An interview with a member of Tosa Together, conducted by Isiah Holmes. Tosa Together has committed itself to racial justice, diversity, and awareness in the mostly white Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. After becoming active with Black Lives Matter and other movements, Tosa Together tackled the Jay Anderson killing. In this interview, church minister Suzelle Lynch talks about the case, and what she feels about its outcome. Lynch is also one of only a few people to have seen the dash cam footage, which is being withheld by Wauwatosa PD to this day.
Jay Anderson was killed on June 23, 2016 while sleeping in his car at 3am. Anderson was intoxicated and, according to his family, pulled over to sleep it off. His car was then surveyed and approached by Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah, who’d been on WPD since 2015. Shortly after coming to Tosa, Mensah was involved in his first shooting of a mentally unstable person with a sword. In Jay’s case, after several minutes of interaction, Mensah claimed he saw a gun and fired.
After five months of a shockingly non-transparent investigation, Mensah was cleared of charges. Investigators and the DA felt, although Jay had his hands up, the presence of a weapon was threatening. However, the WPD didn’t photograph the gun on the scene, and Mensah claims his memory is “hazy” regarding the positioning of the gun in his report. That report, like so many other materials of this case, are being withheld by the Wauwatosa PD.
Anderson’s family members say Mensah changed his story from its original version. To top it off, unreleased footage shows WPD officers remove the gun from the car and walk around the park with it. Although WPD claims officers did this because they weren’t sure if Jay was a threat, he didn’t have a pulse when they arrived. Eight minutes of footage is also reported as missing from that night.
Suzelle Lynch of Tosa Together, and Anderson’s family, are continuing their push for justice. Although Mensah won’t be charged, the case has gone to federal prosecutors. Linda Anderson, Jay’s mother, emailed Cop Block Network writers stating their lawyers wish the family to lay low until the feds are finished.
Jay Anderson left a fiance and children, including a very young daughter who’s still adjusting to his death. Mensah, having killed two people in 11 months, is back out patrolling. According to Star Delarosa, Jay’s fiance, Mensah is in a squad car by himself just like the night he killed Jay. The WPD has largely denied FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests on the case, or redirected inquiries.