Black Lives Matter protests and riots erupted Wednesday night in Wisconsin following the decision to not charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of an armed 17-year-old in February. The civil unrest broke out in residential areas of Wauwatosa, a city west of Milwaukee with a population of 48,000.
Videos show BLM protesters smashed the windows of homes in Wauwatosa. One person yells, "That's somebody's home!"
The situation became so serious that the Wauwatosa police warned local residents to "shelter in their homes, lock their doors, and move away from windows." Police fired tear gas outside homes in an effort to disperse the crowd.
Independent reporter Brendan Gutenschwager and Town Hall reporter Julio Rosas covered the protests and riots in the residential area and shared video of the chaotic scene.
Content warning: Graphic content
Rioters throw rocks at residential homes here in Wauwatosa, smashing windows as others in the crowd plea “That’s so… https://t.co/WdMISr7WSJ— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602124106.0
Police fire teargas on the crowd just outside of peoples’ homes after a car approaches too close to the line of off… https://t.co/bRJAcZ6kI6— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602133134.0
Residential area #Wauwatosa https://t.co/Ff9V5oatUk— Kitty Shackleford (@Kitty Shackleford) 1602129217.0
Around 11 p.m. Wednesday night, protesters shined lights into homes, honked horns, and chanted: "Wake up, Tosa"
Agitators rode motorcycles on the lawns of residents of Wauwatosa. One homeowner retrieved his gun.
Another resident attempted to reason with the mob that ruined his yard by telling them that there are many locals who are Democrats that support Black Lives Matter. The man told protesters, "Do you have any idea how many Democrats, how many MPS teachers, union members, other people that support you live on this street?"
Shining lights into residents’ houses as the group makes its way towards Wauwatosa #Wauwatosa #AlvinCole… https://t.co/1pL25VDDHT— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602118910.0
Protestors chant "wake up tosa (Wauwatosa)", play loud bass, and honk their horns at 11pm on a weeknight in a resid… https://t.co/7YNTQH1T12— Blair Nelson (@Blair Nelson) 1602129503.0
BLM protestor drives on the lawn with a motorcycle of a guy with an American flag. He pulls out a gun and closes hi… https://t.co/gx2oYYZAJF— Blair Nelson (@Blair Nelson) 1602126926.0
A man confronts protesters that have been walking and riding motorcycles over his lawn #Wauwatosa… https://t.co/LsRPyyhADu— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602127564.0
The BLM mob smashed store windows. A Speedway gas station convenience store was looted.
On the ground in Wauwatosa for @townhallcom and some in the BLM crowd are smashing storefront windows. https://t.co/rYwNrlmtMq— Julio Rosas (@Julio Rosas) 1602123002.0
Miss Molly’s Cafe was hit by rioters last night in Tosa https://t.co/kLCHHJ6gQM— CIA-Simulation Warlord 🇺🇸😈🇺🇸 (@CIA-Simulation Warlord 🇺🇸😈🇺🇸) 1602164259.0
Speedway left in complete catastrophe after tonight’s looting. Police arrive to disperse the crowd #Milwaukee… https://t.co/fQLBl44U3T— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602131519.0
Gas station looting in Milwaukee #Wauwatosa #WauwatosaProtests #WauwatosaRiots #AlvinCole #JosephMensah https://t.co/TeK7WMcDf4— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602129580.0
One man is heard screaming at the protesters, "Tear up the white folks' s**t!" Even a business with a large Black Lives Matter sign was not spared from being damaged.
Business owners yelling at the protesters as they march through #Wauwatosa #AlvinCole #MilwaukeeProtests… https://t.co/j6lEmKqEvX— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602117616.0
A closer look at the storefronts damaged. A BLM sign didn't protect a store #milwaukee #Wauwatosa https://t.co/kxKJq9rAQB— Blair Nelson (@Blair Nelson) 1602124241.0
Vandals spray-painted Black Lives Matter on a S.W.A.T. BearCat and a bank.
Spray-painting BLM on the SWAT Bearcat #Milwaukee #Wauwatosa #MilwaukeeProtests #BLM #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/LMGTolhYVg— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602133438.0
Tagging Black Lives Matter onto US Bank in Milwaukee. Protesters reminded people to “Let ‘em know it’s a white pers… https://t.co/bOIBO5Hb1c— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1602136792.0
Anticipating protests and possibly riots, the city of Wauwatosa issued a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. until Oct. 12. Gov. Tony Evers (D) activated the Wisconsin National Guard ahead of the protests in Wauwatosa.
#Milwaukee #Wauwatosa Police and national guard https://t.co/khp1ZZxSJF— Add 💀Your 🎃Name (@Add 💀Your 🎃Name) 1602122126.0
The protests were ignited by the decision by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to not charge Officer Joseph Mensah, who lethally shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole on Feb. 2 after the teen fired a stolen gun.
In a 14-page letter, Chisholm declared that Mensah acted in self-defense.
"In this case, there is sufficient evidence that Officer Mensah had an actual subjective belief that deadly force was necessary and that belief was objectively reasonable," Chisholm said. "I do not believe that the State could disprove self-defense or defense of others in this case and therefore could not meet the burden required to charge Officer Mensah."
Chisholm wrote that Cole was "encountered by Wauwatosa Police officers in the parking lot of Mayfair Mall, ran from the police, discharged the firearm and was ordered to surrender the weapon." The investigation stated that Cole "did not surrender the weapon and was fired upon by Officer Mensah causing his death."
BREAKING: No formal charges filed against Officer Joseph Mensah in the death of Alvin Cole. This is the third perso… https://t.co/uvq7bDfVf2— Suzanne Spencer (@Suzanne Spencer) 1602107648.0