Kenosha Police Officer Justin Pruett and Captain Tom Hamm were presented Tuesday with “Resiliency in Policing” by Acting US Attorney Richard G. Frohling. Both officer’s were seriously injured in the line of duty.
Officer Pruett Officer-Involved Shooting
A few weeks before the Kenosha riots, on August 8, 2020, Officer Justin Pruett was on patrol when he was dispatched to the corner of 46th St and Sheridan Rd for two men breaking into the caller’s vehicle. According to the criminal complaint, Jonathon Massey, one of the men shot at Pruett twice. Pruett returned fire 8 times, injuring Massey. Pruett was shot in the abdomen and underwent surgery. Massey fled the state and was arrested in Indiana. Massey, a convicted felon, was charged with many crimes, the most serious being attempted murder. He is scheduled to stand trial on February 28, 2022.
Attack on Captain Hamm
KCE was on scene within an hour of the Jacob Blake shooting. The crowd got large and violent very quickly. Captain Hamm who doesn’t usually patrol the streets, arrived quickly to help his fellow officers to keep the peace while the DOJ Investigators collected evidence. According to the federal indictment, a convicted Felon, named Ashton Howard threw a brick at Captain Hamm, knocking him unconscious. He was charged with obstructing an officer and possession of ammunition by a felon. Howard was out on bail at the time for battery, sexual assault, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. District Attorney Michael Graveley declined to charge Howard with bail-jumping. Howard was released but the federal judge signed an arrest warrant in July and his bond was revoked for failure to comply with the conditions. He appeared in Kenosha County Circuit court today via video from federal detainment to ask for a delay in the state case. He is expected to take a plea deal offered by T. Clair Binger on October 20, 2021.
Both Pruett and Hamm are back on duty and have made full recoveries. We agree with the US Attorney. Being shot in the stomach or being knocked out with a brick would cause some officers to pause and re-consider their careers. Not these two. Their desire to enforce the law and serve the citizens outweighed the affect of their traumatic experiences. In fact, Hamm was on duty only three days later, even with a concussion. He worked during the riots. The two also received KPD’s purple heart award on September 13th. With these two officers, it’s not just the fact that they were seriously injured in the line of duty that makes them so deserving, it’s the fact that they got up, put on their uniforms, and continued to serve their community. May God bless these two, the rest of our first responders, and our military men and women.
BRAVO Captain Hamm and Officer Pruett