DA Announces No Charges in Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah Shooting Of Jay Anderson

Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah was captured on video defending his life from Jay Anderson.

Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah was captured on video defending his life from Jay Anderson.

Jay Anderson Shooting Justified

Wauwatosa, WI – Video has been released in the officer-involved shooting of Jay Anderson after the District Attorney determined that the shooting was justified.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has completed its investigation into an officer-involved Shooting involving Wauwatosa PD Officer Joseph Mensah and released its report.  In the report, which was released on Monday, the DA’s decision was announced that no charges will be filed against Officer Mensah.  During the incident, Jay Anderson was shot and killed.  The dash cam video from Officer Mensah’s vehicle was released shortly after the DA’s decision was announced.  The video is grainy but visible.

According to the District Attorney’s report, on Thursday June 23, 2016, at about 3:00 AM, Jay Anderson was sleeping in his vehicle at Madison Park, 9800 W. Glendale Ave., Wauwatosa.  The park was closed.  WPD Officer Joseph Mensah was checking the park for after-hours loitering violations. He observed Anderson’s parked vehicle and went to investigate further. Officer Mensah was patrolling alone in uniform and driving a marked patrol car.

Officer Joseph Mensah saw movement inside the vehicle as he approached it and observed Jay Anderson in the driver’s seat  The Officer radioed Dispatch of his location and attempted to make contact with the driver of the vehicle.  According to the report, Officer Mensah’s vehicle was parked one to two car lengths away from Anderson’s vehicle, facing it, and the patrol vehicle’s take-down lights illuminated the inside of the vehicle.   The WPD Officer went to the window on the front passenger side of the vehicle and noted that the driver was now quiet and pretending to be asleep.  He tapped on the front passenger’s window, announcing himself as “Police Officer Mensah with the Wauwatosa Police Department” and commanded him to wake up and talk with him.

The driver, Jay Anderson, then appeared to wake up, rolled down the front passenger window, and talked with Officer Joseph Mensah.  During the brief conversation, Officer Mensah saw a handgun on the passenger seat of Anderson’s vehicle. He drew his firearm, ordered Anderson to raise his hands and not reach for the gun, and requested back-up.  In the video, Anderson can be seen raising his hands up.  After that, on four occasions, Anderson started to drop his right arm and lean towards the handgun that was on the front passenger seat.  Officer Mensah commanded him each time to put his hands up and not reach toward the weapon.  Then Anderson lunged toward the weapon.  WPD Officer Mensah shot Anderson and moved away from the vehicle.  He remotely activated his squad camera immediately after discharging his weapon.  Anderson was hit five times in the head and once in the shoulder.  He was transported to Froedtert Hospital and later died.

According to the DA’s report, the handgun in Jay Anderson’s vehicle was identified as a 9 mm Ruger which had 16 bullets in the magazine and one bullet in the chamber.  It was not stolen but was linked to a previous Shots Fired investigation in Milwaukee. There is no audio on the dash cam video.  After it was activated by Officer Joseph Mensah, the dash cam video automatically goes back 28 seconds and the shooting was visually recorded. After the shooting, Anderson’s handgun was taken to the Wisconsin Regional Crime Lab and testing revealed Anderson’s DNA on it.  A total of 12.41 grams of marijuana was also found in Anderson’s vehicle.

Barry Weber, Wauwatosa Police Chief, said that Officer Mensah “had to make a split second on whether to fire or not” and that “he acted lawfully.”    Police Chief Weber also said that he wanted all of his police officers to investigate suspicious activity and that Officer Mensah was on patrol doing what he was supposed to do.  According to the DA’s report, Wauwatosa PD Officer Mensah stated that he feared for his safety.

A toxicology report showed that Jay Anderson was legally intoxicated and also had marijuana in his system. The Milwaukee Police Department was called to the scene of the incident after the shooting to conduct the officer-involved-shooting investigation.  WPD Officer Joseph Mensah has now been placed back on patrol/active duty after being on administrative leave and duty during the investigation.

We commend the District Attorney’s Office for the thorough investigation into this incident.  Thank you, WPD Officer Joseph Mensah for your courage, bravery, and service to the citizens of Wauwatosa.

Would you have shot if you were in this situation?  Please let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.