Judge finds probable cause to charge Wisconsin cop in death
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge on Wednesday found probable cause to charge a police officer in the 2016 slaying of a Black man who was sitting in a parked car, taking the rare step of overruling prosecutors years after they declined to charge the officer.
Milwaukee County Judge Glenn Yamahiro said probable cause existed to charge Joseph Mensah with homicide by negligent use of a weapon in Jay Anderson Jr.’s death. He will appoint a special prosecutor in 60 days, who will then determine whether to file charges.
Yamahiro’s decision marks a victory for Anderson’s family, who took advantage of a little-used provision in state law to ask the judge for a second look at the case.
Anderson family members who were in the courtroom cried as the judge announced his decision. Their attorney, Kimberly Motley, said the family was overcome with job, sadness and satisfaction.
“It’s bittersweet in a way,” Motley said. “You can’t just be completely happy about it because Jay Anderson Jr. is not here. But it definitely gives validation to the family’s fight for over five years.”
Mensah, who is also Black, discovered the 25-year-old Anderson sleeping in his car at 3 a.m. in a park in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb.