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Open letter to local lawmakers, court officials calls out district's pursuit policy following death of Officer Irvine Jr.

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Days after MPD Officer Charles Irvine's funeral, an open letter to local lawmakers and court officials is calling out the district's pursuit policy.

The letter is written by Laural Cobus, a family friend of Irvine's parents.

She starts by saying she has never written a letter to a politician, but she cannot remain silent.

"If I have to write letter, letter, letter -- if I have to sign petition, petition, petition, I will," said Cobus when she spoke to CBS 58 on Monday night.

Cobus sent the letter to Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Court Commissioners Barry Phillips and Grace Flynn on Friday, the day before Irvine's funeral.

Laurel Cobus's two-page letter says MPD's pursuit policy has "emboldened" criminals and made Milwaukee streets comparable to the "wild wild west." While Cobus is angry, she says her "emotions pale in comparison to what Irvine's parents are going through.

"We didn't just lose a protector. We lost an amazing, amazing boy who I've known since he was 10," said Cobus.

The note specifically calls out court commissioners by saying they could have prevented what happened to Officer Irvine by upholding the law. It addresses Congresswoman Gwen Moore is out of touch with how unsafe Milwaukee is, and being in a position to change laws, should make harsher penalties for criminals who flee from law enforcement.

The staff of Congresswoman Gwen Moore did respond saying:

"Rep. Moore is aware of Laural Cobus’s letter and extends her deepest condolences to Officer Charles Irvine’s family, friends, and colleagues. Any time a death occurs, it is imperative that related policies are thoroughly reviewed. Throughout her years of public service, the Congresswoman has maintained that the lives of both police and the people they work every day to protect must be the first consideration when implementing policing reforms."

Cobus does commend Chief Alfonso Morales in the note.

The current pursuit policy was put in place by Former Police Chief Flynn who changed the policy a decade ago after four people died.

To read the full letter that Cobus sent, see below.


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