Mother, sisters of slain Black teen arrested at protest
MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) - The mother and sisters of a black teenage boy who was killed by a police officer in suburban Milwaukee were arrested by police who cracked down on protesters following a curfew after deciding not to show the officers to accuse.
Alvin Cole's mother, Tracy Cole, and sisters Taleavia and Tristiana Cole were arrested around 8:30 p.m. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday along with several others in a church parking lot in Wauwatosa, citing several witnesses.
Cole family attorney Kimberley Motley tweeted that Tracy Cole was arrested and "hospitalized" for "peaceful protests." Motley said Tracy Cole, 48, was rushed to Froedtert Hospital with an injury to his arm and forehead. A daughter, Tristiana Cole, was also brought there.
Motley later tweeted that they were both discharged from the hospital. Details of why Tristiana Cole was rushed to the hospital were not immediately known.
A Facebook livestream that only recorded audio from Tracy Cole was created by a third daughter. One recording featured Tracy Cole screaming in pain when she was arrested. She said the police injured her arm, hit her in the head and stun gun at her.
"I'm Mrs. Cole, Alvin's mother," Tracy Cole yelled repeatedly as the police pulled her out of her car.
"I can't believe you did this to me. You killed my son," she yelled at the officers.
"I can't breathe," she said several times. "I can not breath."
Tracy Cole said her head was bleeding and she believed her arm was broken, according to the livestream.
Wauwatosa police tweeted Thursday night that "several" people had been arrested, saying a woman had sought medical attention and was taken to a hospital.
The city was under 7pm. Curfew during a second night of protests after Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm decided not to charge Wauwatosa officer Joseph Mensah, also black, with the February death of Cole, 17 outside Mayfair Mall.
According to investigators' reports, Cole had a gun and fired it. Chisholm said it seemed like he shot himself in the arm. Officers said Cole refused orders to drop the gun and told Mensah to shoot.
Motley has announced plans to file a federal lawsuit against Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah.
The death of Alvin Cole marked Mensah's third fatal shootout in five years. Mensah shot and killed Antonio Gonzales in 2015 after police said Gonzales refused to drop a sword. A year later, Mensah shot and killed Jay Anderson Jr. In this case, Mensah found Anderson after hours in a car parked in a park.
Mensah said he saw a gun in the passenger seat and thought Anderson was reaching for it, so he shot him. Mensah was not charged in either shot.
Cole's death sparked protests throughout the summer in Wauwatosa, a town of 48,000 west of Milwaukee. The demonstrations took place against the backdrop of nationwide protests against the death in May of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck for almost eight minutes.
The Wauwatosa Police and Fire Department suspended Mensah in July and asked former US attorney Steven Biskupic to decide whether Mensah should be disciplined. Biskupic recommended that the commission quit Mensah and said the risk of a fourth shooting was too great. Biskupic also accused Mensah of speaking publicly about the shooting.
Hours after Biskupic released his report, Chisholm announced that he would not incriminate Mensah. The prosecutor said Mensah could successfully argue that he was defending himself.
Wauwatosa police chief Barry Weber tweeted after Chisholm announced that his department "agreed" to the decision not to indict Mensah but "hears" the news from the public. He said an internal review of the shooting was still ongoing and Mensah was still on suspension. The department has taken steps to improve policing, including more training, posting guidelines online, and requesting body cameras by January, he said.
The police commission is due to meet later this month, but its position on Biskupic's recommendation to fire Mensah is not clear.
A quote from Tracy Cole has been corrected to read "I am Mrs. Cole, Alvin's mother" instead of "I am Alvin Cole's mother" in an earlier version of the story.
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