If you’re thinking Wauwatosa (Tosa) PD has provided full details on Jay Anderson’s killing, you’re wrong. Five months later, and his family continues pushing for disclosure of what happened that night. The incident’s extreme silence has now provoked attorneys to file a statement of injury against the suburb. While local outlets cover this, another disturbing family update is ignored.
“We have learned a lot of things ‘new’”, Jay’s mother Linda told CopBlock Network contributors. After pushing for transparency, the Andersons were privately shown a 20 second Tosa PD clip. It reputedly recorded Jay, hands up, getting shot several times by an officer.
Though WPD hasn’t released the officer’s name, the family disclosed it as Joseph Mensah during protests. Mensah was also involved in a shooting last year involving a sword wielding man. The family state that Mensah was denied disability, and sent back out without a partner until he shot Jay.
That 20 second clip was sent to Wisconsin’s Department Of Justice to be enhanced for further detail. Both Anderson’s family and their lawyers viewed this footage, concluding Jay never reached for a gun. According to them, an inebriated Jay was attempting to sleep it off rather than drive unsafely.
Mensah’s statement, like everything else regarding the case, isn’t publicly available. Open records requests filed by contributors have been denied by WPD, as the five month old investigation is ongoing. The Andersons, however, have read both the statement he wrote that night, and another written later.
In the first statement, they claim Mensah described Jay waking up, then falling back asleep. Given this, and other factors, the family feels Mensah was fully aware Jay was inebriated. Jay Anderson Sr. said the enhanced footage “clearly shows” Jay was cooperating, but still passing out.
“He (Mensah) had every opportunity to reach in that unlocked car”, says Mr. Anderson, “with the passenger window down. He had every opportunity to open those doors, and pull that young man–my son–out that car, and he didn’t.”
“Jay would have done anything to get out that car and make sure he made it home to his daughter”, asserts fiance Star Delarosa. She says Jay would’ve done everything he was supposed to, even go to jail and call the next day. The family asserts, since they’ve seen Mensah’s statements, that he broke WPD protocol by not waiting on backup.
Additionally, their lawyers question whether Mensah was stable after last years shooting. They strongly feel that had Mensah not only waited for backup, but also removed Jay from the car, that this wouldn’t have happened. While Mensah possibly breaking protocal is his responsibility, disregarding a ticking time bomb is on the department’s leadership.
Additionally, if the backup’s squad cameras did indeed turn off simultaneously, then WPD’s practices in general are in question. It all begs the question of how many times, to how many people, has WPD done something similar?
Since Mensah claims his body cam didn’t work, the only footage captured that night is from that backup. According to the family, that specific squad’s number was 318. Although more likely exists, those handling the investigation aren’t forthcoming. Jay’s fiance, Star Delarosa, says backup–including 318–approached with guns drawn.
“Then they opened the door”, she recalled, “and they just looked at Jay. Joseph was hiding behind them like he didn’t want to see.” Delarosa then states that Mensah’s initial report and one produced two days later “didn’t match at all.” While his initial report allegedly states he saw a gun and fired, the second claims he knocked on the window, then saw a gun. Because of this, and the reported disappearance of eight minutes of footage, it’s unclear if Mensah ever really talked to Jay.
Both the family and their lawyers are also suspicious of the gun WPD says it recovered from the car. For one, pictures weren’t taken of it at the scene, but in the evidence locker. Second, at least three people’s prints, the family says, are on it. Third, the enhanced DOJ footage, according to the Andersons, clearly shows WPD officers touching the gun.
“One officer”, Delarosa says, “walked around to the passenger side and took the gun out the car, and was walking around the park with it.” Though Jay legally owned a gun, the family doesn’t believe it was with him that night.
Eight minutes of missing footage, Star pointed out, means “we don’t know what happened. We don’t know if Jay’s hands were up the eight minutes, we don’t know nothing. We don’t know if this man really had a conversation with Jay, we don’t know.”
Delarosa also stated she’d contacted WPD spokesperson Lt. Tim Sharpee. Sharpee reputedly described ways a camera could be turned on, including by radioing in.This makes Delarosa further question what happened to the footage which should’ve been recorded. Why did not only Mensah’s body cam, but his squad cam just not work?
WPD also made it extremely difficult for the family to recover Jay’s car. Delarosa says that she was given a very short period of time to pick it up, or face lofty fines. These included; $120 for towing it from the park, plus $20 for each day it was there since June 23d. WPD also reissued a ticket the family received after being pulled over by a WPD officer.
According to Star, the incident occurred two weeks before Anderson’s death. The officer reportedly issued a $89 ticket, saying he saw children standing in the backseat. Delarosa claims everyone was buckled in, and the children were in car seats. That ticket, they say, was reissued with an additional $10 after Anderson was killed. In addition to fines, WPD allegedly stated the car couldn’t be moved because the keys were jammed in the ignition.
When family friends arrived to get the car, they discovered this wasn’t true. The ignition worked fine, and turned properly without issue. The battery, however, was dead because the keys were left in there. This is all irrelevant, compared to the condition the car was left in.
When gate keepers arrived, Delarosa states, they were verbally sorry, disgusted, and explained the police are supposed to clean it out. One woman was allegedly crying when she realized that the car belonged to Anderson’s family.
“You can tell that they left him in there just to bleed out. The whole front seat, from the front seat to the floor and behind the seat, it’s just full of blood. Blood all on the seat belt, there’s no blood on the steering wheel. There’s spots of blood on the ceiling, on the door, the door behind the passenger seat–that door has blood splatter on it. A couple dreads that came out on the seat. Our daughter had an outfit back there, her cloths are full of blood. Her shoes are full of blood. It’s got skin pigment and, like, his brains and stuff still in the car.”– Star Delarosa
Delarosa compared the brain matter to “black tar”, calling the act “disrespectful.” The windows were left down, for months, as Wisconsin experienced unusually warm summer and fall weather. Pictures were taken of the car while it was still in the lot showing dreadlocks, flesh, and evidence pins still inside. Glass from a shattered window had been knocked inside the car rather than out. Contributors were able to obtain these pictures from the family, which haven’t been published anywhere else. WPD was contacted via email five days ago regarding Anderson’s car. They’ve yet to respond, and contributors will publish their comments if they arrive.
Please caution: The photos are graphic, disturbing, and you’re welcome to skip them if you’re so inclined.
They fit an ongoing pattern of the use of trauma, shock, and psychological attack on the family. Shortly after protests began, they began to experience surveillance and intimidation by police. Officers would allegedly ride around their neighborhood, or park outside their house routinely. Each morning on the day Jay died, they could expect to see Milwaukee PD cruisers. One of these squads, they say, drove past and ominously waved once.
The entire family, and supporting activists, have experienced identical phone malfunctions. Linda Anderson, during this last interview, says her issues have moved from calls and texts, to emails. For over a week, she wasn’t able to read her incoming emails. Shortly before, her phone’s pictures disappeared for days only to reappear.
The Anderson family, and their lawyers, continue to push for full disclosure of the case. A victory, however, isn’t satisfied by simply charging Mensah with a crime. Instead, the family wants a full review of Tosa PD, from protocols to individual officers.
Since the shooting, they say, numerous Wauwatosa residents have shared identical tales of harassment and misconduct. Many of these accounts are likely echoed in the documentary Speak Friend And Enter, which focused on a particular WPD operation. Some feel the case isn’t getting more media coverage because the case isn’t as “sensational” as the Milwaukee riots. Five months later, and their struggle continues with nothing to show, but this.