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'We Need Justice': Wauwatosa March Again Highlights Police Officer Involved In 3 Fatal Shootings

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Chuck Quirmbach
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Outside the Wauwatosa police station, protesters ended Tuesday's night's march by observing a moment of silence. Many raised a fist.

About 200 Black Lives Matters protesters walked miles through drenching rain Tuesday night to have their say outside of the police station in Wauwatosa. Marchers continue to call for the firing of a Wauwatosa officer who has been involved in three fatal police shootings in the last six years.

The march began in dry conditions in the Elmbrook Plaza shopping center at 124th Street and North Avenue. There was an unusual corporate feel as several African American employees of Kohl's Corporation handed out water and pizza. One of the workers, Sherika Oliphant, is a Milwaukee resident and member of Black Professionals Business Resource Group. 

>>Latest NPR & WUWM Protest Coverage

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach
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Sherika Oliphant (center, wearing wristwatch) helps hand out water and food, prior to Tuesday's march.

Oliphant says there's still racial tension between Milwaukee and its mostly white suburbs. But she says peaceful marches can help reduce the tension.

"There's so many people who want to be educated and want to know what's happening. So, to venture off into the suburbs is a very important message,” Oliphant told WUWM.

The racially diverse crowd soon began to march east on North Avenue. Shortly after, the rain came down in buckets. But the marchers kept going to their destination, the Wauwatosa Police Department headquarters on 116th Street.

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach
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One protester prepared for the rain by taping BLM (short for Black Lives Matter) to an umbrella.

There, Taleavia Cole led a chant of "Arrest the police, indict the police.''

Four months ago, a Wauwatosa police officer shot Cole's 17-year-old brother Alvin to death in the parking lot of Mayfair Mall. Police announced that Alvin had a gun and fired first. But it's only come to light in recent weeks that the patrolman who returned the fatal shot is Joseph Mensah.  While on duty, Mensah killed another African American, Jay Anderson, Jr., in 2016, and Mensah and a partner shot to death Antonio Gonzales, a Latino, in 2015. Each time, authorities ruled Mensah acted in self-defense.

The Cole family is meeting with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm on Thursday to discuss Alvin's case. Tuesday night, Alvin's mother, Tracy Cole, asked for prayers of support.

“Because we need justice. Let me not get a good outcome and you're going to see me again and again and again. I will not rest until I see justice for my son,” Cole said.

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach
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Taleavia Cole, sister of Alvin Cole, leads chants outside the Wauwatosa police station.

Chisholm's office says it has been sharing evidence with lawyers for the Cole family. The Wauwatosa Police Department says Mensah is working inside the police station, with no public contact.

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