Judge picks prosecutors to decide charges against officer

2021-12-08 16:05:05 –

Madison, Wisconsin — Judges announced Wednesday that prosecutors and business lawyers in western Wisconsin will decide whether to prosecute a former police officer who killed a man in a park outside Milwaukee five years ago.

In a hearing, Milwaukee County Patrol Judge Glenn Yamahiro named Scott Hansen and La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke as special counsel in the case of former Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah. He said he chose. Mencer shot dead after discovering Jay Anderson Jr. sleeping in the park hours after June 2016. Mencer said Anderson is trying to get a gun.

Anderson was one of three mensers killed during a five-year mission at the Wauwatosa police station. The office of John Chisam, a lawyer in the Milwaukee County district, has chosen not to prosecute him for criminal misconduct in any of the dead.

However, Anderson’s family lawyer used a lesser-known case in Wisconsin, John Doe, similar to a grand jury investigation to support the accusation against Mencer in Anderson’s death and special counsel. He persuaded Yamahiro that he had a reason to persuade him to appoint an official. Decide whether to submit the count.

Yamahiro said he sought a special counsel with a reputation for “honesty and integrity” and found them in Hansen and Glenke. He said he especially wanted someone who wasn’t a prosecutor who could make the case “fresh look.”

“These are not couples with big ego,” Yamahiro said. “They are people who focus on the facts, the law, and the overall situation, and I’m comfortable with what they’re trying to do in this case.”

Hansen works at Reinhardt Bonner van Düren LLP in Milwaukee. According to the company’s website, he focuses primarily on business disputes and commercial law. The Milwaukee Bar Association nominated him as the Attorney of the Year in 2018. He holds a degree in Law and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. According to Yamahiro, Hansen will be paid $ 40 an hour and $ 50 an hour in court.

Democrat Gruenke has been a public prosecutor for 25 years and a district attorney for lacrosse for 13 years. Mr Yamahiro said he was nominated twice as a prosecutor this year by the Wisconsin Murder Investigators Association.

State law requires judges to seek help from prosecutors outside their jurisdiction before appointing a special counsel. The State Prosecutor’s Office has recommended Glenke as the best candidate for the Mencer case because it operates from the Milwaukee metropolitan area to the other side of the state and costs taxpayers other than their current salary.

Kimberley Motley, a lawyer for Anderson’s family, was impressed with Hansen and Grunke’s qualifications and said finding a way to prosecute Mencer was “carefully optimistic.”

“We believe that we should reach the same conclusion that Joseph Mencer should be held criminally liable,” she said. “Let’s see what happens.”

Mensah’s lawyer, Jonathan Cermele, did not immediately return the message left in his office.

Mencer joined the Wauwatosa division in 2015. That year he shot Antonio Gonzalez deadly. The prosecution said Gonzales refused to drop the sword. The following year he shot Anderson in the park. Last year, he shot deadly 17-year-old Alvin Cole when he fled the police following a turmoil in the mall. Mencer said Cole pointed his gun at him. The shooting caused months of protest.

Mencer is black. Gonzales is identified as an Native American. Anderson and Cole were black.

Mensah resigned from the Wauwatosa division in November 2020 and joined the Wauwatosa County Sheriff Division.


Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1.

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