Alvin Cole’s parents are filing a lawsuit against the former officer who shot their son five times – twice while he was kneeling and three times while the Wisconsin teenager was on the ground

The city of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, has been hit by a federal lawsuit alleging the use of excessive force by a former officer that resulted in the death of a minor. The officer in question has shot civilians in the past. Over the course of five years, three men have died after being blown up by the same police officer.

Office Mensah (left), Alvin Cole (right)

On Thursday July 28, Tracy and Albert Cole, the parents of Alvin Cole, the latest person to be shot by former Wauwatosa Police Department officers on February 2, 2020, at the Mayfair Shopping Center at 2500 North Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa , Wisconsin, filed an excessive violence lawsuit on behalf of the boy.

It is also alleged that the boy’s 14th Amendment protected civil rights were violated when officers did not provide him with the same protections from harm and were not properly trained to handle stressful confrontations with civilians, resulting in loss of life .

Atlanta Black Star reviewed the complaint and found that the city is named; former officer, Joseph Mensah; the troupe’s ex-chief Barry Weber; and two insurance companies as defendants.

Probate attorney Kimberley Motley is asking the court to award her clients an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the department under Weber’s leadership misprepared officers to serve in a law enforcement capacity. Alongside criticism of the training, allegations have been made that the former boss failed to adequately monitor or discipline wayward officers who flouted department protocol or policies.

These facts made the filing of the civil lawsuit paramount, she claims.

Motley said, “We think these lawsuits are very important in ensuring that Joseph Mensah, former Police Commissioner Barry Weber and the City of Wauwatosa are all held accountable for the death of Alvin Cole.”

“This is an important step in the fight for accountability and for the rights of Alvin Cole’s family and his right to life,” she continued.

In the court document, Motley called Mensah “one of the deadliest police officers in American history” who, during his first four years and seven months as a police officer, between July 16, 2015 and February 2, 2020, “killed three out of three young black men.” various incidents.”

She singled out Jay Anderson Jr. (d. 2016) and Antonio Gonzales (d. 2015), two other men fatally shot by Mensah, and emphasized a pattern within the WPD that violates the civil rights of people they serve , due to the color of their skin hurt their skin.

The lawsuit “tells the story of Joseph Mensah’s third victim and a Wauwatosa policing culture that championed his lifelong indifference, callousness to killings, and racially discriminatory policing of black people,” and alleges that the department did not conduct thorough background checks or psychological evaluations conducted to see if an officer is fit for duty or “coping with high stress situations”.

She claims Mensah wasn’t – but there were no systems in place to make that determination.

Colorfully chronicles the trial incidents of overt racial prejudice from 1919 to the present and claims that as recently as the summer of 2020, “Documents were distributed by ‘whites of Wauwatosa’ saying, ‘Together we can keep Wauwatosa white. Together we can protect Wauwatosa.”

Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride said in a prepared statement the presiding judge will review the evidence and side with the city.

“The incident on which this lawsuit is based was traumatic,” McBride wrote. “Nevertheless, we believe that this case will be decided for the city based on all the facts of the case, which have been established in numerous investigations and the fact that we have obtained positive results in related civil lawsuits.”

Mensah, a black man like his victims, has never been criminally charged in any of the above deaths (including Cole’s). After investigating the deaths, District Attorney John Chisholm said the officer acted in self-defense when he shot the young men.

Still, an independent investigator reviewing the same data recommended firing Mensah after Cole’s death.

Although the officer responsible for the shootings never received strict departmental discipline, he was placed on administrative leave at times. He left the WPD to take a job as a detective in the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department. He joined the agency in January 2021, almost a year after Cole’s death.

On the day Cole was shot, Mensah was sent to the mall after there was a report of people at the mall arguing. When he arrived, other mall officers and security guards gave chase to Cole and other suspects.

The lawsuit names officers Shamsi, Schleis, Johnson and Olson as witnesses and says they were present throughout the chase, which spanned the Mayfair shopping mall parking lot.

“Cole, exiting the mall at the east end of the building through Nordstrom’s, was chased by police and ran over 1/3 mile toward the parking lot south of the Cheesecake Factory,” the filing reads.

It also said the teenager accidentally shot himself in the forearm while walking near the Cheesecake Factory. When police officers told him to drop the gun, he fell to his knees and allegedly dropped his gun.

According to Motley’s account, “Cole received conflicting orders to ‘drop his gun’ and ‘throw his gun’ from officers Olson and Shamsi.

Despite the confusion, the lawsuit alleges that two officers at the scene of the incident “controlled the situation because they knew the use of deadly force was unwarranted.”

As soon as he knelt, the two officers stood over him. Olson stood to Cole’s right and Shamsi stood behind him.

According to the allegation, Mensah ran over to the three, asked no questions, and opened fire on the boy, shooting him five times. Twice while kneeling and three times while lying on the floor.

It also says evidence shows one of his colleagues yelled at him to stop – but it was too late.

A total of 10 seconds elapsed between Cole’s accidental self-inflicted shot, which drained his gun, and Mensah’s firing. The lawyer states: “The first shot is heard at 1:22 [on a recording]while the following shots can be heard at 1:32.”

A former US Attorney released a report that said none of the other officers fired their guns. It also revealed that Cole had a stolen gun and when Mensah shot him it was broken. The federal prosecutor also said officers were unaware that the teen’s gun was inoperable.

There is controversy over whether Cole was still holding the gun. Attorney says he didn’t, but US attorney says it was still in his hand when he was killed,

Wauwatosa police were not using body cameras at the time of the shooting, making the puzzle difficult to piece together. However, parts of it were picked up by dashboard cameras, including the sound of gunfire.

Much of the evidence of the shooting will be witness testimony, as well as splattered footage and audio captured by the officer’s squad car’s dashboard cameras. These cameras recorded the shots; the one who hurt the boy and the one who ended his life.

Aside from possessing an illegal firearm, it has never been determined if Cole committed a crime.

Cole was 17 years old at the time of his death. Alvin Cole’s parents are filing a lawsuit against the former officer who shot their son five times – twice while he was kneeling and three times while the Wisconsin teenager was on the ground

James Brien

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