Wisconsin officer who killed 3 people in 5 years quits the force
Joseph Mensah was cleared of wrongdoing each time, but there have long been calls for the officer to be fired.
A Wisconsin police officer who has shot and killed three people in just five years is resigning from the Wauwatosa Police Department, effective Monday, Nov. 30.
Joseph Mensah was cleared of wrongdoing in each case, however, there have long been calls from the local community to fire him.
The town council reportedly reached a separation agreement Tuesday between its police union, the Wauwatosa Peace Officer’s Association, the city of Wauwatosa and Mensah.
Even Jay-Z’s social justice organization, Team ROC, called for Mensah’s ouster in July of this year. Team ROC, Until Freedom and Gathering for Justice took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calling for District Attorney John Chisholm to prosecute the officer.
The groups also called for Mensah to be de-certified and fired immediately.
“If you fail to prosecute Mensah, you’re doing a disservice to the legacies of Alvin Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson, ignoring the lives of black, brown and LGBTQ citizens in your county and essentially allowing for the possibility of a future catastrophe,” said the ad.
Gonzales was a 29-year-old from Wauwatosa, and Anderson was a 25-year-old from Milwaukee. Cole, only 17 years old, was also from Milwaukee.
Anderson and Cole were Black.
Mensah is also Black.
Gonzales was fatally shot on July 16, 2015. Anderson was killed on June 23, 2016 and Cole on Feb. 2 of this year.
A former federal prosecutor recommended last month that Mensah be fired because the risk he would kill a fourth person was “too great.”
Kimberley Motley, an attorney for the families of those killed by Mensah, told the local CBS affiliate his “resignation is long overdue. While we welcome the news, it is tragic that the Wauwatosa Police Department … failed to address his shortcomings for years. It is time for new leadership in the Wauwatosa Police Department.”
Motley has asked for the city to disclose the details of any financial settlement that may have been reached in Mensah’s resignation.
“Now is the time for all of us to come together and heal,” said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride. “We’ve made substantial progress during 2020, and in the coming year, we’ll continue to focus on positive change for our community.”