Local police are under siege and we will suffer for it
The attempts to destroy the career and life of a local African American police officer and to gut the Milwaukee Police Department and its chief are baring the real agenda of the leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement. Their agenda has little to do with black lives and everything to do with destroying police.
In this effort, the media has been a witting ally. In over 31 years of covering news and the media in the Milwaukee area, I have never seen a more deliberately misreported story than the character assassination of Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah. An essential component of the Mensah case has been deliberately deleted from virtually every story about the BLM attempt to get him fired. This self-censorship of truth by the media, and the desire of the protesters to get Mensah, expose the actual agenda of many of the protest leaders.
Go back and Google the last several months of news stories about Mensah, the Wauwatosa cop who shot and killed a person who was running into Mayfair Mall with a gun, an extended magazine and 35 rounds of ammunition. Virtually none of these stories mention Mensah’s race. Virtually none of the stories feature a picture of Officer Mensah. Contrast this to the coverage of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, whose photo is shown constantly. Until a few days ago, when you clicked the Google “images” tab in a search of Mensah, virtually none came up.
The only explanation for this is that local media was deliberately covering up the fact that Joseph Mensah is African American. The reality that the Wauwatosa cop being targeted with such venom is himself black alters the whole narrative. There has been a conscious attempt to portray Mensah’s Mayfair shooting, and two other fatal shootings he’s been involved in, as somehow racist in nature. This is only possible if people are unaware that Mensah himself if black.
Several weeks ago, I ran a test with about 20 acquaintances, many of whom are fairly aware of the news and a few of whom are retired cops. Not one of them was aware that Mensah is black and were stunned to learn this. The way the story has been reported led all to believe that Mensah is white.
So instead of the Mayfair shooting of Alvin Cole being an execution by a white racist cop of an African American teenager, the actual story is that a courageous black cop was shot at by a member of a group that was causing a disturbance at the mall and that the individual was armed with enough ammo to go into the mall and commit mass murder. Why have local media tried so hard to exclude Mensah’s race from their coverage and why have they refused to run a photo of him? The answers are obvious.
The protesters repeatedly disrupted Wauwatosa Common Council meetings with their loud demands that Mensah be fired and they got their way. The officer was suspended after a near unanimous vote by an all-white city council to can a black police officer. Now that the Wauwatosa caving has begun, the pressure to get rid of Chief Barry Weber, to ban police from Mayfair and ultimately to shut down the mall will intensify.
Pressure groups are emboldened by weakness. The immoral assassination of young Officer Mensah’s career by Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride and the Common Council of white liberals is arguably the most indefensible local government action in this region in years.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, the Fire and Police Commission, with the support of Mayor Tom Barrett, is bowing to protester demands to defund the police department and get rid of hundreds of officers. In order to do this, they need to oust the staunch law-and-order chief, Alfonso Morales. A Latino, Morales is in the cross hairs because he refuses to allow Milwaukee to degenerate into anarchy and managed to keep the city from becoming Seattle, Portland or Minneapolis during the protests. He won’t support the gutting of his department’s staffing levels. Not one part of this has to do with racism. Morales’ top staff consists of several other members of minority groups and the chief is virtually universally beloved by his multicultural squad of police officers.
The protesters and Barrett’s cave-in crowd hate Morales because he is a strong cop. In the meantime, Chief Morales is the first Milwaukee chief in four decades to have the support of the rank and file. A humble and decent man, Morales is a target because of his support for a lawful community. No part of this story is relevant to the debate over racism in America because Al Morales is the antithesis of a racist and deeply cares about a community filled with persons of color.
The rate of murders of African Americans is exploding all over the country. Black babies are aborted at a higher rate than unborn white children. Milwaukee officials just issued an edict requiring all of the schools that educate a predominantly minority student base to remain closed indefinitely. The protesters, in the name of BLM, haven’t objected to any of those things so devastating to black lives.
Many Americans sincerely want racial justice, which is why we fight so hard to replace rotten public schools with outstanding private, religious and choice schools. It’s why we support law enforcement that tries to control high crime in minority communities. But this movement is unconcerned with those things. It is singularly focused on attacking police, shrinking their ranks and destroying the lives of people who try to serve their communities by becoming police officers.
(Mark Belling is the host of a daily WISN radio talk show.)