Wauwatosa, WI – Police have arrested three people in connection with the shooting at the home of the girlfriend of Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah during a Black Lives Matter protest on Aug. 8.
Wauwatosa Police Detective John Milotzky, president of the Wauwatosa Police Officers Association (POA), told The Police Tribune that the mayor and local politicians were to blame for the chaos and the attack on Officer Mensah.
Det. Milotzky said that that the man who fired the shotgun at Officer Mensah during the protest is a member of The People’s Revolution, one of the groups that has organized violent protests in the area.
The detective said the Wauwatosa 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.
“You have this group that has essentially been invited into City Hall – and they’re the same people who are shooting at officers,” he said.
The union president said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride, who took office in April, has done everything possible to placate The People’s Revolution and when they demanded that their members be put on that committee, the mayor did it.
Det. Milotzky told The Police Tribune that when 28-year-old Ronald Demetrian Bell was arrested for firing the shotgun at Officer Mensah, the ad hoc committee’s chairman was the first person to show up at the police station demanding his release.
Wisconsin Right Now confirmed through social media posts that Bell is a member of The People’s Revolution.
The shooting occurred after about 60 protesters showed up at a home belonging to Officer Mensah’s girlfriend, who is a police officer with the city of Milwaukee, 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.
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 the next day. “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 and his girlfriend were 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.
Police charged Bell and 23-year-old William Deaval Lofton in connection with the incident on Aug. 16, the Wauwatosa Patch reported.
Then officers arrested 29-year-old Niles McKee for hiding the shotgun.
Charging documents said that Bell was identified in a video as the man who was holding the shotgun when it was fired at the doorway of the home, the Wauwatosa Patch reported.
The complaint said that Bell said McKee had put the shotgun in the back of Lofton’s car when the men were leaving to go to the anti-police protest.
McKee “acknowledged that he provided the shotgun used at the residence of (Mensah and his girlfriend),” according to the complaint, Wisconsin Right Now reported. “McKee stated that he placed the shotgun inside of the vehicle being driven by Lofton, which was also occupied by Bell. McKee got back into the vehicle of another protester who then followed the group to the home of (Mensah and his girlfriend).”
“Once McKee arrived there, he saw that Bell had removed his (McKee’s) shotgun from its case and was carrying it via its attached sling. McKee also stated that Lofton informed him that Bell had already loaded the shotgun,” according to the complaint.
The charging documents said Bell “admitted that he was the individual with the shotgun during the Aug. 8 incident… Bell also stated that the gun discharged while he was holding it, striking the residence, while he was confronting (Mensah and his girlfriend). Bell agreed that the behavior was reckless and dangerous when he physically confronted (Mensah) while holding a loaded shotgun and that he put several people in danger when the shotgun discharged,” according to Wisconsin Right Now.
“Bell also acknowledged that he was striking (Mensah) and that he knew (Mensah) was a police officer” and said he had been to other protests against the officer, the complaint read.
Police said that after Bell fired the shotgun and the crowd started to disperse, he gave the weapon back to McKee, and McKee put it back inside a case in Lofton’s SUV, the Wauwatosa Patch reported.
Then Lofton, McKee, and Bell made their getaway from the scene in the SUV, according to the complaint.
When he got worried because police were looking for the shotgun, the charging documents said McKee reached out to a Facebook friend to “hide the shotgun for a minute” and gave it to him to hold “until this blows over.”
Bell was charged with second-degree felony recklessly endangering safety and battery to a law enforcement officer, the Wauwatosa Patch reported.
His bond was set at $7,500.
Lofton was charged with second-degree felony recklessly endangering safety, according to the Wauwatosa Patch.
His bond was set at $750.
Both men are facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges, the WISN reported.
McKee was charged with harboring or aiding a felon and his bond was set at $1,500.
If convicted, McKee is facing up to three years in prison, according to WISN.
All three men are due back in court on Aug. 24, the Wauwatosa Patch reported.