donovan: Officers deserve our thanks – not armchair quarterbacking

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan

As a father of a Milwaukee Police officer, as a long-serving elected official of the City of Milwaukee for 18 years, and as a member and/or chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee for nearly all of those years, I know better than most the challenges faced daily by the good men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department.

This is why I am absolutely dumbfounded by comments I am reading from others about the arrest Wednesday of a man near N. 51st St. and W. Capitol Dr.

The officers responded to a call for help concerning an out-of-control individual who appeared to be under the influence of drugs and/or mentally disturbed. In my view from watching video of the struggle the man put up against the responding officers I am incredibly impressed with the restraint displayed by the officers.

Sources tell me that even witnesses at the scene expressed the same sentiment – that officers acted with restraint under extremely difficult circumstances.

The man was exhibiting almost super-human strength in struggling and striking out at officers. Officers used precision strikes to the man’s legs in an attempt to bring him under control (I’m told these strikes are usually 95% effective in controlling subjects) but the strikes had no impact.

The man sent three police officers to the hospital, including one with a broken nose and a blood-stained uniform.

I say ‘Thank God’ there are people willing to do this work and willingly subject themselves to this kind of situation and treatment. I am proud to stand with the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department who put their lives and safety on the line for us on a daily basis.

I am NOT proud of the armchair quarterbacks – including members of the command staff, inspectors, elected officials and even Chief Morales – who second guess the officers’ actions as they put their lives on the line. I would love to see some of these command staff members, the Chief and elected officials step into those shoes at 51st and Capitol and see how they would react.

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