Alvin Cole’s mother and sisters were arrested Thursday evening by police in Wauwatosa, who cracked down on protesters after the curfew.
Several people who witnessed the arrests said Tracy, Taleavia and Tristiana Cole were taken into custody shortly after 8:30 p.m. along with several others near Wauwatosa and Milwaukee avenues.
Wauwatosa had a curfew at 7 p.m. Thursday, the second night of the protests after Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm decided not to charge officer Joseph Mensah with the death of Cole, 17, at the Mayfair mall earlier this year.
A Facebook livestream captured by another daughter from the Cole car revealed a chaotic scene in which police officers threatened to use tasers and possibly broken Tracy Cole, 48.
“I’m Alvin Cole’s mother,” Tracy Cole yelled repeatedly as cops pulled her out of her car and handcuffed her.
“I can’t believe you did this to me. You killed my son,” she yelled at the officers.
“I can’t breathe,” she repeated several times. “I can not breath.”
Tracy Cole said her head was bleeding and she believed her arm was broken, according to the livestream.
Cole family lawyer Kimberley Motley said Tracy Cole had been rushed to Froedtert Hospital but was banned from speaking to her after 10:15 p.m. She said she knew Tracy Cole’s arm was injured and she had a lump on her forehead.
Motley called the arrest “utterly disgusting”.
“I can’t talk to my client and I want to talk to my client and that’s a problem,” Motley said.
A statement from the People’s Revolution around 9:20 pm said in part: “It is despicable that the Wauwatosa Police Department is arresting members of Alvin Cole’s family who killed their officer.”
In the early evening, Tracy Cole spoke briefly to the assembled crowd of about 25 to 30 people. She criticized the violent response by law enforcement agencies to a small group of demonstrators marching through Wauwatosa.
“We’re not tearing anything off,” she said.
“The state forces are here with full-body gear to knock us down,” she said. “But you know what? It’ll only make us stronger.”
The officer appears to be using Taser to arrest Tracy Cole
According to the Facebook livestream of the arrest that began at 8:28 p.m.
The daughter who started the live stream asks the officer: “What are we being arrested for?” And the officer replies: “Relax, relax.”
The phone’s livestream on Facebook was in the car and does not indicate the arrest, but it captured the sounds of an apparent physical fight between an officer and Tracy Cole.
“Get on the ground, you will get tased,” says the officer. The sound of a taser follows. Motley could not immediately confirm that a taser was being used.
Minutes later, apparently after Tracy Cole was handcuffed and outside her car, she says, “My head is bleeding.”
An officer replies, “Well, that’s a shame.”
Moments later, a person, apparently a paramedic, comes and starts asking her questions about her injuries. He calls for medical help on his radio.
Milwaukee Rep. David Bowen, who has often joined marchers throughout the summer and was with them Thursday night, condemned the arrests.
“It just shows more of this through aggressive police responses targeting people who advocate change,” he said.
Jacob Blake Sr., the father of the Kenosha man who was shot dead by a police officer and paralyzed in Kenosha in July causing days of unrest in that city, was with the demonstrators but was not arrested.
Wauwatosa police said on Twitter that they had arrested several people for curfew violations but did not confirm that there were members of the Cole family among them.
Peter Juzenas lives one block from the Evangelical Lutheran St. Matthew Church and saw “15 to 20” people arrested in the parking lot.
“A couple of people ran across the parking lot and (officers) grabbed them,” Juzenas said. “And then they started getting all the people out of the cars and they put them in a West Milwaukee car and then a Wauwatosa car.”
The arrests came about an hour and a half after the curfew began at 7 p.m. after cat-and-mouse encounters between marching demonstrators and a large contingent of National Guards and other police vehicles across the city of Wauwatosa.
Tiffany Henry, the spokeswoman for the People’s Revolution, a protest group that marched through the Milwaukee area for most of the summer, was also arrested earlier when she streamed live on Facebook.
She had walked near the National Guard trucks on North Avenue and yelled at officers from a distance based on her livestream. After about 10 minutes, an officer said she was arrested.
The night began when a group of around 100 protesters left Merrill Park in Milwaukee around 5:30 p.m. and marched several miles away towards Wauwatosa. A caravan joined the small group of marches in front of the group.
At around 7.15 p.m., around 20 National Guard trucks and police vehicles blocked the intersection near the 76th and the center in Wauwatosa.
The group headed to North Avenue and was met by more Police and National Guard vehicles near 70th and North Ave. Officials also used fire engines and even U-haul trucks to block roads and control traffic.
When she was on 70th and North Ave. stopped, Tracy Cole spoke briefly to the group of assembled protesters while several other protesters confronted members of the National Guard who were blocking the road.
Shortly after Cole spoke, the dwindling group moved quickly and headed back down North Avenue.
Ricardo Torres of the staff at Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.
Contact Sophie Carson at (414) 223-5512 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SCarson_News.
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