As Wauwatosa Protests Ease, One Resident Worries About 'Heavy-Handed' Law Enforcement Response

Oct 10, 2020

More Wauwatosa residents are expressing concern about excessive law enforcement presence as a fourth night of protests related to Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah's shooting of Milwaukee teen Alvin Cole took place Saturday night.

Wauwatosa police report only a few arrests of people who refused to leave the lawn outside Wauwatosa City Hall at roughly 8 p.m., when police and Wisconsin National Guard troops in about a dozen armored vehicles approached the intersection of 76th Street and North Avenue.

About 50 protesters stand at the intersection of 76th Street and North Avenue.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

Most of the other approximately 150 people who had been on hand had marched east toward Milwaukee about 20 minutes prior. Wauwatosa currently has a 7 p.m. curfew.

Two groups of protesters had met at Wauwatosa City Hall just after 7 p.m. — a group that had marched or driven cars west along North Avenue and about 100 people who had begun gathering outside the city hall/library complex at 4:30 p.m.

A protester who was later taken into custody uses her smartphone to record video of law enforcement.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

A member of the latter group, a white woman who gave her name as Bridget, said she's a leader of Tosa Moms Tackling Racism. Bridget said she watched National Guard members in riot gear approach Alvin Cole's mother, Tracy, on Thursday night, when Tracy Cole was trying to speak to the crowd.

"So yes, the response has been way too heavy-handed," Bridget said.

>>Mother, Sisters Of Alvin Cole Arrested At Protest

Law enforcement takes the woman into custody Saturday night in Wauwatosa.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

A white male Wauwatosa resident, who gave his name as Patrick, said, "I'm sick and tired of my tax dollars being spent to have an army in my city for absolutely no reason."

The protests stem from a decision announced Wednesday by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to not file criminal charges against Officer Mensah for the February shooting of Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall. Mensah has also been involved in two other officer-involved shootings since 2015. Those were ruled self-defense.