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Wauwatosa Common Council asks for city officials to 'address employment' of officer who killed teenager

Wauwatosa Police
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 13:17:23-04

WAUWATOSA — The Wauwatosa Common Council is asking for city officials to address the employment of an officer who shot and killed a Tosa teenager in February.

The council met in a closed session on July 14 and to discuss "potential litigation strategies related to the Wauwatosa Police Department" in regards to the employment of Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot a teen in the Mayfair Mall parking lot back in February.

"The City of Wauwatosa recognized the community trauma regarding police officer-involved deaths...there are strongly held differences of opinion within the community as to what should be done. Doing nothing is not an option," the council said in a statement.

"Each individual deserves due process under the law. There are legal limitations on what actions the City can take. It is imperative, however, for the interests of all parties that the City facilitate the transition of Officer Joseph Mensah from employment by the Wauwatosa Police Department," said the council.

A virtual hearing is also being held Wednesday by the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission to discuss the possibility of a third-party investigation into the shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole. Mensah was also the focus of two other officer-involved shootings in the past five years.

On Feb. 2, Wauwatosa police said Cole had fired a weapon at officers first, before officers returned fire. Police say more than one officer told Cole to put the gun down before one of the officers returned fire. Police say they performed CPR on Cole, but he later died at the hospital.

Mensah remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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