Demonstrators marched in Wauwatosa, Wis., Wednesday night to protest the decision not to charge a police officer in the killing of a Black 17-year-old youth in February.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah acted in self-defense by shooting Alvin Cole after police responded to a disturbance at a shopping mall. In a 14-page letter addressed to Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber, Chisholm presented details of the investigation into the incident and the reasons for his decision not to charge Mensah.
Chisholm said the investigation found that Cole had a stolen 9mm pistol which he displayed at the Mayfair Mall during an argument with another person. Chisholm said when police arrived and encountered Cole in the parking lot, he ran from officers, discharged the gun, refused to surrender it and was then fired on by Mensah.
“In this case,” concluded Chisholm, “there is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable. I do not believe that the State could disprove self-defense or defense of others in this case and therefore could not meet the burden required to charge Officer Mensah.”