Special prosecutors assert that former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah intentionally caused Jay Anderson Jr.’s death by shooting, but they will not bring charges against him.
Mensah acted in self-defense when he shot Anderson Jr., the court ruled, validating a district attorney’s earlier conclusion.
Special prosecutors Scott Hansen of Milwaukee and Tim Gruenke of La Crosse County stated they were unable to find a legal basis for charging Mensah.
Kim Motley, the attorney for the Anderson family, requested that the prosecutors withdraw and that the court reappoint new prosecutors.
Motley’s motion to withdraw special prosecutors was deemed “erroneous” by Judge Glenn Yamahiro, who stated that he cannot continue to pass on prosecutors until one accepts the case.
Yamahiro criticized a fatally flawed system and asserted that the selective use of body cameras is detrimental to transparency and can be altered in Madison. In addition, he stated that law enforcement agencies should not investigate one another.
“I’m not stopping till this man (Mensah) is behind bars where he needs to be,” Anderson’s mother told the judge at the end of Wednesday’s hearing.
In June 2016, Mensah discovered 25-year-old Anderson sleeping in his car for hours in a Wauwatosa park.
According to Mensah, he fired after Anderson reached for a weapon on the passenger seat.
Anderson’s family contested that Anderson had reached for the weapon, and their attorney employed an obscure legal maneuver comparable to a grand jury investigation to convince Yamahiro that there was sufficient probable cause to charge Mensah.
Yamahiro assigned special prosecutors to the case after a John Doe hearing was requested by the Anderson family.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm declined to press criminal charges against Mensah, who alleged Anderson lunged for a firearm when he confronted him that night.
In the John Doe hearings, Yamahiro concluded the evidence didn’t support Mensah’s claims.
During the current inquiry, special prosecutors asked immunity for three cops who arrived to the Anderson shooting scene, although none of the three were deemed suspects. The info, if any, given by these policemen to the special prosecutors has not been made public.
Mensah has left the Wauwatosa police department and is now a detective for the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office.
During his five-year tenure as a police officer in Wauwatosa, Mensah was responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including Anderson. Chisholm declined to file criminal charges in all three deadly police shootings.