Black Wisconsin police officer who fatally shot a Black teenager outside a suburban Milwaukee mall in February won’t be charged because he had reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall on Feb. 2 after police responded to a reported disturbance at the shopping center.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, in a 14-page letter laying out his rationale, said evidence showed Cole fled from police carrying a stolen 9 mm handgun. He cited squad car audio evidence, along with testimony from Mensah and two fellow officers, that he said showed Cole had fired a shot while fleeing and refused commands to drop the gun.
“He did not surrender the weapon and was fired upon by Officer Mensah causing his death,” Chisholm wrote. He concluded: “(T)here is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable.”