A Black Wisconsin police officer who fatally shot a Black teenager outside a suburban Milwaukee mall in February won’t be charged because he had reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary, a prosecutor said Wednesday. Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall on Feb. 2 after police responded to a reported disturbance at the shopping center. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, in a 14-page letter laying out his rationale, said evidence showed Cole fled from police carrying a stolen 9 mm handgun. He cited squad car audio evidence, along with testimony from Mensah and two fellow officers, that he said showed Cole had fired a shot while fleeing and refused commands to drop the gun. Cole was the third person Mensah has fatally shot since becoming an officer, and his death has sparked periodic protests in Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee area. Scores of people surrounded the Milwaukee County Public Safety Building as Cole’s attorney and family members met with Chisholm, some chanting, “Say his name!” Mensah and two other officers at the scene said Cole pointed the gun at them.
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