Jeramey Jannene
Protest Day 73

Bowen Says Officer Mensah Fired The Gun

Rep. Bowen disputes police account, says Mensah, not protestors, fired gun at officer's house.

By - Aug 10th, 2020 06:50 pm
Police. Photo by Highway Patrol Images / CC BY (

Police. Photo by Highway Patrol Images / CC BY (

In a world where seemingly every altercation is recorded on video, a confrontation outside the home of suspended Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah has become an issue of he-said-she-said.

The Wauwatosa Police Department put out a statement Sunday afternoon that said a group of approximately 50 to 60 people had gathered outside Mensah’s home Saturday night and began to vandalize the property.

“Officer Mensah attempted to establish a dialog with the group but was ultimately physically assaulted outside of his home. As Officer Mensah retreated into his home, armed protestors approached the rear door and a single shotgun round was discharged by a member of the group into Officer Mensah’s backdoor,” wrote the department.

State Representative David Bowen, who was present at the scene and is a regular attendee of the protests, said that the Wauwatosa Police Department account is “totally inaccurate, irresponsible and false.” He said Mensah is the one who fired the weapon.

Mensah is suspended pending an investigation into three on-duty killings in the past five years for which he was previously cleared of any criminal wrong-doing. He was not wearing a body camera during any of the incidents. Protests in Wauwatosa have been centered on the killings, even after a city commission voted to suspend Mensah in mid-July.

“What I observed on Saturday outside Officer Mensah’s home was an out-of-control, yelling & aggressive man that came out of his house with the goal to provoke peaceful protestors and incite violence,” wrote Bowen in a statement.

“No one tried to kill him or his girlfriend. That’s a lie. No one tried to enter his home. That’s a lie. There weren’t several shots fired. Another lie. No protestor shot at the back door. That’s the biggest lie. Joseph Mensah chose to engage with a protestor, and pulled the trigger on that individual’s firearm,” wrote Bowen.

“This was not the first protest outside of an individual’s home; there have been protests and gospel concerts held in front of many influential leader’s homes. Chief Weber, Chief Morales, DA Chisholm & Mayor Barrett. All of those times were peaceful and occurred without incident. This time would’ve been no different had Officer Mensah not decided to confront the crowd,” wrote Bowen. “I personally believe that he can not be trusted to tell the truth.”

Activist Vaun Mayes also characterized Mensah as the aggressor that grabbed the weapon.

“I think protestors went to toilet paper his home and put up crime scene tape, and encountered Mensah and his girlfriend outside,” Mayes told Corrinne Hess of Wisconsin Public Radio on Sunday.

“Last night, protesters came to my girlfriend’s house while I was there and tried to kill me,” wrote Mensah in a Facebook post. “We were both assaulted, punched and ultimately shot at several times. A shotgun round missed me by inches. Not once did I ever swing back or reciprocate any [of] the hate that was being directed at me.”

Talk radio host Dan O’Donnell said the protesters tried to murder Mensah, who is Black. “The local media is actively downplaying this story to preserve the ‘peaceful protesters’ narrative. These are violent terrorists, plain and simple,” tweeted O’Donnell on Sunday.

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More about the 2020 Racial Justice Protests

Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here

More about the Case of Officer Joseph Mensah

Read more about Case of Officer Joseph Mensah here

Categories: Politics, Public Safety

3 thoughts on “Protest Day 73: Bowen Says Officer Mensah Fired The Gun”

  1. lccfccoop2 says:

    So why did the peaceful protestor have a loaded shotgun in the first place. And is strewing toilet paper and putting up yellow tape a part of peaceful protesting?

  2. Edward Susterich says:

    The leaders and organizers of any protest activity have a responsibility to focus on the desired end result and avoid actions that discredit their cause. If necessary expel those who resort to irresponsible acts such as reckless use of weapons (including shotguns), vandalism, and intimidation. There are legal means through the political process, courts, investigative process, grand juries that have not been exhausted, Put the pressure on elected officials to advance their cause.

    One expects an elected official such as State Representative Bowen would show leadership in organizing an effective protest without resorting to shotguns and toilet paper. As a government representative, he has greater access to others in government than ordinary citizens.

  3. weitenma83 says:

    Seriously, peaceful = loaded shotgun? I think not. The ‘peaceful’ crowd obviously didn’t confine itself to the public sidewalk or street. In order for the shot to be fired through the back door, they had to trespass. Bowen needs to rethink his responsibility as an elected official.

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