WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin police officer will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a black man in a suburban Milwaukee park in June, a local police chief said on Monday.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said Milwaukee County prosecutors decided not to charge Officer Joseph Mensah in the death of Jay Anderson Jr. Under Wisconsin law, an outside agency must investigate police shootings.
“The DA’s office has found that the officer acted in accord with Wisconsin law and justifiably used deadly force in this incident,” Weber said.
Earlier on Monday, Anderson’s family was told of the decision in a meeting with prosecutors. Jonathan Safran, an attorney for a family, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he has asked the U.S. Attorney’s office in Milwaukee to investigate whether there could be federal civil rights charge against the officer.
Twenty-six-year-old Anderson was fatally shot in a local park about 3 a.m. on June 23.
Weber said Mensah saw the car in the park that was closed for the night and followed department policy in checking out the vehicle. Mensah saw a semi-automatic handgun on the front seat and told Anderson to raise his hands.
Mensah fired only after Anderson reached for the gun, Weber said.
It’s not the first time Mensah has been involved in a shooting. He and another officer, Jeffrey Newman, were cleared by prosecutors in the July 2015 fatal shooting of Antonio Gonzalez. Authorities said Gonzalez, 29, was wielding a sword when officers shot.
Mensah will return to full duty now that he has been cleared, Weber said.