Family members of a Black teen killed by a Wisconsin police officer were arrested after police allege they were driving recklessly during a protest and refused officers’ demands.

Alvin Cole’s mother, Tracy Cole, and his sisters, Taleavia and Tristiana Cole, were arrested Thursday night during the demonstration, their attorney Kimberley Motley told the Associated Press.

Demonstrators have gathered in downtown Wauwatosa over three consecutive nights in protest after prosecutors decided not to charge officer Joseph Mensah, who is Black, in Alvin Cole’s death.


The 17-year-old was shot during a foot chase outside a Wauwatosa mall in February.

Motley told the outlet that members of the Cole family were protesting peacefully on Thursday when police allegedly dragged them from their vehicles.

They were reportedly arrested without reason, and Motley said no family members have been cited or charged.

“We all deserve better,” she said. “And we’re entitled to better under the law of the United States.”

According to Wauwatosa police, officers discovered a group of vehicles out after the 7 p.m. curfew.

The vehicles were traveling across all lanes of traffic, and officers used spike strips to stop them and protect other drivers, police said in a Friday statement.

“While most of these people cooperated when told they were under arrest, some refused to exit their vehicles,” police said in the statement. “Law enforcement officers forcibly removed those who refused to exit in order to effectuate the arrests. Several more people were arrested during this encounter.”

Incident summary from October 8, 2020 On the evening of Thursday, October 8, the Wauwatosa Police Department, with...

Posted by Wauwatosa Police Department on Friday, October 9, 2020

Police later said that the Cole family was among those arrested. Tracy and Tristiana Cole reported “minor injuries” and were taken to a hospital but officials did not provide any more details on their injuries.

The family’s lawyer said Tracy Cole, 48, was treated at a hospital for injuries on her arm and forehead. She initially complained that her arm might be broken, but Motley clarified that is was not.

Tristiana Cole was also hospitalized with unknown injuries, and Motley tweeted that they have since been released. 

Motley told the AP that the official police statement is not true, noting how the family has not been cited or charged.


She called the police account a “pathetic attempt to justify the abuse and unlawful arrest of members of the Cole family.”

“Since when do people get dragged and beaten up for a traffic violation,” she told the outlet. “This is America. Shame on them.”

Wauwatosa police said reports will be made available following an investigation.

The protests erupted this week after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, who is white, cleared Mensah of any criminal wrongdoing in Alvin Cole’s death.

His report said the officer could successfully argue he fired the shot at the teenager in self-defense, noting that officers said Cole pointed a gun at officers and refused to drop it.

According to the AP, Mensah was suspended in July by the city’s police commission. Former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic was asked to review the Cole case and recommended Mensah be fired on Wednesday. 


Cole was the third person killed by Mensah while on the job since the officer joined the department in 2015.

The officer shot Antonio Gonzales in 2015 after police said Gonzales refused to drop a sword. He shot Jay Anderson Jr. one year later, claiming he saw a gun on the passenger seat of a car and thought Anderson was reaching for it

He was previously cleared of any wrongdoing in each case, but Biskupic noted in his report that the risk of another shooting was too great with Mensah on the force.

Updated 11:45 p.m.