Police officer cleared in fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole at Milwaukee mall

A Wisconsin cop will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Alvin Cole, 17, whose death outside a suburban Milwaukee mall sparked waves of unrest this summer and calls for the sacking of the officer.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney on Wednesday said Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah was justified in shooting Cole, who police said was armed during the encounter in a parking lot at The Cheesecake Factory.

Prior to the announcement, schools in Wauwatosa held classes virtually and the town hall and library shut down prematurely, while businesses boarded their windows. Authorities put up fences around the Police Department and the Mayfair Mall, where Cole was killed in February and protesters closed in June.

Governor Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local police, who requested a backup before the ruling.

A crowd of more than 100 gathered outside the Milwaukee County Security Building as Cole’s family and their attorney met with prosecutors. Protesters chanted “Indict Joseph Mensah”, “Arrest the police” and “Say his name: Alvin Cole”. Some supporters were holding signs, including one that said, “You are losing your Mensah job!”

Mayor Dennis McBride told WISN that the city started preparing for Mensah’s impeachment decision in July – ahead of Jacob Blake’s shooting by police on August 23 in Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Trump and Blue Lives Matter supporter, shot and killed two people and injured a third during a protest following Blake’s shooting.

“After Kenosha, it only increased concern,” McBride told the ABC affiliate, referring to the bloodshed 45 miles south. “We’re going to make sure we have people in place to allow peaceful protests to happen, but also to make sure people don’t let their emotions get too high and do things they would regret and the community. would regret.

District Attorney John Chisholm – who justified two more deadly shots by Mensah during the cop’s five years of service – said: “There is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had a real subjective belief that lethal force was necessary and that this belief was objectively reasonable.

“I don’t think the state can refute the self-defense or the defense of others in this case and therefore could not shoulder the burden required to indict Officer Mensah,” Chisholm said in a statement on Wednesday. “With that, I conclude my criminal examination of the case.”

Meanwhile, hours before Chisholm met Cole’s family on Wednesday, former US prosecutor Steven Biskupic released an independent report recommending that Wauwatosa police and the fire commission fire Mensah, claiming the cop would expose the city at an “extraordinary, unjustified and unnecessary risk” for a fourth fatal shot.

The report notes that Mensah violated policy by making “public statements regarding the shootings which are inconsistent and misleading with the facts” as police are prohibited from “publicly discussing the details of an ongoing investigation into the death of a policeman ”.

My little boy, he was supposed to finish high school this year.

Biskupic’s report also shed new light on the moments leading up to Cole’s death on the evening of February 2. According to Biskupic’s report, Cole never shot Mensah; the teenager was carrying a gun and accidentally shot himself in the arm.

On the day of Cole’s death, mall security called police about a disruption inside the mall involving 10 people, one of whom was carrying a gun. Authorities said Cole, a former Vincent High School alumnus in Milwaukee, fled officers, disobeyed orders to drop his gun, and fired first – a claim Cole’s family disputed.

“Cole pulled a handgun out of a fanny pack and the gun fired, apparently accidentally, hitting Cole in the arm,” the Independent report said. “Cole fell to the ground in a crawling position, where he was surrounded by several police officers from Wauwatosa. Cole was ordered to drop the weapon, which was still in his hand.

The report adds: “Unbeknownst to the officers (and possibly Cole himself), Cole’s firearm had become unusable because the magazine was not attached and the bullet in the chamber was fired. . Cole didn’t drop the gun.

Cole was fatally injured seconds after Mensah arrived. “No other Wauwatosa police officer shot Cole during the encounter,” the report continued. “Agent Mensah was at the scene less than 30 seconds before he encountered and shot Cole.”

Wauwatosa patrollers don’t wear body cameras, but the dashcam video showed Cole running around the Cheesecake Factory lot, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The officer got out of the car and ordered, “Drop the gun, drop the gun.”

In the footage, an officer is heard shouting, “Go ashore. Get on the fucking ground ”, before a gunshot rings out. And ten seconds later, an officer fires five times.

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