CONTACT: Alyssa Mauk, ACLU of Wisconsin communications director, [email protected]
WAUKESHA COUNTY – The ACLU of Wisconsin today criticized the hiring of Joseph Mensah as a Waukesha County sheriff’s deputy. Mensah resigned from the Wauwatosa Police Department after he fatally shot three people while on duty in the span of five years.
Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said:
“The decision by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department to hire Joseph Mensah is shocking, irresponsible, and disrespectful to the community. Securing some measure of accountability for Officer Mensah took months of sustained action from community members. Officer Mensah reportedly received $125,000 from the WPD budget to leave the Wauwatosa Police Department. For him to simply relocate and get the same kind of job with another department is disheartening and dangerous. Law enforcement cannot establish trust with the people they are supposed to serve if they embrace officers who repeatedly undermine it.”
“Although the Milwaukee County District Attorney brought no charges against Mensah in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole last year, former U.S. attorney Steven Biskupic, who was hired by the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission, said that Mensah should be fired from his position because there was an ‘extraordinary risk’ that Mensah would be involved in a fourth fatal shooting should he keep his job.”
“It is hard to fathom why the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office has chosen to put its community at such an extraordinary risk by taking on Mensah as a deputy. After seeing such deep and recent concern across the entire country about the systemic need for police accountability, it’s hard to understand the logic behind this example of just the opposite.”
This statement is available online: