For the last few weeks, Law Officer has covered the story of Wauwatosa (WI) Officer Joseph Mensah. We’ve done this because this case involves some of the most egregious actions taken against a police officer we have ever seen.
As crazy as this sounds, (white) city officials are demanding the firing of (black) Officer Mensah to help fix the “damage” of the city’s “racist history” as one of the local leaders explained in publicly demanding the officer’s termination.
Mensah, a decorated African American police officer, has been involved in three on-duty shootings during his career. Each involved armed persons. Two of the cases were investigated by multiple agencies and ruled justified, while the third investigation involving a subject who fired a stolen gun is pending.
The facts are clear. And to any sane individual, there are few questions about why Mensah defended himself.
But we are far beyond sanity in this country and politicians, activists and even celebrities are calling for Mensah’s firing and prosecution because Mensah, an “officer of color,” shot “THREE men of color.”
A city commission has suspended Officer Mensah and are “re-investigating” each shooting.
You can read the crazy details here and the tremendous support Joseph has received.
Yet the local media appears to be avoiding the truth and the facts in this case.
We have been watching this case from afar and we are proud of the ways that the great citizens of Wauwatosa have supported Joseph. And we are extremely proud of the work that the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association has done to support him, which should serve as an example, and a wake-up call for other organizations.
Not every officer has this luxury of strong, fraternal support.
The support from the local officers’ association is even more remarkable considering that those who lead the organization are also full-time cops, and work for the same politicians that have outspokenly criticized Officer Mensah and are seeking to terminate him.
And we are quite impressed with the courageous leadership of President John Milotzky, a 21-year veteran, who likely has a lot to lose by standing up for what is right, and supporting Officer Mensah.
But that’s the thing with leadership. True leaders do the right thing, regardless of the consequences. So on behalf of Law Officer, we thank John and his leadership team for doing the right thing because from what we have seen, very few so-called leaders have done the same, and seem reluctant to break from mob mentality.
Below is the press release that President John Milotzky issued. We typically do not reprint press releases from a local community because we would expect the media to do so. But in the case of the Milwaukee media, it appears that their only role in the Officer Joseph Mensah case is limited to stoking outrage, avoiding objectivity, and only reporting the facts that fit their preferred narrative.
We would love to be proven wrong and see this press release or the details of it covered by the local media. But they have yet to publish or report on any of the press releases that clearly show the facts of the matter.
You can read the press release below and download it here.
And of course, if you are unsure of the details, check out this website that tells the truth about Officer Joseph Mensah.
The Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association (WPOA) demands clarifications from Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride and Alderperson Heather Kuhl.
On July 30, 2020, the WPOA released a statement addressing concern over the actions of Mayor McBride and Alderperson Kuhl to exert influence and pressure on the Police and Fire Commission (PFC). Specifically, Alderperson Kuhl sent an e-mail to the Commission which, instead of focusing on facts, asserted that so long as Officer Mensah represents the police department “we cannot purport to have any serious conversations about repairing the damage of our past.”
The WPOA is not sure how the historic “damage” of the City’s past relates to the facts of Officer Mensah’s job performance, or what Alderperson Kuhl claimed in her email to the PFC to be an urgent need to terminate Officer Mensah.
We also ask Mayor McBride to clarify how Alderperson Kuhl’s email: 1) did not taint the due process to which Officer Mensah is entitled, given that it was presented to the PFC and contained within the documents provided to the PFC, and 2) did not unethically influence perceptions of Officer Mensah’s reputation and character beyond the facts of the matter.
Lastly, Mayor McBride has misinformed the public by incorrectly telling the Journal Sentinel that “experts we have consulted tell us that Officer Mensah is unique, in that no other officer in America has shot and killed three people while on duty, and in such a short time span (five years).” The Mayor has made that same inaccurate statement in email replies to community members.
Had Mayor McBride engaged us directly in conversation early on, we could have corrected this false “expert” claim. For example, we could have pointed out how a Brown County (FL) Sheriff’s Deputy was unfortunately involved in three fatal shootings from 2009-2011, and a fourth fatal shooting in 2015.1
As that deputy had to defend himself against violence that led to three fatal shootings within a three year period, Officer Mensah cannot possibly be classified as “unique” as Mayor McBride falsely claimed.
We also could have cited other examples as well to help prevent Mayor McBride from further misinforming and misleading the public.
We hope that Mayor McBride and Alderperson Kuhl will provide clarification and further explanation on these matters, so that their positions can be better understood, and the public can be better informed.
John Milotzky, WPOA President
You can contact the city officials here.
They have suspended a decorated black officer that has no disciplinary issues and without any violations of department policy.
Mayor Dennis McBride
7003 Cedar St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 479-8915
Heather Kuhl, Alderperson – District 5
Alderperson Kuhl was the first to demand the firing of Officer Mensah. In an e-mail she requested to be made public, Kuhl stated that “Last year, Wauwatosa acknowledged our racist history…” but “as long as Joseph Mensah is representing the city of Wauwatosa and our Police Department, we cannot purport to have any serious conversations about repairing the damage of our past and committing to building a community that is inclusive for all.”
Please ask Alderperson Kuhl to clarify how firing a black officer for defending himself helps to “repair the damage” of Wauwatosa’s “racist history”?
2563 N. 62nd Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 255-4565
Matt Stippich, Alderperson – District 1
2220 Wauwatosa Avenue, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (262) 345-7847
James R. Moldenhauer, Alderperson – District 1
6925 W. Lloyd St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 453-8821
Joel Tilleson, Alderperson – District 5
7915 W. Clarke St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 316-2123
Kathleen Causier, Alderperson – District 2
8213 Aberdeen Ct., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 771-0123
Tim Hanson, Alderperson – District 3
352 N. 115th St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 617-2950
Nancy Welch, Alderperson – District 3
Phone: (414) 777-0362
Ernst Franzen, Alderperson – District 4
7836 St. Anne Ct., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 510-5575
Jason Kofroth, Alderperson – District 7
2101 N. 116th Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 687-6267
Craig Wilson, Alderperson – District 8
4172 Menomonee River Pkwy., Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Phone: (414) 745-5188
Mike Morgan, Alderperson – District 7
12147 Meadow Ct., Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Phone: (414) 335-9467
Michael G. Walsh, Alderperson – District 4
7310 Grand Parkway, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 477-2830
Meagan O’Reilly, Alderperson – District 6
10305 W Auer Ave, Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Phone: (414) 465-8330
Allison L. Byrne, Alderperson – District 6
2368 N. 91st Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 531-2862
Jason Wilke, Alderperson – District 8
10409 W. Woodward Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 520-1962
Defend The Heroes is a non-profit organization that exists to help defend law enforcement professionals and agencies from defamation, and the demands of so-called social “justice.” Law Officer is a proud partner of this important organization.