The Milwaukee district attorney said Wednesday he would not prosecute a Wisconsin police officer who fatally shot and killed an armed black teenager in a shopping mall parking lot in February and sparked renewed protests against the murder.
Joseph Mensah, a black police officer in the Wauwatosa Police Department, shot and killed 17-year-old teenage Alvin Cole on Feb.2 after refusing to drop a gun and ran in front of the Mayfair Mall, John Chisholm, after a confrontation Police said this, the Milwaukee District Attorney said on Wednesday. He said officers reported that Mr. Cole had the gun pointed at them at one point and that he fired the gun while running away.
Officer Mensah’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taleavia Cole, Mr Cole’s sister, spoke to a crowd of supporters on Wednesday, calling the district attorney a “fraud” and calling for Officer Mensah to be fired.
“Joseph Mensah shouldn’t and should never have worked,” she said during a press conference. “The fight goes on. It doesn’t end here. ”
She added, “We need to make sure Joseph is fired immediately. We must have Make sure he never gets a job as a cop again. “
Mr Chisholm’s decision marked the third time in five years that prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Officer Mensah for fatal shooting, and the district attorney’s decision sparked protests on Wednesday night, with many protesters imposing a 19-minute curfew Clock ignored. Later that night, police said that a group of protesters threw stones at police officers and that officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
“What began as a protest has turned into a major public disorder that has caused property damage and threatens to injure people,” police said on Twitter. The department said it “ordered dissemination” and “received no compliance.”
Just as demonstrations against racism and police violence have erupted across the country for months, protests against police murders have been regular protests in Wauwatosa, a town of about 48,000 people five miles west of Milwaukee.
The demonstrations were peaceful. Protesters marched through the downtown streets in the pouring rain, chanting the names of other people who were shot by Officer Mensah. In 2016, he shot and killed a man named Jay Anderson Jr. in his car after saying Mr. Anderson reached for a gun. In 2015, Officer Mensah and another Officer fatally shot and killed Antonio Gonzalez, who was brandishing a sword, when confronted by police.
Mr. Chisholm’s decision came the same day an independent investigator issued an 81-page report recommending that Officer Mensah be fired. Investigator Steven M. Biskupic said in his report that Officer Mensah made “inconsistent and misleading” statements about the cases.
In the case of Mr. Cole’s shooting, Mr. Biskupic said that Mr. Cole did not shoot police officers and accidentally shot himself in the arm during the chase.
But when Officer Mensah spoke about the shooting in a radio interview in July, he never corrected the host, who, according to the report, said, “in fact, the suspect ran out of the mall and shot you”.
Keeping Officer Mensah would pose “an exceptional, unjustified and unnecessary risk” to the ministry and the city, said Biskupic, a former federal prosecutor.
Michael Levenson contributed to the coverage.