“I do not believe that in this case the state could refute self-defense or the defense of others and therefore could not bear the burden of indicting Officer Mensah. That concludes my criminal investigation,” Chisholm wrote of his decision.
Kim Motley, an attorney for Cole’s family, told CNN the family learned of the decision at a meeting with Chisholm on Wednesday and said the prosecutor did not claim that Cole̵
“We have always maintained that Officer Joseph Mensah should be held accountable for his actions, and unfortunately today we disagree with Chisholm’s assessment of what he saw,” the lawyer told reporters on Wednesday.
Weber called Cole’s death a tragedy in a statement Wednesday, saying the department “sympathizes with his family as they and others continue to mourn the loss of their loved one.”
“The judicial administration requires a legal and targeted review of the facts. This was done in this case,” said Weber. “Police officers have found themselves in difficult situations where a decision has to be made in a split second.”
Family wants officer fired
Motley said she represents Cole’s family and the families of two other people who she said were killed by Mensah. The families are demanding that Mensah be dismissed and charged in all three cases, Motley said.
All three families have filed formal complaints against Mensah over incidents in Wauwatosa, Motley said.
Motley said Mensah should never have been a cop.
“He’s still being paid. He’s being suspended for pay and has to be removed from his position as an officer immediately,” she said. “We don’t have to wait for a hearing. It can happen today, right now.”
Mensah was on administrative lockdown pending a decision by the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission, Weber said.
CNN has approached the county law firm and Mensah attorney for additional comments.
Earlier Wednesday, a former US attorney hired by the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission as an independent investigator found Mensah to be unfit for action and recommended his resignation. Motley shared the investigator’s report with CNN.
“The risk and consequent consequences of a fourth shooting by this officer for the Wauwatosa Police Department and the city of Wauwatosa are too great for this commission to determine otherwise,” wrote Steven Biskupic in his report.
City officials have imposed a curfew in Wauwatosa to await possible protests following the announcement in Cole’s case. The curfew starts on Wednesday between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. and ends on Monday morning.
“It is very important to note that the City of Wauwatosa recognizes the importance of peaceful protest and its role in the advancement of society. We must balance this with our responsibility to ensure that our community, lives and property are protected.” said the city in a statement.
Protesters gathered in downtown Milwaukee on Wednesday and waited to see whether Mensah would be prosecuted. Wauwatosa is a suburb of Milwaukee west of the city.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers deployed the Wisconsin National Guard to Wauwatosa after “officials there sought Guard assistance to help ensure public safety,” a Wisconsin National Guard statement said.
The Wauwatosa Police Department tweeted on Wednesday that the police were ready for any protests in the city.
“Our police and other city services are fully prepared to protect the lives and property of all residents and businesses. Please respect the rights of all citizens and help keep our community safe and orderly,” tweeted the Agency.
CNN’s Carma Hassan contributed to this report.