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story.lead_photo.caption This undated photo provided by the Wauwatosa Police Department in Wauwatosa, Wis., shows Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. In a report released Wednesday Oct. 7, 2020, an independent investigator recommended officials in the Milwaukee suburb fire Mensah, who has shot and killed three people in the last five years. (Gary Monreal/Monreal Photography LLC/Wauwatosa Police Department via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The police chief of a Milwaukee suburb that has seen protests and unrest since an officer was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a Black teenager in February said Monday that he sees no reason why the officer should be fired.

Joseph Mensah, who is also Black, fatally shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole on Feb. 2 outside the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Cole was the third person Mensah shot and killed since joining the police force five years ago.

Milwaukee County's district attorney announced last week that like the first two fatal shootings, Mensah would not be charged in Cole's death. In his report, he noted officers said Cole pointed a gun at them and refused to drop it, and Mensah could successfully argue he fired in self-defense.

Although Mensah won't face charges, the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission is considering firing him. The commission asked an independent investigator, former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, to look into a complaint filed by the family of one of the men Mensah killed.

In a report provided to the Associated Press by Cole's family's attorney, Biskupic recommended Mensah be fired because he felt the risk was too great that Mensah would fatally shoot someone else, which would create "an extraordinary, unwarranted and unnecessary risk" to the city and police department.

After five nights of protests and sporadic unrest, police Chief Barry Weber said during an online news conference Monday that he disagrees with Biskupic's recommendations because Mensah was found to have acted legally when he used deadly force in all three shooting deaths.

"I've never heard of any police officer ever being disciplined for something they may or may not do in the future," Weber said, noting the decision is ultimately up to the commission to decide.

"Joseph Mensah's been cleared by the district attorney in three different cases. There's been no reason to this point, and none that I can see, (for why) he should be removed from the force," the chief said.

Kimberley Motley, the Cole family's attorney, rejected Weber's position, again calling Mensah "unfit" and renewing her call he and the chief be fired.

"I think that position of the chief is another reason why he needs to be terminated as well," Motley said, adding: "Joseph Mensah is not credible and neither is Chief Weber."

Mayor Dennis McBride, who also spoke at the news conference, openly questioned in the past whether Mensah should remain on the force. But on Monday, he declined to say where he now stands, explaining he didn't want to put additional pressure on the police and fire commissioners.

"I'm not a police officer, I'm not a psychologist. I'm a mayor, I'm a lawyer. Those things don't qualify me to judge (the) fitness of police officers," McBride said.

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