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Wauwatosa Police And Fire Commission Meets, Doesn't Discuss Officer Mensah's Contract

Chuck Quirmbach
Wauwatosa Police Department headquarters.

The Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission held a regular meeting on Wednesday night.

Some people expected the commission to take up whether to terminate the contract of Police Officer Joseph Mensah — who has shot and killed three people in the line of duty on separate occasions. A recent independent investigation by former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic recommended Mensah be fired.

But during the short session, it was clear commissioners wouldn’t take up the issue Wednesday.

"Because this meeting is posted as a regular meeting, we've included the standard items that are part of our monthly meeting. And in order to comply with the open meeting laws, we cannot deviate or include any other comments or discussion on any other issues that are not posted — including any disciplinary issues or pending charges against Officer Mensah," President of the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission Dominic Leone said.

This was the first meeting since Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s decision not to charge Mensah in the February shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole.

Cole had a gun as he fled officers outside Mayfair Mall, and Chisholm said he wouldn’t be able to disprove Mensah was acting in self-defense when he shot Cole.

But people who think Mensah should be off the force are eager for the commission to take up the issue.

Wednesday night, some family members of the three people who died at Mensah’s hand waited outside city hall during the Police and Fire Commission meeting.

Attorney Kim Motley who represents the families of Cole, Jay Anderson Jr., and Antonio Gonzales also was there.

“Every single day that they keep this officer on the force, or that they continue to not deal with this, is one more day that the entire Wauwatosa Police Department is being besmirched, frankly. And we believe that there’s enough evidence to support the fact, to justify, that officer Mensah should be terminated from his employment," Motley said.

Mensah told investigators he shot at Cole “out of fear for his life.”

The Police and Fire commission is expected to discuss the report calling for Mensah’s firing in the near future.

Maayan is a WUWM news reporter.
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