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Milwaukee: Family of Alvin Cole announces they’re ready to fight for justice

By Ryan Hamann

Press conference demands prosecution of killer cops.

Milwaukee, WI – On the morning of June 4, the family of Alvin Cole, a 17-year-old African American teen who was killed by Wauwatosa Police on February 2, together with around 25 supporters, held a press conference. The family, led by Alvin’s mother Tracy and his sister Taleavia, made their intentions clear: they want justice, but not just for Alvin.

Until only days ago, the Cole family didn’t even know who was responsible for Alvin’s death, but when they learned who the officer was, it became clear the fight was bigger than just their family. Officer Joseph Anthony Mensah of the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) is the man who murdered Alvin, but Mensah also murdered Antonio Gonzales in July 2015, and Jay Anderson, Jr. in June 2016.

“Of course, a lot of things are going on in the world today, but we have to focus here for our people who are dying in the hands of these police officers,” said Taleavia Cole. “So we need to stand for our people as well.”

As a part of their conference, both Tracy and Taleavia Cole announced that the family called for a march on Saturday, June 6. The event will highlight the demand for justice for all the victims of Officer Mensah’s crimes.

“We found out a couple weeks ago that the guy that killed my son – murdered my son – he has a history. He killed not just one, not two, but three people. This man is a murderer. You can say serial killer cause he still out here doing it,” said Tracy Cole. “Joseph is a killer, and I wanna see him tried. I wanna see his job taken from him. And I’m not gonna sleep until I’ve received justice for my son.”

The other main demand of the event is the call for community control of the police through the creation of a civilian police accountability council, or CPAC, something which has built up a lot of momentum in the city of Chicago, just south of Milwaukee.

“We need justice. We need the truth. We need laws changed,” Taleavia said. “We need CPAC here in Milwaukee, that’s what we need. We need to hold these cops accountable.”

The June 6 demonstration is set to begin at 4 p.m. The event is being co-sponsored by the recently relaunched Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

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