The man who led a police chase that resulted in the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine Jr. last June has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The courtroom couldn’t have been more packed as dozens of Milwaukee police officers watched justice be served for Ladell Harrison, whose decisions ended up taking the life of one of their own.
Months after striking a plea deal and giving up his right to a trial, Harrison was back in court Thursday to find out his fate.
“I have taken full responsibility for my behaviors and actions that has caused me to be here today,” Harrison said.
Harrison started with an apology to Irvine’s family and friends.
“This incident was by no means a plan of mine,” he said. “It was merely an unfortunate situation.”
What Harrison calls an unfortunate situation is what Irvine’s family remembers as the worst day of their lives.
“My son was Charles Irvine Jr. End of watch June 7, 2018," said Irvine’s mother Christy Irvine Bachmann.
The 23-year-old officer was in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle that summer day when they began to chase Harrison who reached speeds of 96 miles per hour. Irvine’s vehicle lost control on Silver Spring and flipped to a deadly stop on an off ramp.
Irvine’s partner, who was behind the wheel, spoke in court for the first time.
“It was Harrison’s decision to put his life, his son’s life, Irvine’s life and my life at risk,” said officer Matthew Schulze.
Harrison told officers he was afraid of getting pulled over with a gun in the car on a revoked license. Despite saving the victim’s family from a grueling trial, Irvine’s family asked the judge for the maximum sentence.
“I ask you your honor to show Mr. Harrison that choices and actions have consequences,” said Irvine Bachmann.
The judge ultimately decided on 30 years punishment in part to send a message to community about what can happen to those who flee police.
“The defendant turns to the detective and says I thought you guys couldn’t pursue vehicles unless it was a felony? Well, you know what? Those days are gone. We’re coming now,” said prosecutor Grant Huebner.
Harrison will be 59-years-old when his prison term ends. The Milwaukee Police Department shared the following statement on Twitter after the sentencing: