Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism


Wisconsin businesses, homes damaged in protests after decision not to charge ex-officer in shooting

Protests Wednesday became destructive and harmful as evening fell

Updated: October 8, 2020 - 1:21pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Other Media

Violent protests erupted Wednesday night in Wisconsin following the announcement that a now-suspended police officer will not face charges in connection with the February shooting of a male teen – resulting in the state National Guard being activated to stop the destruction and looting of businesses, government buildings and other property.

The outbreaks in the city of Wauwatosa followed a district attorney announcing that the ex-officer, Joseph Mensah, would not be charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole.

Cole was shot Feb. 2 outside of a Wauwatosa mall when police responded to a disturbance call. He had a gun and would not surrender it before being shot, according to police.

On Wednesday night, protesters hurling rocks damaged dozens of businesses, homes and other buildings  – with some of the rioting captured on video and posted to Twitter.

Looting was observed at a local gas station, a Family Dollar store, and several other businesses up and down the city's main street. The violent protests occurred despite a A 7 p.m. curfew that was put in place.

Police officers in the area say rioters were "throwing large rocks at law enforcement and buildings."

By the time a large group had arrived outside the Wauwatosa City Hall to confront police, deputies and members of the National Guard, the gathering had been deemed "an unlawful assembly."

When the curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. Thursday, Wauwatosa residents began gathering around damaged businesses to assist with the clean up effort.

Just the News Spotlight