Supporters celebrate Alvin Cole’s 18th birthday and continue to demand justice
Milwaukee, WI – On the afternoon of January 17, roughly 40 people gathered in a parking lot at Lincoln Park to celebrate what would have been Alvin Cole’s 18th birthday. Cole was murdered by former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah on February 2, 2020. Mensah remains free after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm determined he would face no charges in October. The cop was not fired by the Wauwatosa Police Department either, but rather was allowed to resign.
After hearing from a teacher from Cole’s youth, those gathered at the park embarked on a march through the streets. Chants of “Say his name! Alvin Cole! Don’t forget Alvin Cole!” rang out. The route ended at the Cole family home, where members of the family were gathered on the steps with balloons and candles.
The amassed crowd collectively sang happy birthday before Tracy, Alvin’s mom, and Taleavia, Alvin’s sister, each shared their thoughts. Their comments included calls to keep up the struggle in the streets for Alvin and for all in and around Milwaukee who have been killed by the police. Following the remarks, everyone joined in a balloon release before the march started up again, finishing up back at Lincoln Park.
While the ruling in Cole’s case came down months ago, the groups who have and continue to advocate for justice plan to keep fighting. Many are fighting against the approval of the COPS Grant in Milwaukee; for an end to qualified immunity, and for community control of the police. Organizers are looking ahead to the one-year anniversary of Alvin’s murder where they will no doubt gather in protest once again.