No charges against Mensah for killing of 17-year-old

By: - October 7, 2020 6:51 pm
A screen shot of Joseph Mensah's Go Fund Me page. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

A screen shot of Joseph Mensah’s Go Fund Me page. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah will not face charges for shooting and killing 17-year-old Alvin Cole in February, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Cole was the third person killed by Mensah in five years. 

“In this case, there is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable. I do not believe that the State could disprove self-defense or defense of others in this case and therefore could not meet the burden required to charge Officer Mensah,” District Attorney John Chisholm wrote of his decision.

Mensah is currently suspended from the department and earlier on Wednesday an independent investigator had recommended to the city’s Police and Fire Commission that Mensah be fired because he poses an “unnecessary risk” to the department. \

No other Wauwatosa officer has been involved in more than one shooting in the last decade, the independent report, written by former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, found. 

The report said that if Mensah was permitted to return to status as a fully active member of the police force, a fourth shooting is likely to happen, a concern shared by Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber, the report states.

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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.