Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

A difficult day for law enforcement in Southeast Wisconsin

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan June 18, 2019

By - Jun 18th, 2019 02:20 pm

It was with great sadness that we all awoke this morning to the news that two law enforcement officers – one from the Milwaukee Police Department, one from the Racine Police Department – were killed last night in two separate incidents. They weren’t killed in the line of duty, per se, but their deaths were the result of two different criminal activities nonetheless. And as such, both police departments and residents of our respective cities are mourning their loss and celebrating their lives today.

MPD Officer Kou Her served in District #4, and was on his way home from work after a long day’s work of protecting our community and neighbors on the city’s northwest side. He was driving home – as so many of us do at the end of the work day – when someone ran a red light and crashed into him so violently that Officer Her lost his fight to stay alive. Investigators suspect that the offending driver was operating his motor vehicle while under the influence, an offense that he has been charged with and convicted for in the past. In fact, he was on probation for a drunk-driving conviction when this incident occurred last night.

Racine Police Officer John Hetland was off duty as well, when he witnessed a robbery in progress at a local Racine bar. He was trying to stop the robbery when he was fatally shot. The gunman is still at large.

Sadly, we will never know the additional good that these brave officers would have accomplished had their lives not been snuffed out by two criminals. Officer Hetland could have looked the other way, but he chose to act in defense of others when the robber chose to steal from a bar and its patrons. Officer Her was a victim of a reckless driver who chose to run a red light after choosing to get behind the wheel of an automobile in the first place.

My prayers go out to both families for their loss, and to friends, neighbors, and colleagues in law enforcement in Milwaukee, Racine, and everywhere. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that we grieve with you, and that we will not forget the selflessness and service of Officers Her and Hetland to our communities.

Always on duty!

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