Wauwatosa police: Officer Mensah physically assaulted, shot at by protesters at his home
WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wauwatosa police said a large group of protesters targeted the private home of Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah on Saturday, Aug. 8, injuring him and his girlfriend in the process.
The group, estimated to be between 50 and 60 people, began to vandalize Mensah's home near 100th and Vienna around 8 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Wauwatosa Police Department.
Police said on Saturday evening, protesters physically assaulted and shot at Mensah. When Mensah attempted to speak with the group, he was physically assaulted, according to the release.
Police said when Mensah retreated into his home, armed protesters approached the rear door and single shotgun round was discharged by a member of the group into Mensah's back door. Multiple agencies helped Wauwatosa police disburse the crowd.
Mensah killed three people in the line of duty in a span of five years. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office had already ruled two of Mensah’s deadly shootings, including that of Jay Anderson Jr. in 2016, as self defense. The third, the deadly shooting of Alvin Cole at Mayfair Mall earlier this year, is still under review.
Mensah posted about the encounter with protesters on Facebook saying, they "tried to kill me." He said he and his girlfriend, a Milwaukee police officer, were assaulted, punched and shot at multiple times with a shotgun round nearly missing him.
"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," Mensah wrote.
Organizers of a protest scheduled for Sunday in Wauwatosa declined CBS 58's request for interviews. Activist Vaun Mayes also declined CBS 58's request for an interview but provided a statement to Heavy.com saying that Mensah's account was not the full story. Mayes told Heavy.com he believed only one shot went off that it happened after Mensah grabbed a protester's weapon.
Neighbors told CBS 58 off camera that they heard multiple loud noises that sounded like gunshots.
Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride released a statement Sunday afternoon stating the incident was not a peaceful protest, calling it "criminal behavior."
"In recent weeks, various groups have protested in Wauwatosa, demanding that Officer Mensah be fired. 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 also said he will meet Monday with the Wauwatosa police chief, city administrator, city attorney and other city officials to ensure Mensah is protected and that this violence does not happen again.
Read his full statement below: