During his five-year tenure with the Wauwatosa Police Department in Wisconsin, Joseph Mensah fatally shot three people. Mensah’s record is extraordinary, statistically speaking; most officers have never fired their weapon at all.
Mensah was suspended a few months after the third incident, which resulted in the death of 17-year-old Alvin Cole in February 2020. In October, an independent investigator — a former federal prosecutor — recommended Mensah’s termination to avert the “extraordinary, unwarranted and unnecessary risk” of a fourth shooting.
When the Milwaukee County district attorney declined to press criminal charges for Cole’s killing, protests erupted. Mensah resigned in November. Then, last week, Mensah was hired as a deputy at the nearby Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office. His appointment made national news.
But Mensah’s story is not unique.
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