A police officer in Wisconsin was shot at by a mob outside of his home on Saturday, possibly in relation to three fatal use of force incidents that have taken place in the past half-decade.
Wauwatosa Police Officer J. Mensah, who is currently suspended from duty, found himself attempting to communicate with a group of 50-60 individuals who were vandalizing his home.
Mensah, who is African-American, was attacked by the mob, despite being unarmed.
On his way back inside, one “protester” shot at Mensah’s back door with a shotgun.
The city claimed they were monitoring the situation, “All City of Wauwatosa employees support the right to peacefully protest,” WPD wrote. “Further incidents of vandalism or violent behavior will be dealt with on a situation by situation basis.”
According to FOX 6, Mensah was suspended by the city’s “Common Council” on July 15, and the officer later told a radio host that while the shooting was a case of self-defense, his suspension was likely to appeal to activists.
Mensah also noted his girlfriend’s home has also been targeted by “protesters.”
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride released the following statement in regards to the violent weekend incident:
“Last night, approximately 50 people assembled at the private residence of Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, engaged in a protest, and began to vandalize his home. Officer Mensah tried to engage in a dialogue with them but was physically assaulted. As he retreated into his home, armed protesters approached the rear door and one fired a shotgun round into his back door. The Wauwatosa Police Department received assistance in dispersing the crowd from numerous neighboring agencies. The WPD’s investigation into this incident is ongoing.
“In recent weeks, various groups have protested in Wauwatosa, demanding that Officer Mensah be fired. The City of Wauwatosa has always supported and protected the right to peaceful protest. Last night’s event was not a peaceful protest; it was criminal behavior. If the perpetrators of this criminal behavior are identified, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law.
“Tomorrow morning, I will be meeting with the Police Chief, the City Administrator, the City Attorney, and other City officials to determine which steps can be taken to ensure that Officer Mensah is fully protected and that criminal behavior of this kind will not happen again.
“On July 14, the Common Council and I issued a statement asking the Police Chief and the City Administrator to facilitate the transition of Officer Mensah from WPD employment. Nevertheless, every Common Council member and I support our police department. Every Common Council member and I support Officer Mensah’s right to due process under the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions and, as a police officer, to the additional due process protections found in the Wisconsin Statutes. Under Wisconsin law, the decision as to whether he will be fired, as demanded in a citizen complaint, belongs solely to the Wauwatosa Police & Fire Commission, and that Commission must be given a full opportunity to carry out its deliberations.
“During this difficult time, I ask all members of the community to reflect on their personal responsibility to engage in responsible and civil behavior. Now more than ever, it is essential that we all work together to heal a divided community. This will require patience and an understanding that, though changes must occur, they can only occur through the functioning of democratic processes and not through violence.”
The incident is under investigation.
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