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Suspended Wauwatosa Cop Reportedly Assaulted By Protesters

Police: Joseph Mensah's Home Vandalized By 50-60 People

Lights on a police car

The Wauwatosa police officer who fatally shot three men while on duty in five years was reportedly physically assaulted by Black Lives Matter protesters at his home Saturday.

Wauwatosa Police say a group of “50 to 60 armed protesters” gathered outside of Joseph Mensah’s Wauwatosa home around 8 p.m.

Mensah reportedly tried to speak to protesters but was assaulted.

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“As Officer Mensah retreated into his home, armed protestors approached the rear door and a single shotgun round was discharged by a member of the group into Officer Mensah’s backdoor,” said a statement released by Wauwatosa police.

Wauwatosa police and “numerous neighboring agencies” responded to disburse the crowd. Wauwatosa police say the investigation is ongoing.

Wauwatosa police could not be reached Sunday for further comment.

In a text message to WPR, Vaun Mayes, one of the prominent leaders of Milwaukee’s Black Lives Matters movement, said Mensah “grabbed one of the protestor’s weapons on a sling and the gun fired.”

Mayes said groups have been peaceful for months prior to this and leaders and organizers have done a lot of work to ensure and enforce safety and peace.

“I think protestors went to toilet paper his home and put up crime scene tape, and encountered Mensah and his girlfriend outside,” Mayes said.

Mensah could not be reached for comment Sunday. In a Facebook post written Sunday morning, Mensah said protesters tried to kill him.

“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,” he said. “There are children that live there any [sic] the 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.”

Mensah was suspended from the department in July. He fatally shot Antonio Gonzales in 2015 and Jay Anderson Jr. in 2016. In both of those cases, he was cleared by the Milwaukee District Attorney. The Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission has now hired an independent third-party investigator to review the evidence.

The third shooting, of 17-year-old Alvin Cole in February, is currently under review by the DA.