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Milwaukee Alliance hosts rally during Cole family meeting with DA Chisholm

By staff |
June 12, 2020
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Standing up against police crimes in Wisconsin.
Standing up against police crimes in Wisconsin. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Milwaukee, WI - The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression hosted a rally, June 11 to demand justice for “Thee 3” (Alvin Cole, Jay Anderson, Jr. and Antonio Gonzales) and to advance the demand for a civilian police accountability council, or CPAC.

The action took place in front of the Milwaukee County Safety Building, which is home to the office of District Attorney John Chisholm. The time and location were chosen because the family of Alvin Cole, together with their attorney, were meeting with DA Chisholm inside. Organizers with the Milwaukee Alliance assured the family that they would be outside demonstrating their support until the end of the meeting.

Supporters, led by the Milwaukee Alliance, took to chanting and sharing bits of information about the case and why they were gathered. Cole, Anderson and Gonzales were all killed by the same officer from the Wauwatosa Police Department: Joseph Anthony Mensah. Cole was his most recent killing, happening in early February of this year.

A video released to the public clearly shows Cole, 17, running from police who had their weapons drawn. In the video, Cole can be heard saying “No gun, no gun!” The Wauwatosa Police Department has claimed since the beginning of the investigation that a weapon was recovered on the scene, and that Cole had fired the weapon at least once.

"The only thing we see as citizens are teenagers running. Any teenager is going to run If ten police cars come. They’re afraid and then they shoot them in the dark and then everyone wants to say well he had a weapon,” said Beverly Williams, a long-time Milwaukee activist who attended the rally. “Show us the weapon. We have yet to see it [on video]. We want justice and accountability.”

A picture of the gun that the Wauwatosa Police Department says was found on the scene was released to the public days after Alvin’s murder. However, the gun in the picture, allegedly taken at the scene, clearly shows the safety on. The people at the rally heavily suggested that the Wauwatosa police are trying to cover this up.

Despite stretching past the expected end time by over two hours, supporters remained firm. The Cole family emerged from the Safety Building around 12:30 p.m., ready to face the media outlets that had gathered to hear them speak.

Kim Motley, the Cole family attorney, was the first to address the media. Motley said it was a good meeting and the family was able to make some progress towards their goals.

“We were able to provide new evidence to [DA Chisholm] that he didn’t already have. We think the evidence that we provided further supports our position that Officer Mensah should be charged with some type of homicide,” Motley said.

She continued, “This officer has fired his weapon 24 times in less than five years and has killed three people. That’s a problem, that’s a problem.”

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber previously said that his department “values human lives and safety above all else” but seemed to contradict himself in a statement released in response to the multiple demonstrations regarding the Alvin Cole murder over the last week.

“Each incident happened very quickly and verbal commands were given and not complied with. He defended himself with deadly force,” the statement read.

Alvin was shot in the back while running away.

The Milwaukee Alliance will be back out in the streets on June 13, answering the call for a national day of action to demand CPAC, and continuing to raise the banner of justice for “Thee 3.”

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