Even after two attempts by MPD to present the case to the Milwaukee County DA’s office, no charges have ever been issued in this case.
This is the fifth chapter in Wisconsin Right Now’s new investigative series – the “No Process Files” – exploring the Milwaukee County DA’s high percentage of non prosecuted cases. If you would like us to feature a case from that or another county, email [email protected]. You will remain anonymous.
Milwaukee police thought they had a very strong illegal gun case against Evan M. Harmon. During his arrest, police reports obtained by Wisconsin Right Now through an open records request say, Harmon even made the statement, “All I had was that gun.”
Officers recovered one handgun on the ground after a dangerous fight and foot chase with Harmon, who reached toward his waistband during it, police reports say. The Smith & Wesson handgun had an obliterated serial number and contained 15 unfired rounds including one in the chamber “ready to fire.” They recovered a second loaded Glock 9mm handgun near a spot he slipped. A photo of the firearms were placed into evidence, as Milwaukee police continued their efforts to crack down on illegal firearm use in a city exploding with gun violence.
Politicians have been unified in their calls for an end to gun violence in Milwaukee. But – even after two attempts by MPD to present the case to the Milwaukee County DA’s office and 15 months passing – no charges have ever been issued in this case, and it’s not clear why.
Chisholm’s office simply hasn’t charged the case.
That’s despite the fact Harmon has a previous case in which he was accused of pointing a gun at his female relative’s head and head butting the woman because he thought she was cooperating with the police. He was also accused of pointing a gun at a teenage girl and threatening to “bag her” in that past case.
Evan M. Harmon, who had several felony warrants at the time of the uncharged arrest, was referred to the DA for charges that included being a passenger in a vehicle involved in a police pursuit, fleeing on foot and resisting an officer, and possession of concealed handguns containing 41 rounds of ammunition.
Yet, even as shootings skyrocketed by 78% over last year, the DA’s office hasn’t charged the case.
It’s a pattern of no-prosecutions by Chisholm’s office of charges referred by police.
The first part of our series explored the numbers; last year, the DA’s non-prosecution numbers spiked. His office rejected around 60% of cases, including felonies, referred by local police agencies. It’s coming against a backdrop of rising crime, yet the DA’s refusal to issue criminal charges in so many cases flies beneath the media radar. Chisholm’s office has refused to let the public learn about cases his office is refusing to prosecute, but we obtained the Harmon case from a tip.
Details of Evan M. Harmon’s Arrest:
According to police reports, on Jan. 19, 2020, Milwaukee police officers were sent to a drug complaint in the 3700 block of N. 25th St. The complainant reported that a Jeep Cherokee was involved in drug dealing.
Here’s what the police reports alleged:
Upon the officer’s arrival, they observed the Jeep leaving the area. Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop of the Jeep, however, the Jeep fled from officers. Harmon, who was the front-seat passenger, exited the Jeep and fled on foot. An officer chased Harmon on foot, yelling at him to “Stop Police!” The officer allegedly observed Harmon reaching towards the waistband of his pants as he ran from the officer. Harmon eventually slipped and fell on ice in the gangway of a building while continuing to reach in his waistband.
Harmon fought and resisted several attempts by the officer to take him into custody which included the use of strikes and the threat of OC spray, the reports say. Harmon would continue to reach towards his waistband. During the fight, the officer observed a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun on the ground near Harmon. The officer immediately took control of the handgun as Harmon took off running again. The officer continued to chase Harmon and he was finally taken into custody by the officer’s partner about one block away, alleges the reports.
The officer returned to the scene where he saw Harmon slip. The officer recovered another handgun, this time a loaded Glock 9mm handgun with an extended magazine near where he saw Harmon slip. The extended magazine contained 25 unfired rounds with an unfired “ready to fire” round in the chamber.
At the time of his arrest, Harmon had felony warrants for two counts of intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, resisting an officer, and felony possession of narcotics.
According to reports, at the time, Harmon had an active protection order/harassment injunction which prohibited Harmon of possessing firearms. We asked for the 2018 harassment injunction at the courthouse and found out it has been dismissed because the woman who filed it didn’t meet her burden of proof.
Police did also ask the DA to issue two counts of violating a harassment injunction by possessing firearms. However, police asked the DA to charge Harmon with multiple other offenses that wouldn’t be affected by the harassment injunction issue, including carrying a concealed gun.
Other Milwaukee officers pursued the Jeep for a total of 4.2 miles until it was terminated by a supervisor. The driver of the Jeep was never located or identified.
Reports say the case was presented to Milwaukee County ADA Brown on Jan. 21, 2020. ADA Brown told the presenting officer that she needed to further investigate the case and pended all charges.
Officers again presented the case to Chisholm’s office on Feb. 4, 2020, However, according to online court records and the Milwaukee Clerk of Courts, no criminal complaint has ever been filed in this case.
When interviewed, police reports say Harmon later denied touching or possessing guns but refused to provide his DNA. He said a white male had offered to rent his car for $60 a day and Harmon agreed to rent it. He claimed the white male, unidentified, was driving when police tried to stop the vehicle.
We reached out to Chisholm’s office for comment on why there were no charges issued in this incident. We will update the story if they respond.
Evan M. Harmon’s Criminal History
According to online court records, Harmon is currently on probation for a 2018 case in which he was convicted of disorderly conduct (use of a dangerous weapon) and resisting or obstructing an officer. Three other charges in that case, including 2 counts of intentionally point firearm at person and one count of felony possession of narcotics were dismissed. Harmon’s sentence was stayed and he only received 18 months probation.
In that past 2018 case, the criminal complaint says that Milwaukee police officers responded to West Chambers Street for a subject with a gun complaint. The 911 caller said that her cousin, Evan M Harmon, “pulled her by her hair and pointed a gun at her head, threatening to kill her and then pointed the gun at her 15-year-old daughter and threatened to kill her as well.” She explained that she grew up in the neighborhood and her son, who was 18, was killed in the crossfire of an intra-neighborhood shoot-out five years ago. Every year around her son’s birthday and around the anniversary of his death, “people from the neighborhood harass her.”
This year, she took her daughter to Miami for the anniversary of her son’s death to avoid the harassment. While they were in Miami, people from the neighborhood were talking about her deceased son and saying she was “the police,” meaning she had called the police on people in the neighborhood. She went to the location when she returned to ask who was spreading rumors of her calling the police. Evan M Harmon allegedly told her to “move around, meaning leave. She said she wouldn’t leave so he allegedly “approached her, head-butted her and pulled her by her hair.”
Then he called his mother, her sister, and said he was going to “bag her,” meaning kill her. He allegedly pulled her by her hair again and put the barrel of his gun up against her head. He pointed the gun at the girl and told her to stay out of it or he would “bag her” when she pulled his shirt and yelled at him to let her mother go.
When police found him, he pulled away and attempted to run and officers tried to gain control of him with an electronic control device but he got up and ran away, says the complaint. They apprehended him. They found two Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills in his pants pocket and a loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, says the complaint.
Evan M Harmon is no stranger to the traumas of gun violence. Harmon was featured with his mother in an old Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that reported that his identical twin brother, Aaron Harmon, was shot to death outside a tavern on a past Easter. Evan Harmon was also shot in that shooting, which ignited over an argument. A 2016 old Journal Sentinel story says that six people retrieved guns and five people fired after Jeremy Green and Aaron Harmon got into a dispute over Green bumping into Aaron Harmon’s friend. Green killed Aaron Harmon, and then was also shot and killed.
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