Police officer in fatal shooting of Alvin Cole won't be charged; Wisconsin governor activates National Guard

Police officer in fatal shooting of Alvin Cole won't be charged; Wisconsin governor activates National Guard
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Wauwatosa, Wis., police officer Joseph Mensah will not be charged in the fatal February shooting of Black teenager Alvin Cole, the Milwaukee County District Attorney announced Wednesday as Gov. Tony EversTony EversWisconsin Supreme Court rules against restaurant, bar capacity limits Trump's early endorsements reveal GOP rift Biden rescinds Trump-approved Medicaid work requirements in Michigan, Wisconsin MORE (D) activated the National Guard in the state to assist with potential protests over the decision.

Cole, 17, was shot outside of a Wauwatosa mall by Mensah, who was responding to a call about a man with a gun inside the building. Police have said that Cole shot at Mensah, who is also Black, before the officer shot at the young man. 

Cole's family has disputed this account and called for Mensah to be fired.


"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. With this I conclude my criminal review of the matter," district attorney John Chisholm said in a statement obtained by local media outlets.

Evers earlier told reporters he called up the National Guard as a preemptive move to ensure peaceful protests, saying at the time he did know what the call on charges would be.

He made a similar move in August after Jacob Blake was shot by a Kenosha police officer. The days of protests that occurred afterward caused an estimated $50 million in damages, affecting nearly 100 downtown Kenosha businesses.

Mensah had previously shot and killed two other people in the past five years and was cleared of any wrongdoing in both cases. In 2015, he shot Antonio Gonzalez eight times after police say he refused to drop a sword, and in 2016 he shot Jay Anderson Jr. as he was sleeping in his car, saying that Anderson had reached for a handgun in the vehicle.

Mensah has been suspended with pay from the Wauwatosa Police Department.

Kimberly Motley, an attorney representing the Cole family, had previously shared recommendations from an independent investigation performed by former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic that called for Mensah's ouster.

"If a fourth shooting by Officer Mensah were to take place, the public’s confidence in the Wauwatosa Police Department would be significantly eroded,” Biskupic wrote in his report.

Biskupic also noted that even a single officer-involved shooting is unusual in a town as small as Wauwatosa, which was a population of about 48,000.