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Dozens march in Wauwatosa Sunday after police officer shoots woman

Posted at 10:56 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 08:15:47-05

WAUWATOSA  — Dozens marched through Wauwatosa Sunday afternoon following an officer-involved shooting that sent a 35-year-old woman to the hospital Thursday.

Wauwatosa Police say one of its officers shot a woman after she allegedly attacked another woman and hit the officer's windshield with a wooden post. Police say the woman did not follow the officer's commands and advanced on the officer with the post.

At last check, police say the 35-year-old woman is in stable condition and recovering in the hospital.

Police say the officer has nine months experience with Wauwatosa Police and is placed on administrative leave. West Allis Police is the leading the investigation into the shooting.

"Any time there is an officer involved shooting, we understand the community has many concerns. No police officer wants this to happen," Wauwatosa Police wrote in a media release Friday.

Joe Kraynick helps lead Indivisible Tosa, an activist group that helped organize Sunday's march.

He said he woke up to the news of the officer-involved shooting Friday.

"My stomach just sunk," said Kraynick said. "I can’t believe this is happening again."

John Larry is a member of committee in Wauwatosa to address policing and systemic inequities. He joined the march Sunday afternoon and said he's feeling "disheartened" by the city's leadership following Thursday's officer-involved shooting.

"Because there's a lot of talk about police reform and equities and disparities being addressed for black and brown people," Larry said. "But as we seen again, another black woman, another black person, ended up in the hospital due to a gunshot wound from the Wauwatosa Police Department."

Over the last five years Wauwatosa witnessed three deadly shootings at the hands of the same police officer, who has since resigned from the force. Prosecutors declined to bring charges in each of the shooting deaths.

Some people marching expressed their outrage to Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride, who said he showed up to listen.

Some called for the Mayor to fire Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber, but McBride said that falls under the authority of the police and fire commission.

"You are failing them," one woman said to the Mayor. " You are the mayor, there’s no excuse for this."

"I respect you being out here, and I hope you march with us," one man said to the Mayor.

McBride said a group from Washington D.C. is commissioning a study to review the city's police practices, and he said he's listening to everyone he can.

"We're looking at a group here that has important messages but not the only messages, and there are a lot other people who are speaking as well, too," McBride said. "I have to represent everybody in Wauwatosa."

Larry says listening might not be enough.

"We will always walk around Tosa in fear of am I going to be the next Antonio Gonzales, am I the next Jay Anderson Jr., am I going to be the next Alvin Cole, am I the next black female that was shot a couple days here at this site," Larry said. "And so there’s not any hopefulness that is gained from the Mayor’s presence, there still continues to be hopelessness."

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