MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge charged a police officer Wednesday 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 charged Joseph Mensah with homicide by negligent use of a weapon in Jay Anderson Jr.’s death. Mensah discovered Anderson sleeping in his car after hours in a park in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb. Mensah said he shot Anderson after he reached for a gun.
This. Does. Not. Compute.
Judges have no power, in any jurisdiction I’m aware of, to charge anyone criminally.
The reporter on the above story must never have had a civics class. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal Reported it:
A judge has ruled that police officer Joseph Mensah can be prosecuted for the 2016 killing of Jay Anderson, a Black man whose fatal shooting sparked protests last year.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Glenn Yamahiro said Wednesday there was probable cause that Mr. Mensah operated a weapon in a manner constituting criminal negligence.
On the night of the shooting, Mr. Anderson was asleep in his car in a park in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Mr. Mensah, who is also Black, stopped to question him and shot him through the passenger window, firing at least six times.
Police say Mr. Anderson lunged for a gun on the passenger seat. Available dashcam evidence was inconclusive. Mr. Anderson’s family deny he lunged for a gun, and question whether a weapon was on the passenger seat in the first place.
Mr. Mensah didn’t respond to a request for comment. He left the Wauwatosa police department last year, and was hired by the Waukesha County police department in January.
“The real question is whether a prosecutor, when they look at all the evidence, can determine whether they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed,” said Jonathan Cermele, the lawyer representing Mr. Mensah. “Clearly that’s not the case here.”