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Wisconsin National Guard concludes deployment to Wauwatosa following protests

Members of the National Guard during protests in Wauwatosa.
Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 17:15:38-04

WAUWATOSA — The Wisconsin National Guard has concluded its operation in Wauwatosa, after Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Guard to assist local law enforcement with protests over the decision to not charge Officer Joseph Mensah in the fatal shooting of Alvin Cole.

The Guard deployed to the Wauwatosa area on Oct. 6, the day before the Milwaukee County District Attorney announced his decision to not charge Officer Mensah. Protests over the decision erupted on Oct. 7, and continued throughout the week and into the weekend.

Tensions peaked on Oct. 8, when Alvin Cole's family was among 24 protesters who were arrested by local law enforcement in Wauwatosa. Authorities maintain members of the National Guard did not make any arrests.

Members of the National Guard during protests in Wauwatosa.
Members of the National Guard during protests in Wauwatosa.

The night of Oct. 9 saw the largest numbers of protesters gathered, near the Wauwatosa City Hall. Police say tear gas was deployed against the crowd after people threw bottles at law enforcement officers.

Since then, the protests have been largely peaceful, the exception being Tuesday night, when officers and protesters clashed. A bicyclist was arrested during the brawl, according to social media videos and police.

The Guard says its members are ready to assist Wauwatosa police or any community "if future needs arise."

“We’re your neighbors, friends, and co-workers who live, work, and raise our families in these same Wisconsin communities, and our troops wear the uniform because they care deeply about our communities, our state, and our country," Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, said in a statement Wednesday.

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