A Wisconsin policeman who shot dead an armed black teenager in a shopping mall parking lot in February and, since 2015, killed two other men while on duty, agreed to resign, announced Tuesday evening the government of Wauwatosa.
Joseph Mensah, a black policeman from the Wauwatosa Police Department, agreed to resign on November 30 as part of a “separation agreement” with the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association, the Police Union and the Council Common, the governing body of Wauwatosa, a town about five miles west of Milwaukee.
The deal was approved by the board on Tuesday evening.
“The time has come for all of us to come together and heal,” Mayor Dennis McBride said in a statement. “We made substantial progress in 2020 and, over the coming year, we will continue to focus on making positive changes for our community.”
Terms of the contract were not disclosed. A police department spokeswoman and an attorney for Constable Mensah did not immediately return messages asking for comment.
Constable Mensah shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole on February 2 after the teenager refused to put down a gun and fled from police after a confrontation at a shopping center, according to John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor, who issued a 14- page letter last month saying he would not prosecute Agent Mensah.
“In this case, there is sufficient evidence that Constable Mensah had a real subjective belief that lethal force was necessary and that this belief was objectively reasonable,” Mr Chisholm said in the letter, which detailed his findings to Chief. City Police Officer Barry Weber. .
Kimberley Motley, an attorney for Mr Cole’s family, said on Wednesday she had filed a public record request with the city to determine the terms of the separation.
“We certainly welcome the fact that Joseph Mensah will no longer be part of the police force,” she said. “He should have been fired.
Ms Motley said Chief Weber had failed to keep the town’s residents safe by keeping Agent Mensah in the force for so many years.
“If Chief Weber had properly supervised and fired him years ago, Alvin Cole would be alive today,” she said.
District Attorney Mr Chisholm said in October that officers said Cole pointed the gun at police at some point during the February confrontation and fired with the gun. weapon while fleeing.
Mr Chisholm’s decision came on the same day that an independent investigator released an 81-page report recommending the dismissal of Agent Mensah. Investigator Steven M. Biskupic said in his report that Constable Mensah made “inconsistent and misleading” statements about fatal shootings.
In the case of Mr. Cole’s shooting, Mr. Biskupic testified that Mr. Cole did not shoot the police during the chase and accidentally shot himself in the arm.
But when Officer Mensah spoke in a radio interview in July about the shooting, he never corrected a host who said, “Actually, the suspect ran away from the mall and shot. on you, ”according to the report.
Keeping Agent Mensah in the force would create “an extraordinary, unwarranted and unnecessary risk” for the ministry and the city, wrote Biskupic, a former federal prosecutor.
On October 8, Mr Cole’s mother, Tracy Cole, was handcuffed after being pulled over in her car by police enforcing a curfew designed to quash the protests, Ms Motley said.
In video of the arrest posted to Facebook, she can be heard saying, “Don’t touch me” and identifying herself as Mr. Cole’s mother as officers threaten to arrest her and use a Taser on her.
“I can’t breathe,” she said. “I can’t believe you all did this to me.
Ms Motley said Ms Cole, who said she was punched in the head by one of the officers, was hospitalized after the confrontation.
Before the public prosecutor’s announcement, protesters had embarked on peaceful protests, with people marching through the streets of the city’s inner city in the pouring rain and chanting the names of others shot dead by the Agent Mensah.
In 2016, he shot a man named Jay Anderson Jr. in his car after he said Mr. Anderson grabbed a gun. In 2015, Constable Mensah and another police officer shot and killed Antonio Gonzalez, who was wielding a sword when confronted by police.
Wauwatosa officials said on Tuesday the town had asked the police and the fire commission to meet “as soon as possible” to dismiss the outstanding charges against Agent Mensah as he would soon be no longer an employee.
The statement did not describe what these charges were. Ms Motley said the word ‘charges’ referred to complaints she had made against Constable Mensah that accused him of failing to follow proper procedure and using excessive force in the three fatal shootings.
She said the complaints would have led to a public hearing.
Ms Motley said the family will continue to press for more information from the police department as to why Constable Mensah has been in the force for so long.
She added: “This fight is far from over.”