Fifty people file lawsuit against the city of Wauwatosa

NOW: Fifty people file lawsuit against the city of Wauwatosa

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS58)--Fifty people are now suing the city of Wauwatosa. The suit claims they were treated unfairly during last year’s protests. The protests were in response to former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah not being charged in the shooting death of Alvin Cole. Attorney Kimberley Motley represents the people filing the lawsuit. She says they have the constitutional right to sue the city because people have the constitutional right to protest.

“This is about accountability," Motley said.

The lawsuit is against the city of Wauwatosa, mayor Dennis McBride and police chief Barry Weber. It was filed on Saturday, March 6.

The suit says mayor McBride enacted an unlawful curfew on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Motley says the Wauwatosa Common Council was not aware of the curfew until the last minute.

“When you enact curfews, there is a process that is supposed to be followed and that process was not followed. Just because you don’t like what people are protesting about does not mean the police have the right to give you indiscriminate tickets," Motley said.

The suit addresses the protests after the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office decision decided not to charge former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah in the shooting death of Alvin Cole.

“The 50 plaintiffs include the Cole women, particularly Tracey Cole who was viciously assaulted and targeted by many police officers.” 

However, the lawsuit is not completely new. It was originally filed back in November after the protests. Saturday's suit was the amended version. There's now 50 people lining up against the city.

“ This is about rule of law, this is about making sure they are not allowed to continue to engage in abusive power."

Mayor Dennis McBride released a statement.

“There is no factual or legal merit to the allegations in the amended complaint, and we expect to prevail.”

"He’s right, this is a matter that will be handled in the court, we will see what happens," Motley said.

The complaint also addressed historical background of racial issues in Wauwatosa and the police department.


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