police shootings

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Updated 4:39 p.m. CST

A Wisconsin prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralyzed and setting off sometimes violent protests in the city.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

It's been nearly four months since Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey severely wounded Jacob Blake, Jr., a Black resident, while trying to take Blake into custody.

Blake's family and their supporters are still urging Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley to issue criminal charges against the officer, and for the police department to fire Sheskey.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Department of Justice report on the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha isn't done yet and won't be released until a newly hired consultant reviews it. 

Susan Bence / WUWM

Kenosha police shot a Black man multiple times on Sunday, setting off a night of protests and unrest in the city. The shooting victim was identified by Gov. Tony Evers as Jacob Blake. Police say Blake was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee and was in serious condition.

WUWM is providing updates as events unfold and information on the incident is released.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Monday 8:35 a.m. CT

Kenosha police shot and wounded a Black man, apparently in the back, after responding to a call about a domestic dispute, setting off a night of protests and unrest in which officers fired tear gas and demonstrators apparently hurled objects and set fire to parked cars.

>>Find all of WUWM's Kenosha protest coverage here.

Screenshot / City of Wauwatosa

Wauwatosa may be the next southeastern Wisconsin community to require all of its police officers to wear body cameras.

The cameras are an issue in Wauwatosa because of three fatal shootings by police officer Joseph Mensah of Black or Latino men in the last six years. Self-defense was ruled in the first two cases. But the shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall in February is still under review. An apparent lack of police body camera footage is a concern for Cole's family.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Supporters and relatives of three men shot to death by a Wauwatosa police officer in the last six years gathered in the entrance area to the Wauwatosa police station for nearly an hour Thursday afternoon. They were there as attorneys for the families of Alvin Cole, fatally shot in February, and Jay Anderson, Jr., fatally shot in 2016, filed a complaint against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. Mensah shot the two African American men as a well as a Latino man, Antonio Gonzales, in 2015.

Chuck Quirmbach

About 200 Black Lives Matters protesters walked miles through drenching rain Tuesday night to have their say outside of the police station in Wauwatosa. Marchers continue to call for the firing of a Wauwatosa officer who has been involved in three fatal police shootings in the last six years.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

The current national protests against police brutality began nearly two weeks ago, when George Floyd died while in the custody of Minneapolis officers. In Milwaukee, there's a growing spotlight on Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall in February. The Milwaukee Police Department is reviewing the shooting.

Wauwatosa police say Cole fired first with a stolen gun. But during a Saturday afternoon rally at N. 76th St. and W. Burleigh St. in Milwaukee, Cole's mother, Tracy Cole, said Mensah killed her baby boy.


Wauwatosa police say the teenage boy who was fatally shot by police fired first in Sunday's shooting at Mayfair Mall.  

On Friday, police released a squad car video from the shooting. Wauwatosa police officers don't wear body cameras.

The video shows police chasing 17-year-old Alvin Cole and the sound of gun shots. After Cole fired, one officer fired back five times, according to Wauwatosa Police Operations Capt. Brian Zalewski. The name of the officer has not been released.


Milwaukee police searching for a homicide suspect fatally shot an armed man, but the man they were seeking remains at large. It happened Tuesday morning near 7th and Maple Streets on the near south side. 

Police say officers dressed in plainclothes were surveying a car based on a tip they received about Victor Cintron, the homicide suspect. Officers in their car were approached by two men, including an armed man wearing a mask, according to police. They say officers shot the masked man and the other ran away. No officers were hurt.

Angelina Mosher Salazar

Authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place Monday on Milwaukee’s west side. Members of the U.S. Marshals Service fired at — and injured — a man while they were in the area conducting surveillance.

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee Police on Thursday released body camera video of a fatal officer involved shooting from August. Before the video was shown to media, Police Chief Alfonso Morales noted that the fatal officer involved shooting was still under investigation.


The police shooting death of a 26-year-old man in Racine has sparked protests in the city. According to reports from police, Donte Shannon fled on foot during a traffic stop and allegedly exposed a weapon, before he was shot by officers. He died on the way to the hospital.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is leading an independent investigation of the incident. Racine residents say they're eager for answers.

During a news conference, Mayor Cory Mason and Racine Police Chief Art Howell updated the public on the status of the investigation into the death of Donte Shannon.

Last June, a jury found former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide. Now, Heaggan-Brown is taking a plea deal over separate sexual assault allegations that led the Milwaukee Police Department to fire him.

The shooting death of Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man, ignited riots in the north side of Milwaukee in August 2016.

Milwaukee Police

Dominique Heaggan-Brown has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Sylville Smith.

The former Milwaukee police officer is accused of pursuing  Smith after a traffic stop in the Sherman Park neighborhood in August. Heaggan-Brown is African American, as was Smith.

If convicted, the former officer could face up to 60 years imprisonment.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's decision to charge Heaggan-Brown was made public in court documents on Thursday.

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot Jay Anderson Jr. in June, will not face charges. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office shared the decision with Jay Anderson's family on Monday.

The Anderson family says Jay Anderson was sleeping in his car in Madison Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin around 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016, when Officer Joseph Mensah approached the vehicle. The officer claims he shot Anderson, after he kept lowering his hands, indicating he could have been reaching for a gun.

Michelle Maternowski

Across the country, people are outraged over the death of black men at the hands of police officers. In Milwaukee, a couple cases have gotten a lot of coverage. Two years ago, when an officer shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park downtown, and in August, when a policeman fatally shot Sylville Smith in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

Protests in Charlotte, N.C., continued for a third night — without the violence of earlier demonstrations. Police officers and National Guard troops shared the streets with marchers protesting a fatal police shooting earlier this week.

Jay Price of member station WUNC describes the mood as "mellow," and says that police and protest leaders worked to keep the marchers moving, doing laps of uptown Charlotte.

LaToya Dennis

MPD Sergeant Sheronda Grant talks about being a black police officer in Milwaukee, a minority-majority city, and during an era when police face a mix of harsh criticism and volatile situations. Grant is president of the League of Martin, an African American police association. She says the job can be especially stressful these days because what happens with police anywhere affects officers everywhere, yet she encourages young people to consider a career in law enforcement.

Neither of the two video recordings will be released publicly until after Milwaukee prosecutors decide whether to charge the officer involved, according to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Schimel's office is reviewing the incident, to help determine whether police acted appropriately. An officer shot and killed 23-year-old Sylville Smith on August 13, which led to riots in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood. City leaders said afterward that Smith was fleeing a traffic stop, armed with a semi-automatic handgun.


After an MPD officer was shot early Sunday near 17th and Morgan on Milwaukee's south side, the agency ordered all squad cars to carry two officers instead of one, at least for the time being. The Milwaukee Police Association said Monday that it has been advocating for two-officer squads for seven years and is now demanding they be made permanent. According to a release from MPA President Mike Crivello, "officers must know they are supported…not solely in words, but actions."

Megan Dobyns

Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn was one of the invited speakers addressing President Obama Thursday night, at a town hall meeting convened by ABC News

Flynn told Obama that a number of factors complicate the relationship between police and communities of color. For instance, he says officers serve in places where crime is high, while trust in police is low:

Essay: Bridging America's Racial Divide

Jul 14, 2016
luaeva / Fotolia

For all the efforts to create unity in the wake of a violent period in this country, there are still many open wounds.  Lake Effect essayist Laura Marshall has some thoughts on how we might start to heal them.

It's 3 am and I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge.

I know that tomorrow, there will be fingers pointed.

Marti Mikkelson

Several hundred people gathered in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee Monday in a scene has become a familiar one. Yet participants seemed more resolved following the recent police killings of two black men in other states and the killing of five officers in Dallas.

Bonnie Petrie

Pastors of two of the Milwaukee area’s largest churches – one black and one white -- joined together Sunday hoping to lead their congregations in a spirit of reconciliation following last week’s violence.

It was the first Sunday after the deaths of a black man in Louisiana and a black man in Minneapolis - each shot to death by police - and the deaths of five white Dallas police officers, ambushed by a sniper who was African American.

WUWM’s Bonnie Petrie was at the Parklawn Assembly of God church near Sherman Park as the two men preached about pain and unity.

S Bence

The country continues to reel after devastating shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. Milwaukee is no stranger to violence.

Sunday, the first service was about to begin at All Peoples Church at 2nd and Clarke.

A cool hush fills the wood-beamed interior. Light spills in through massive stained glass windows. But a palpable sense of sadness hangs in the air.

Two days earlier Vicar Christine Roe provided support at the funeral of Jay L. Anderson, Jr. - the 25 year old recently killed by Wauwatosa police.

Speaking the morning after the streets of Dallas became a war zone during a sniper attack on police officers, Police Chief David Brown said, "We're hurting."

He continued: "Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens."

This is a developing story. Last updated 7:23 p.m. ET

Officials say a gunman shot and killed five police officers Thursday at a Dallas protest against police shootings of black men, in a bout of violence that didn't end until the suspected gunman was killed by police using explosives delivered by a robot. Seven other officers and two civilians were also injured.

Members of the Living Faith Christian Center congregation sing a hymn at a prayer vigil for Alton Sterling on Thursday.