Rep. Bowen Says Suspended Cop Is Lying About Protesters Trying to ‘Kill’ Him

Rep Bowen Says Suspended Cop Is Lying About Protesters Trying to 'Kill' Him

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By Jonathon Sadowski

August 10, 2020

Milwaukee lawmaker says Wauwatosa P.D and Officer Mensah are lying.

Officer Joseph Mensah, the Wauwatosa police officer suspended last month for killing three people in the last five years, assaulted protesters outside his girlfriend’s home Saturday night — and then lied and said demonstrators attacked him, according to Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee.

The Wauwatosa Police Department claimed Sunday that protesters vandalized Mensah’s girlfriend’s house and assaulted him after he “attempted to establish a dialog” with them. Police claimed someone ultimately fired a shotgun round into the back door of Mensah’s girlfriend’s house. But Bowen denied all of that and said Mensah was the instigator in a statement released Monday afternoon.

“What I observed on Saturday outside Officer Mensah’s home was an out-of-control, yelling and aggressive man that came out of his house with the goal to provoke peaceful protesters and incite violence,” Bowen wrote.

Bowen said Mensah stormed out of the house and sprayed pepper spray into the crowd of about 50 to 60 protesters, tried to get protesters to fight him, and threatened to have his dog attack them. Mensah then grabbed a protester’s gun and pulled the trigger, Bowen said. Vaun Mayes, a protest leader, also told Wisconsin Public Radio that Mensah was at fault for the gun being fired.

Mensah wrote on Facebook protesters “tried to kill me” and that he “tried to defend my property and the property of my girlfriend.” Wauwatosa Police said the gunshot came as Mensah “retreated into his home.” Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride said in a statement police will prosecute protesters involved “to the fullest extent allowed by law.”

“The victim narrative put forth by Mensah and now the Wauwatosa Police Department is totally inaccurate, irresponsible, and false,” Bowen said.

Bowen is a regular demonstrator with The People’s Revolution, a Milwaukee-based protest group that has marched every day, overwhelmingly peacefully, since protests against racism and police brutality began in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police. 

Rep. Bowen Says Suspended Cop Is Lying About Protesters Trying to 'Kill' Him

The People’s Revolution has held demonstrations outside of several officials’ homes including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chilsom, and Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber. All of those demonstrations have been peaceful.

Protesters have called for Mensah’s firing, something the Wauwatosa City Council endorsed last month before the Police and Fire Commission suspended him.

“Officer Mensah’s actions on Saturday night as well as the elaborate story he’s chosen to concoct in the wake of those events highlight one important truth: Joseph Mensah is not fit to represent any community as an officer of the law, and he needs to be removed from that position immediately,” Bowen said.

Saturday was not the first brush The People’s Revolution had with an off-duty police officer. In July, off-duty Milwaukee cop Matthew Willmann attacked two photographers at one of the group’s marches in downtown Milwaukee. Bowen and Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee, were present then as well and said police were trying to cover the incident up.

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