Complaint Filed In Wauwatosa Over Police Shootings Of Three Men

Jun 18, 2020

Supporters and relatives of three men shot to death by a Wauwatosa police officer in the last six years gathered in the entrance area to the Wauwatosa police station for nearly an hour Thursday afternoon. They were there as attorneys for the families of Alvin Cole, fatally shot in February, and Jay Anderson, Jr., fatally shot in 2016, filed a complaint against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. Mensah shot the two African American men as a well as a Latino man, Antonio Gonzales, in 2015.

The complaint also names Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber. Weber has been chief for about 30 years.

A similar document was delivered to the office of Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride. An aide told the attorneys and protesters there that McBride was not available, but would be willing to meet later.

At the police station, an officer told the group that Weber also was not available, but that the families and their attorneys should call and set up an appointment.

Some of the protesters became irate and threatened to remain inside the lobby until Weber came to see them. The crowd chanted anti-police slogans. Eventually they left to march to a parking lot at Mayfair Mall, where Cole died.

Many protesters stayed in the lobby of the Wauwatosa police station, after being told Police Chief Barry Weber was not available.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

The attorneys also filed an open records request for the full video footage of the night Cole was shot, as well as Mensah's personnel file, any complaints against Weber, and information about various Wauwatosa police procedures.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm met with the Cole family last week to update them on a review of the shooting being conducted by the Milwaukee Police Department. Authorities ruled that Mensah acted in self-defense during the Anderson and Gonzales shootings.

Wauwatosa police say Mensah is currently on desk duty, and has no interaction with the public.

An attorney for the Coles and Andersons, Kimberly Motley, said, "We need to understand what the truth is, and I think this community needs to understand more about Officer Mensah."

The mother of Jay Anderson, Jr., Linda Anderson, said her son's case will always remain important "until we can get Chief Weber off the force and Joseph Mensah in jail."