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2 charged in violent protest against officer

Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 21, 2020 

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — So, Rep. Bowen, the “peaceful” Black Lives Matter protest targeting Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah wasn’t so peaceful after all. 

Ronald Bell Jr. and William Lofton, both of Milwaukee, have been charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony. Bell faces an additional felony charge of battery to a law enforcement officer. 

They were part of the mob that attacked the embattled cop on the night of Aug. 8 at Mensah’s girlfriend’s house. The protest turned into a riot when Mensah confronted the demonstrators on the property. 

According to the criminal complaint, Bell was carrying a shotgun “and it discharged striking the doorframe of the residence.” Lofton and Bell fled the scene, the complaint states. 

Mensah described the harrowing scene on Facebook and multiple witnesses detailed the disorderly conduct of the approximately 60 demonstrators at the scene. 

State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee), who says he was at the protest, had a different story to tell. He released a statement following the incident and spoke publicly, insisting Mensah and police have lied about the events. 

“The victim narrative put forth by Mensah and now the Wauwatosa Police Department is totally inaccurate, irresponsible and false,” the Democrat continued.  “In my time at the protest in front of Mensah’s home, I personally felt threatened by his actions: spraying pepper spray into the crowd, yelling & inviting protestors to fight him, taking his big dog out to potentially attack people.”

Detective John Milotzky, president of the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association, has said that the facts of what occurred “do not align at all with David Bowen’s statements.”

“He is making claims that are untruthful,” Milotzky told Empower Wisconsin last week. 

Bowen isn’t talking now. Empower Wisconsin reached out to the lawmaker on Twitter. He didn’t respond. He has referred questions to his attorney, the same lawyer representing Alvin Cole. Mensah is on paid administrative leave while investigators look into the officer’s fatal shooting of the17-year-old last February. The black teen allegedly fired a handgun at officers at Mayfair Mall during the incident. 

Mensah has fatally shot three men in five years; the two previous officer-involved shooting cases have been ruled justified, finding that Mensah acted in self-defense.

Black Lives Matter protesters have made Mensah the face of police brutality and social injustice in suburban Milwaukee, demanding the black police officer be fired and charged with homicide. They’ve received the backing of most on Wauwatosa’s woke city council.

In a press release Thursday, Milotzky criticized protester-pandering Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride and Alderwoman Heather Kuhl for their silence following the arrests. 

One of the suspects is part of the so-called “People’s Revolution,” whose members are on the Ad Hoc Committee to Address Policing and Systemic Inequities established by McBride and Wauwatosa’s woke city council. 

Kimberly Motley, the attorney suing Mensah and apparently defending Bowen, has recommended the Wauwatosa Police Department take bias training from the People’s Revolution. 

The police union has raised concerns that Kuhl, the city council member, may have in an earlier email to the Police and Fire Commission unethically influenced the commission’s perception of Mensah. She called for the officer’s immediate firing to “repair the damage” of Wauwatosa’s past. 

“Considering the escalating violence against Officer Mensah — an African-American police officer — I hope that Alderperson Kuhl and Mayor McBride will specifically address our previous concerns and demonstrate the leadership necessary to de-escalate this situation,” the police union president wrote.

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