Wauwatosa police shooting rekindles tensions in suburb

    A Wauwatosa police squad at the scene of the departments December 10th, 2020 shooting. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    A Wauwatosa police squad at the scene of the departments December 10th, 2020 shooting. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    A fresh officer-involved-shooting in Wauwatosa drew questions and protest overnight on Dec. 10. Right in the heart of the Wauwatosa village, which is sometimes called the city’s downtown area, the shooting involved a woman who was later taken to the hospital.

    Wauwatosa officers responded to a reported fight between two women. Police stated that one of the women was “violently attacking” the other, and after officers responded, one of the women was shot by police. On Friday, Mayor Dennis McBride stated the woman is in stable condition and that the West Allis Police Department is investigating the incident. TMJ4 reported that the Milwaukee Area Investigative Team (MAIT) is conducting an investigation.

    An officer looks on at a group of 15 people with a tear gas grenade launcher at the ready. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    An officer looks on at a group of 15 people with a tear gas grenade launcher at the ready. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    Numerous Wauwatosa police squads remained on the scene of the shooting for hours. Wauwatosa officers were also among the first to freeze the scene until the lead investigating agency arrived.

    As the police taped off the scene, a group of about 15-25 protesters began to gather. They chanted and demanded information about  the incident from officers, who mostly remained silent. Numerous agencies, including the Milwaukee County sheriff and state patrol, were called in to help with crowd control, even though the group remained small. Some of the officers had tear gas grenade launchers and rubber bullet guns at the ready. Others formed a line behind a thin barrier of crime scene  caution tape. During the exchange with the officers, two protesters reported being physically shoved and accosted by officers, though no arrests were made. The group eventually left around 2:00 a.m.

    A group of protesters look on at a growing line of State Patrol and other officers at the scene. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    A group of protesters look on at a growing line of State Patrol and other officers at the scene. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    The shooting comes in the wake of the resignation of former Wauwatosa officer Joseph Mensah, who was involved in three fatal shootings over a five-year period. Mensah was the only WPD officer to kill anyone over the past seven years. Although he has left WPD, the possibility that he may get a job as an officer at another department bothers some residents.Wauwatosa is still reeling from the Mayfair Mall mass shooting which occurred last month.

    Isiah Holmes
    Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, and other outlets.