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Earl D. Lawhorn: Man fatally shot by Milwaukee police officers identified; family speaks out

Earl D. Lawhorn
Posted at 1:58 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 20:05:19-04

MILWAUKEE — The family of 33-year-old Earl Lawhorn says they want answers after he was shot and killed by Milwaukee police Thursday night.

"My son is never going to see his kids, my son is never going to get married, he’s not having any more birthdays, I’m not going to ever see him. But those police officers, they are going home to their wives and their children, "said Lawhorn's mother, Jacqueline Ratzel.

According to police, officers had attempted to pull Lawhorn over for reckless driving, but when he didn’t stop, a police pursuit began. Moments later Lawhorn crashed on 41st Street near Sherman Park and began to run on foot.

"He should have pulled over, but he didn’t, but they have video of the police shooting at my son," said Ratzel.

Earl D. Lawhorn

Police say the 33-year-old had a gun. They ordered him to drop the weapon multiple times and when he didn't, two officers shot Lawhorn. Lawhorn's mother however claims he never had a gun. Neighbors in the area are still shaken up.

"It could’ve been my brother, it could’ve been my son, so you only feel for other people's loss, just because it wasn’t your family, it still was a person," said one resident, Rodney Manns.

This is the third officer-involved shooting in Milwaukee County that's led to the death of a suspect in just 10 days, and it has community leaders worried.

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"This is a very concerning rise to have this many in such a small amount of time. Hopefully, we can find some answers into why that’s happening and do something so that it doesn’t become a trend," said community activist, Vaun Mayes.

And as she mourns the loss of her son, Lawhorn’s mother says she has one simple message about reckless driving that she wants the community to hear:

"For any other people whose children are out here speeding, please pull over so your mama doesn’t get a phone call like I just got, that the police just killed your son because he didn’t pull over," said Ratzel.

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Jacqueline Ratzel

The Waukesha Police Department is leading the investigation. The two policemen who were involved in the shooting are on administrative leave.

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