Updated Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. CT
State Rep. David Bowen was with protesters outside Officer Joseph Mensah’s home on Saturday and says Mensah came out of his house aggressively, “with the goal to provoke peaceful protesters and incite violence.”
Bowen describes Mensah as “spraying pepper spray into the crowd, yelling & inviting protesters to fight him, taking his big dog out to potentially attack people.” Bowen says no one tried to kill Mensah or his girlfriend, enter his home or shoot a gun. Instead, Bowen asserts that Mensah engaged with a protester and pulled the trigger on the protester’s firearm.
Bowen calls the “victim narrative” put forth by Mensah and the Wauwatosa Police Department inaccurate and irresponsible.
My statement on the incident involving Joseph Mensah and protestors in Wauwatosa this weekend: pic.twitter.com/StwDyUCWI4
— Rep. David F. Bowen (@DavidFBowen) August 10, 2020
The Wauwatosa Police Department issued a statement indicating it has seen Rep. Bowen’s statement, and “the facts do not support his comments. The investigation remains open and ongoing. We anticipate releasing more information once it is completed.”
The department had issued a statement earlier in the day indicating that the Police Chief Barry Weber and city staff met to discuss the incidents over the weekend and that “steps have been taken to ensure the safety of Officer Mensah and the City of Wauwatosa community,” and that this on-going investigation is urgent and a priority to the Wauwatosa Police Department.”
Police in Wauwatosa are investigating claims made by Officer Joseph Mensah that violent protests took place outside his home. Mensah shot and killed three people in the line of duty during the last five years.
Police said in a release that 50 to 60 protesters vandalized Mensah's home just after 8 p.m. Saturday. Mensah was physically assaulted while trying to talk with the group, according to the release.
Police said an armed protester also fired a shotgun into the home.
According to WTMJ, Mensah said in a Facebook post that protesters “tried to kill me.” Mensah said he was unarmed, and children were inside the home that he was trying to defend. “The irony in all of this is that they chanted Black Lives Matter the entire time, but had zero regard for any of the black children that live there or me, a black man.”
Police are investigating.
Mensah was suspended in July after a unanimous vote by the Wauwatosa police and fire commission. The vote came one day after the Common Council passed a resolution calling for Mensah's removal.
The commission approved hiring a third-party investigator to look into a complaint against Mensah by the family of Jay Anderson Jr. who was killed by the officer in 2016.
The fatal shootings of Anderson Jr. and Antonio Gonzales in 2015 have been determined to be justified self-defense by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. That office is still investigating the shooting death of Alvin Cole in February.