Lawyer: Wisconsin cop can't be fired for future shooting

www.startribune.com
3 min read
fairly difficult
An attorney for a Wisconsin police officer who has fatally shot three people since 2015 says his client shouldn't be disciplined or fired simply because city officials are worried he might do it again.
MADISON, Wis. —

Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah, who is Black, has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in all three cases.

The most recent shooting took place in February, when Mensah shot an armed teenager during a chase outside a mall. The decision this month not to charge him in that shooting sparked several nights of protests in the Milwaukee suburb, some of which turned violent.

The city's police commission suspended Mensah in July and is expected to decide his fate in November. Former federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic issued a report in early October saying Mensah should be fired because the risk that he would kill a fourth person and expose the city to liability was too great. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, who cleared Mensah in the mall shooting, agreed that Mensah posed a risk.

The officer's attorney, Jon Cermele, filed documents with the commission on Wednesday arguing that state law doesn't allow the panel to fire an officer because of something that might occur in the future. Terminating him would create an "illogical and artificial rule" that officers can use deadly force a certain number of times.

"In each of the cases identified, Officer Mensah was simply responding to risks he faced," Cermele wrote. Biskupic "attempts to sway the Board…
TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press
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