Home News Wisconsin PD release body cam to defend actions in altercation with protesters

Wisconsin PD release body cam to defend actions in altercation with protesters


Update: 9:45 a.m. 10/11/2020

According to WDJT, Wauwatosa Police have released multiple bodycam videos detailing their response to a group of protesters on Friday. The group gathered after the District Attorney declined to file charges against an officer who shot a black teenager.

In the video, officers dressed in riot gear gave the group multiple commands to disperse.

Eventually, the crowd began to throw bottles at the officers, prompting them to use pepper balls.

The Police Department released the video to prove that their tactics were legal and defend their officers.

Original Story:

Mitchell Schmidt

The Wisconsin State Journal

Anticipating possible civil unrest, Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday activated the Wisconsin National Guard to assist Wauwatosa law enforcement before a Milwaukee County District Attorney ultimately decided not to file charges against an officer charged in the shooting death of a Black teenager could lead to civil unrest in the area.

A statement issued Wednesday did not indicate how many Guard members will be deployed in Wauwatosa, but said local authorities requested the Guard’s assistance in advance of the anticipated decision in the case involving Wauwatosa police Officer Joseph Mensah. Later that day, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced he would not bring charges against Mensah.

Mensah, who is Black, was one of the officers who responded to a mall last February for reports that a man was seen with a gun. Police say Alvin Cole ran from officers and fired a handgun before he was shot by Mensah.

Chisholm said Mensah had “an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable.”

State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, said in a statement he “was not surprised by this miscarriage of justice.”

“Black and Brown people in this country have been criminalized, they have been targeted, and their cries for respect have been ignored by too many lawmakers and other so-called ‘public servants’ for far too long,” Bowen said. “It is past time for systemic transformation, and a new approach to policing and criminal justice in our communities – a new approach that will always put human life and dignity first, and that will not continue to easily pass off killings of people of color by police as ‘justified.’”

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Evers said his administration has been working with the Guard “minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour.” He added he had no information on how the Chisholm might rule in the case when he activated the Guard.

“One of our core missions in the Wisconsin National Guard is to serve our fellow citizens and preserve public safety,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a statement. “Our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen live and work in the same communities all across Wisconsin, and we’re well-trained and prepared to assist our neighbors in any way we can.”

Cole was the third person in the last five years who was shot and killed by Mensah, who was cleared of wrongdoing in the two previous shootings.

In 2015, Mensah shot Antonio Gonzales eight times after he refused to drop a sword, according to police. The following year, Mensah approached a parked car where Jay Anderson Jr. was sleeping and said he saw a gun inside and thought Anderson was reaching for it so he shot him six times.

“We will continue marching, making our voices heard, and demanding better for our communities for as long as it takes,” Bowen said. “Today, we mourn this decision, and grieve alongside the Cole, Anderson, and Gonzales families. And we keep marching on.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


©2020 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

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