While commission holds power, Wauwatosa chief sees no reason to terminate Officer Joseph Mensah

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — A Wisconsin police chief on Monday said he sees no reason why one of his officers who was cleared in the shooting of a Black teen earlier this year should be fired, despite the political pressure to do so.

Joseph Mensah, who is also Black, fatally shot Alvin Cole, 17, on Feb. 2 outside the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Cole was the third person who forced Mensah to use lethal force in the past five years with the Wauwatosa Police Department, Law Officer reported.

Mensah was cleared in the Cole shooting, igniting several days of recent protests. In a 14-page letter, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Cole fled from authorities while carrying a stolen 9mm handgun. He said the teen fired a shot while fleeing and ignored commands to drop the weapon.

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Despite being cleared of wrongdoing, the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission is considering terminating Mensah, Fox News reported.

Former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic was hired by the commission to conduct an independent investigation.

Biskupic recommended Mensah be fired because he (supposedly) poses the risk of killing someone else.

But if it’s justified — as all three shootings have been — does it matter? Actually, the organization should be thrilled that he has the emotional stability to be retained as a crime fighter.

“Joseph Mensah’s been cleared by the district attorney in three different cases and there’s been no reason up until this point and none that I can see that he should be removed from the force,” police Chief Barry Weber said Monday during a virtual news briefing. “He has acted legally and lawfully in all previous actions that I’m aware of.”

Mayor Dennis McBride declined to say where he stands on Mensah’s employment status, according to Fox.

“I’m not a police officer, I’m not a psychologist. I’m a mayor, I’m a lawyer. Those things don’t qualify me to judge (the) fitness of police officers,” McBride said.

Mensah has been cleared by legal authorities in all three shootings. So one has to wonder why Biskupic believes he should be terminated. Is he pandering to political pressure?

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Editor’s note: The titles of our articles tell a brief tale of the horror that Ofcr. Joseph Mensah is experiencing. You can review the stories here:

 

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