Wisconsin activates National Guard ahead of decision in Alvin Cole shooting

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has activated the National Guard in the city of Wauwatosa as officials anticipate a charging decision in the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole. The mobilization, announced Wednesday, is an effort to “support local law enforcement authorities,” the guard said in a statement.

Cole, who is Black, was shot and killed by Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah on February 2, marking the officer’s third shooting death in five years, CBS affiliate WDJT reported. Mensah’s actions were ruled justified in the past two shootings. 

Cole was shot outside of a mall after police responded to a report of a man who was seen with a gun, the Associated Press reported. Police said the teen ran from officers at the scene and fired a handgun, a claim his family denies. Mensah, who is also Black, was placed on leave after Cole’s death.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney is expected to announce a decision this afternoon. According to the governor’s news release, the National Guard has been called to “to support local law enforcement efforts to preserve public safety, protect critical infrastructure, and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community” and to provide support to first responders.

“We will continue to fight,” Kimberley Motley, an attorney for Cole’s family, told WDJT. “Like I said, this fight is far from being over. We strongly believe that Officer Joseph Mensah was not justified in shooting Alvin Cole and we hope that DA Chisolm will charge him for doing that.” 

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