Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) sent the following letter to Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride offering federal assistance after the protests and violence at the home of Officer Joseph Mensah.
August 11, 2020
The Honorable Dennis McBride
Mayor of the City of Wauwatosa
Dear Mayor McBride:
I write to you today concerning the deteriorating security and policing in Wauwatosa. The protests, which may have started peacefully, have been growing ever more violent, and the events Saturday night outside the residence of Officer Joseph Mensah require immediate leadership and strong action from you and the elected leaders of Wauwatosa.
First, allow me to be clear that I am, and always will be, supportive of an American citizen’s First Amendment rights. Having said that, ever since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the protests the incident sparked, there has been a push by community leaders throughout the country to weaken, defund and abolish police departments in several cities. Locally, Officer Mensah has become the poster child for this movement due to his three officer-involved-shooting incidents. Officer Mensah has dedicated his life to protecting our community and been cleared by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office of two of the three shootings in which he has been involved. The third incident is still under review. Despite the decisions by the Milwaukee County DA, your Common Council passed a resolution calling for the termination of Officer Mensah’s employment with the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD).
While I understand the Common Council wants to bring reforms to the WPD, the consequences of their actions are having serious repercussions for the residents of your community. Citizens of Wauwatosa are being harassed by these protesters, who have now laid siege to a residence in your community, where a gun was fired at a home with women and children inside. Actions like this, and the breakdown of law and order, will spread fear and force the citizens of Wauwatosa to reconsider their choice to reside there. The mass emigration from your city would be devastating to the very fabric of the community, in addition to the detrimental effect it would have on your tax base, schools and city finances.
As I believe we are teetering on a crisis, I am offering my assistance. I stand ready to contact federal law enforcement agencies and bring them to Wauwatosa in order to bring peace and tranquility back to the community.
I look forward to hearing from you. While we have reached a critical tipping point in Wauwatosa, I am confident that if we work together, we can restore the rule of law. It is crucial that we strive to preserve the excellent quality of life that has drawn so many to work and raise their families in Wauwatosa.
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Member of Congress