Statement from Chris Ahmuty, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director:
According to media accounts, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has announced that his office will not file charges against Wauwatosa police officer Officer Joseph Mensah, who shot and killed Mr. Jay Anderson on June 23, 2016 in Madison Park. In response to the announcement, ACLU of Wisconsin issued the following statement. It is attributable to ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty.
“The ACLU of Wisconsin regrets District Attorney Chisholm’s decision because it leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the circumstances of and the responsibility for Jay Anderson’s death. Current events including (but not limited to) the deaths of Sylville Smith in Milwaukee, Christopher Davis in Walworth County, Walter Scott in South Carolina—all at the hands of police officers—underscore that people of color are too often victims of excessive use of force by police in circumstances suggestive of racial bias.
Officer Mensah has killed two civilians in two years. Police officers should use force only as a last resort, and the force used must be no more than is absolutely necessary. Police officers who do not follow these guidelines should be held accountable in accordance with the law, whether or not fatalities are a result of police action. Police should undergo specialized training programs designed to teach officers to choose deescalation over force whenever possible.”
The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 7,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.