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MPD Officer Her's family hopes suspect in crash learns his lesson

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-23 12:10:19-04

The man accused of driving drunk in a crash that killed an off-duty Milwaukee police officer was officially charged in court Saturday morning.

Bond was set at $100,000 for 34-year-old Dante James who is facing serious felonies of homicide by driving drunk with previous OWI convictions, hit and run causing death and operating a vehicle while revoked causing death.

According to the criminal complaint, James ran a red light at 60th and Capitol early Tuesday morning crashing into a car with Officer Kou Her inside, killing him. He then fled from the scene.

Court records say James had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. He also had a revoked license and four past OWI convictions.

Officer Her was just 27-years-old, with only two years on the job at District 4. It was the job he always wanted since he was young.

His dream was to protect others and improve their lives.

“He’s like, ‘Man, you know one day we can make things better for everyone,’” his brother Lue said.

Now it’s a dream his family wants to keep alive as they continue to grieve days after his death.

“Your heart’s just torn apart," said Her's sister, Leah Yang. "You just don’t know how to put it back together."

Officer Her was just coming home from work when he died in the crash.

His family blames James and those who didn’t stop him from getting behind the wheel for Her’s death.

“Driving how he was, driving being drunk, that just seems like he don’t care period," Lue said. "Obviously he didn’t care if he hit anything."

They’re hurting, but they don’t want James to spend the rest of his life in prison. Instead, they hope he realizes the pain he’s caused them.

“Slap yourself and wake up and be like, ‘Man, I was a menace to society out there, what’s wrong with me?’” Lue said.

“That he took an innocent life, that he took a son from his mother, from his father and his brothers and sisters,” Yang said.

As christians, Her's family feels the need to forgive others.

“But forgiving doesn’t mean that he should just be set out there for free," said Yang. "He needs to face his consequences. He needs to pay for what he did to my brother."

They also want to send a message to James.

“How would he feel if someone did that to someone he really loves?” Lue said.

The family is seeking stronger OWI laws to prevent this from happening again.

Officer Kou Her's funeral will be held at the Good Hope Center in Milwaukee June 29 through July 1.