*Protesters took to the streets in Wisconsin on Wednesday after the district attorney announced he would not press charges against a Black police officer who fatally shot a Black teenager outside a Milwaukee mall in February.
Alvin Cole, 17, was the third fatal shooting in the past five years for Officer Joseph Mensah, and the prior shootings were also ruled justified, Milwaukee ABC affiliate WISN reports.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm detailed in a 14-page report that Cole was carrying a stolen 9 mm handgun, and that body camera footage/audio shows that he fired a shot while fleeing from officers and refusing commands to drop the gun.
Despite not pressing charges, the report suggests Mensah be terminated from the police department.
“He did not surrender the weapon and was fired upon by Officer Mensah causing his death,” Chisholm wrote, ABC 13 reports. “(T)here is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable.”
Justice prevailed today. Officer Joseph Mensah deserves our utmost appreciation.
— Julian Bradley (@BradleyForWI) October 7, 2020
“Given recent events in Kenosha, Louisville, and other cities around the country, it should be clear that we all must do everything we can to keep our community peaceful. Violence is not the answer; it only impoverishes communities and brings more pain and despair,” Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride said in the statement.
“I ask all people, regardless of their viewpoints, to remain peaceful and calm as we work our way through this difficult time,” he added. “We all must keep each other safe.”
An attorney for Cole’s family denied police claims that Cole fired a gun at officers before his death.
Nearly a hundred protesters march onto Interstate 94 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, less than an hour after the announcement that no charges will be filed against Officer Joseph Mensah #MilwaukeeProtests #AlvinCole #Wauwatosa #JosephMensah #Milwaukee pic.twitter.com/Dupn21oCJv
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) October 7, 2020
According to an MSN article: “An independent report confirmed that Cole was armed with a stolen pistol and that he shot himself in the arm before he was killed. He was on his knees as officers surrounded him, the report said. Police told Cole to drop his gun before he was shot. Cole never fired any shots at officers. Mensah was the only officer to fire any shots, according to the report.”
“At the time Cole’s firearm was recovered from the pavement of the parking lot, there was a spent casing in the chamber of the gun,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “The loaded extended magazine was recovered from the inside of the sling bag, indicating that the firearm was only capable of firing a round that was in the chamber. This means that Cole, presuming he fired the one round in the chamber as he was running, did not have any more bullets in the gun at the time he was shot.”
The independent report released this week noted that Mensah should be fired because the probability is high that he will shoot a fourth person.
Protests are beginning in #Milwaukee after D.A. Chisholm declined to press charges against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah.
Protesters here are attempting to get past police, lots of shoving. pic.twitter.com/sBY93m87p9
— This Is What’s Trending Now (@TrendingThisIs) October 7, 2020