Lawsuit filed in the 1st of 3 killings by Wisconsin officer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The lawyer for the families of the three people former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah shot and killed has filed a federal lawsuit against Mensah and others in one of the deaths.
Attorney Kimberley Motley said she wants to know more about the 2015 fatal shooting of Antonio Gonzales. It was the first shooting Mensah was involved in and it came five years before widespread protests calling for his removal.
A review of the case shows that Mensah shot the 29-year-old Gonzales eight times outside his home after Gonzales was wielding a sword, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“Definitely that’s information and evidence that we want to see exactly what the supposed threat was,” Motley said of the suit, which also names the city of Wauwatosa and former Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber.
The fatal shooting was deemed justified self-defense by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Mensah did not face any charges, nor was he disciplined internally. Weber also awarded Mensah a medal of valor for his actions.
Mensah shot and killed Jay Anderson Jr. in 2016 and Alvin Cole in 2020. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office also ruled those shootings justified self-defense.
A judge is expected to rule in late July on the Anderson family’s request to reconsider whether charges should be brought in his death.
Court documents list attorneys for Mensah, who is now a Waukesha County deputy, or Weber, who retired June 1.
This story was first published on July 20, 2021. It was updated on July 28, 2021, to correct that the judge considering the Anderson case was finding whether probable cause existed to charge the police officer, rather than bringing charges directly.