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A Wisconsin police officer who has been involved in three killings in five years was assaulted by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters on Saturday, with one of the attackers firing a shotgun into the home of his girlfriend, according to a local report of the incident.
According to reports, suspended Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah was at the home of his girlfriend Saturday evening when a crowd of between 50-60 people “targeted and began to vandalize” the residence, police said.
Officers noted that Mensah tried to talk to the crowd but was physically assaulted in an incident that eventually led to gunfire.
“I’ve got sons. I’m just going to have to tell my sons to be very careful about going in and out,” he told Fox6.
As Mensah was making his way back inside the home, police said “armed protesters” fired a single shotgun round into the back door.
“Last night, protesters came to my girlfriend’s house while I was there, and tried to kill me. I was unarmed and tried to defend my property and the property of my girlfriend. We were both assaulted, punched, and ultimately shot at several times,” Mensah wrote on his Facebook page.
“A shotgun round missed me by inches. Not once did I ever swing back or reciprocate any of the hate that was being directed at me. I am all for peaceful protests, even against me, but this was anything but peaceful. They threw toilet paper in her trees, broke her windows, and again, shot at both of us as they were trying to kill me,” he continued.
“There are children that live there any [sic] the knew that. The irony in all of this is that they chanted Black Lives Matter the entire time, but had zero regard for any of the black children that live there or me, a black man,” he added.
The officer has been involved in three shooting deaths in five years. In 2015, he fatally shot Antonio Gonzalez. The following year he shot and killed Jay Anderson.
Both of those deaths were ruled justified.
But Mensah was suspended by the Wauwatosa Common Council via unanimous vote July 15 following the shooting death of 17-year-old Alvin Cole on Feb. 2, a case that remains under review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney.
In the meantime, the Wauwatosa mayor has asked Mensah to “transition from the Wauwatosa Police Department’s employment,” Fox6 noted.
The officer spoke publicly for the first time about the Cole shooting on July 28 during a radio interview. He told the host that he fired in self-defense, and added that it’s unclear why he was suspended, though he believes it was done in order to appease protesters.
“In recent weeks, various groups have protested in Wauwatosa, demanding that Officer Mensah be fired. The City of Wauwatosa has always supported and protected the right to peaceful protest,” Mayor Dennis McBride said in a statement on Sunday.
“Last night’s event was not a peaceful protest; it was criminal behavior. If the perpetrators of this criminal behavior are identified, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law,” he added.
The incidents surrounding Mensah have garnered nationwide attention. In early July, the Jonas Brothers called for him to be prosecuted after claiming he “recklessly” killed “three men of color.”
.@DAJohnChisholm How many more people must die at the hands of Officer Joseph Mensah?
Mensah has recklessly shot and killed THREE men of color, inexplicably failed to enable his dash camera, and failed to render medical aid during these tragic instances.
Prosecute him. pic.twitter.com/71wOVatYfs
— Jonas Brothers (@jonasbrothers) July 2, 2020
Fox6 noted in a separate report that Mensah shot and killed Gonzalez, 29, after he confronted officers with a sword.
Mensah shot and killed Anderon in Wauwatosa’s Madison Park around 3 a.m. because he believed the suspect was reaching for a gun. A subsequent investigation cleared him.
On Feb. 2, police were called by security to respond to Mayfair Mall, where about 10 people were reportedly causing a disturbance. Security personnel further reported that at least one suspect was armed.
Officers, including Mensah, found a group of people outside the mall and at least four people ran after they spotted police moving in their direction. One of those suspects matched the description of the person reported to be armed. As officers gave chase, they said that Cole was in possession of a handgun.
Mensah fired on him, and Cole later died at the hospital.