Wauwatosa, WI – Black Lives Matter protesters vandalized a black Wauwatosa police officer’s girlfriend’s home and fired shots at the officer on Saturday night in a terrifying scene that was captured on video (video below).
Wauwatosa police said about 60 protesters showed up at a home belonging to the girlfriend of Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, CNN reported.
The girlfriend’s children were in the home when the attack occurred.
Officer Mensah was recently suspended after the family of a man killed in a justified officer-involved shooting demanded the investigation be re-opened because the same officer had just fatally shot another armed suspect.
The officer has been the shooter in three officer-involved shootings in the past five years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ruled that the fatal shooting of Anderson and the fatal shooting of Antonio Gonzalez in 2015 were both justified self-defense.
The third officer-involved shooting resulted in the death of Alvin Cole in February and is still under investigation, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Officer Mensah was already on administrative leave while that shooting was investigated when the Anderson’s filed their new complaint, as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, WPR reported.
The five-year veteran of the Wauwatosa police force, who is black, has been the focus of Black Lives Matter protests in Milwaukee for the two months.
But on Aug. 8, members of a violent mob made an attempt on his life.
“Last night, protesters came to my girlfriend’s house while I was there, and tried to kill me,” Officer Mensah posted on Facebook on Sunday morning. “I was unarmed and tried to defend my property and the property of my girlfriend. We were both assaulted, punched, and ultimately shot at several times. A shotgun round missed me by inches. Not once did I ever swing back or reciprocate any the hate that was being directed at me.”
“I am all for peaceful protests, even against me, but this was anything but peaceful,” the officer continued. “They threw toilet paper in her trees, broke her windows, and again, shot at both of us as they were trying to kill me. There are children that live there [and they] knew that. The irony in all of this is that they chanted Black Lives Matter the entire time, but had zero regard for any of the black children that live there or me, a black man.”
Police said that after protesters began vandalizing his girlfriend’s home, Officer Mensah attempted to talk to them, CNN reported.
He was assaulted by multiple individuals before he escaped back into the home.
Just as he got inside the house, someone in the angry mob fired a shotgun at the back door behind him, CNN reported.
Multiple police agencies responded to the scene to help break up the mob attack.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride told reporters on Sunday that he intended “to ensure that Officer Mensah is fully protected,” WTMJ reported.
“The City of Wauwatosa has always supported and protected the right to peaceful protest. Last night’s event was not a peaceful protest; it was criminal behavior. If the perpetrators of this criminal behavior are identified, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law,” McBride said in a statement.
But the president of the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association (WPOA) laid the blame for the attempt on Officer Mensah’s life at the feet of city leadership, including McBride.
“The mayor’s cowardice and lack of leadership has led to the current situation in Wauwatosa,” Wauwatosa Police Detective John Milotzky, present of the WPOA, told The Police Tribune.
“The mayor has painted a target on Officer Mensah and the mayor hasn’t been truthful about how they’ve interfered with his due process,” Det. Milotzky said.
He explained that the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission (PFC) who is re-investigating the previously-closed Anderson case is supposed to operate as an independent body, free of influence from elected officials.
But the WPOA said in a press release on July 30 that members of the Common Council and the mayor have exerted pressure on the PFC and signed a resolution calling for the city administrator and police chief to fire Officer Mensah.
Det. Milotzky told The Police Tribune that local politicians created the problem when they caved to protester demands and agreed to yet another investigation into the 2016 Anderson shooting that had already been ruled justified by multiple investigations.
“This third investigation,” the detective said, referring to the Alvin Cole shooting, “we have confidence in the district attorney. It is our own city and the PFC that we’re worried about – the complaint is a 2016 shooting that was cleared four years ago. Even though it was cleared four years ago, the politicians caved to pressure and agreed to do yet another independent investigation.”
He said the Common Council had recently created a new ad hoc committee on policing and systemic inequities without any public notification or information about the criteria and selection process for committee members.
Det. Milotzky told The Police Tribune that the chair and vice chair of the committee are members of The People’s Revolution, one of the groups that has organized violent protests in the area.
He also pointed out that two members of the committee are Milwaukee residents who don’t even live in Wauwatosa, and another is Wauwatosa Alderperson Heather Kuhl, who previously sent a letter to the PFC demanding Officer Mensah’s termination.
Wauwatosa is a suburb of Milwaukee that is surrounded by the city on three sides. Its police department has about 75 sworn officers.
Watch the attack on the home unfold in the videos below: