Community members, police gather for vigil Monday to honor fallen Milwaukee Police officer
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Dozens of community members and police gathered for a vigil Monday night to honor fallen Officer Michael Michalski.
Many of the people at the vigil commented on the surreal and heartbreaking deja vu feeling of having a second police officer vigil in two months.
At one point during the vigil, chants of "stop the violence" filled the air.
In a show of compassion fitting of Officer Michalski, his vigil began with a call to embrace the nearest police officer.
"As a community, we have to come together, work with the police and police work with us," said neighbor Larry Keaton.
Michalski was shot and killed last week trying to arrest Jonathan Copeland who was wanted on felony drug charges. Copeland was formally charged Monday with First Degree Homicide.
"Obviously we're very pleased that he's charged. We wish this had never occurred but there was no doubt in my mind he was going to be charged with this crime," said Mayor Tom Barrett.
The people at Monday's vigil were passionate in their quest for peace.
"Got to deal with it. I got to keep fighting for the rights of our people. There are good people out here. Let's not forget that Milwaukee," said neighbor Frank Ballister.
Music united the crowd in that special way a song can. Together, they prayed.
"I'm just one of many people that feel the sorrow for the Milwaukee Police Department and as a community, that's why we're here -- to show support," said vigil organizer Tracey Dent.
Officer Michalski's funeral will be held Wednesday.