Suspect in Milwaukee officer killing headed to trial

MILWAUKEE (WISN) — The man accused of killing a Milwaukee police officer is headed to trial.

Under tight security, including being shackled to a wheelchair, Jonathan Copeland, 30, appeared in court. He’s charged with killing veteran Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski.

Officers were trying to arrest Copeland on a warrant July 25th at a home near 28th and Wright when prosecutors say he  jumped out of a pile of clothes and shot Michalski in the back of the head.

Copeland was ordered to stand trial in front of a gallery packed with Michalski’s family and police officers, who spilled out into the hallway. Copeland’s mother was there, too.

"His death shouldn’t be glorified as if it’s something bigger than any other death," said Lashaun Hunter, Copland’s mother.

Copeland’s mother says she’s stunned to see how much attention Officer Michalski’s murder has received.

"I’m gonna grieve if my son is sent away, or if he’s found guilty of this crime they’re saying he committed.  But the point being, this death is no different than any other death," she said.

But the officers who showed up disagree.

"We certainly want the [Michalski] family to know that we stand behind them and with them.  We want the family to know that the large majority of the community equally stands behind them," said Mike Crivello, with the Milwaukee police union. 

Copeland pleaded not guilty in the death of Officer Michalski. He faces three felony charges, including first degree intentional homicide. He’s due in court again later this month. 

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