Mother, sisters of Alvin Cole, who was fatally shot by Wisconsin police this year, arrested during protests
WAUWATOSA, Wis. — The mother and sisters of Alvin Cole were arrested Thursday night by Wisconsin police cracking down on protesters after curfew.
Multiple people who witnessed the arrests said Tracy, Taleavia and Tristiana Cole were taken into custody shortly after 9 p.m., along with several others.
The city of Wauwatosa was under a 7 p.m. curfew, the second night of protests after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm decided not to charge Police Officer Joseph Mensah with the shooting death of Cole, 17, earlier this year.
A Facebook livestream taken from inside the Cole car by another daughter revealed a chaotic scene, in which law enforcement officers threatened the use of Tasers while taking Tracy Cole, 48, into custody.
"I’m Alvin Cole’s mother," Tracy Cole screamed repeatedly as officers pulled her out of her car and handcuffed her, according to the livestream.
"I cant believe y’all did this to me. Y’all killed my son," she screamed to the officers.
"I can't breathe," she repeated.
Tracy Cole said her head was bleeding and she believed her arm was broken, according to the livestream.
An officer responds, “Well, that’s too bad," according to the livestream.
Family attorney Kimberley Motley said Tracy Cole was taken to Froedtert Hospital with an injury to her arm and forehead. One daughter, Tristiana, was taken there as well.
At 11:39 p.m. CDT, Motley tweeted the two had been released from the hospital, adding: "Police refusing to give answer on where Taleavia Cole has been taken."
Motley called the arrest “absolutely disgusting.”
A statement issued at about 9:20 p.m. by the People's Revolution said, in part: "It is despicable that the Wauwatosa Police Department would arrest the members of the family of Alvin Cole, who their Officer killed."
“I can’t speak to my client and I’d like to speak to my client and that’s a problem,” Motley said.
Earlier in the evening, Tracy Cole spoke briefly to the gathered crowd of about 25 to 30 people. She criticized the heavy law enforcement response to a small group of protesters marching through Wauwatosa, less than 10 miles from Milwaukee.
"We ain't tearing down nothing," she said.
"The state troops are here with full-body gear ready to tear us down. But you know what? It's just going to make us stronger," she said.
Democratic State Rep. David Bowen, who has joined marchers frequently throughout the summer and was with them Thursday night, condemned the arrests.
“It just shows more of this over-aggressive police response, targeted toward people who are advocating for change,” he said.
Jacob Blake Sr., the father of the Kenosha man who was shot by a police officer and paralyzed in Kenosha in July, prompting days of unrest in that city, was with the protesters, but was not arrested.
Wauwatosa police said on Twitter that they had arrested several people for curfew violations, but had not confirmed members of the Cole family were among them.
According to state Rep. LaKeshia Myers, 11 people were arrested: seven women and four men. They will receive citations for violating the emergency curfew and were slated to be released, she said in a tweet.
The citations are $1,000 each.
Peter Juzenas lives down the block from St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church and saw “15 to 20” people get arrested in the parking lot.
“A couple people ran across the parking lot and (officers) grabbed them,” Juzenas said. “And then they started grabbing all of the people out of the cars and they loaded them up in a West Milwaukee wagon and then a Wauwatosa wagon.”
In an interview with the Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride had a message for the group of people waiting: “Please stay away, we don’t need you."
“I understand your right to protest, but my concern all along, our concern in Wauwatosa, has been to keep everyone safe,“ he said.
Contributing: Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Follow Sophie Carson on Twitter at @SCarson_News.