On Wednesday, Oct. 8, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm issued a decision to not pursue criminal charges for Wauwatosa Police Officer, Joseph Mensah, in the fatal February shooting of Alvin Cole. The following is the statement of Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley in response:
“Our hearts and prayers remain with the Cole family as they continue to cope with the loss of Alvin Cole. All summer the community has grieved the Black lives taken from us too soon and asked for a swift change in police oversight and accountability.
“Municipalities must act quickly to adopt the tools and best practices that increase police accountability, like body cameras. We can’t put a cost on human lives or delivering justice to communities of color. We must put our money where our mouth is and take the steps to invest in the protection and success of our Black residents.
“After Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer in August, Gov. Evers called the state legislature into a special session to take action on a package of bills aimed at increasing police accountability and transparency. The state legislature must recognize the urgent need for action so Black residents feel safe in their neighborhoods. The legislature should convene to seriously consider these bills, several of which are backed by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association showing that there is a general agreement between the community and law enforcement on the need for meaningful action.
“The impact of centuries of oppression can’t be undone overnight, but the time for change is always now, and there are steps we can immediately take to increase police accountability, better serve justice for Wisconsinites, and possibly save lives. We know reform alone isn’t the sole solution to our problems but listening to the people’s call for action doesn’t mean kicking the can further down the road. The call to value Black lives means taking whatever practical steps we can to implement change, seek justice and ultimately transform a system that continues to cut Black lives short.”