The mother and sisters of a Black teen killed by a police officer earlier this year were arrested Thursday night as protesting continued in a Milwaukee suburb over the officer being cleared of criminal charges in the teen’s death, according to officials and a family attorney.
The arrests came shortly before and around 9 p.m., hours after a 7 p.m. local curfew, according to police. It wasn’t immediately clear if violating the curfew was the charge, or was among other possible charges.
During their arrests in Wauwatosa, the teen’s mother, Tracy Cole, 48, may have had one of her arms broken, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, citing a video posted on Facebook.
“I’m Alvin Cole’s mother!” the woman screamed, referring to her slain 17-year-old son, as officers pulled her out of her car and arrested her, the newspaper reported.
This undated family photo provided by Taleavia Cole shows her brother Alvin Cole, left, who was killed by a police officer outside a mall in February. (Taleavia Cole via Associated Press)
“I can’t believe y’all did this to me. Y’all killed my son,” she said, adding later, multiple times, “I can’t breathe.”
The video also suggests a police officer may have used a stun gun on Tracy Cole, but the footage wasn’t completely clear.
Family Attorney Kimberly Motley wrote on Facebook that “they” had arrested Tracy Cole “for peacefully protesting tonight! She ended up in the hospital.”
In a later post, Motley wrote that Tracy & Tristiana Cole had been discharged from the hospital, but the family was still trying to find Taleavia Cole.
In the video, a police officer is heard saying, “Get on the ground, you’re going to get Tased,” and then the sound of a stun gun is heard, but the footage is unclear about exactly what happened.
After the arrests of Cole and her daughters, a group called the People’s Revolution issued a statement objecting to the family members being taken into custody.
“It is despicable that the Wauwatosa Police Department would arrest the members of the family of Alvin Cole, who their Officer killed,” the statement said in part, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Tiffany Henry, a spokeswoman for the People’s Revolution, also was arrested during the evening, according to the newspaper.
Earlier in the evening, Tracy Cole had addressed a gathering of about 25 to 30 people, and criticized local law enforcement, the report said.
“We ain’t tearing down nothing,” she said.
“The state troops are here with full-body gear ready to tear us down,” she said. “But you know what? It’s just going to make us stronger.”
Among those participating in Thursday’s protest was Jacob Blake Sr., father of the man who was wounded by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis., in July. The elder Blake was not arrested, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Witnesses claimed a total of about 15 to 20 people had been arrested for violating curfew and other alleged offenses, the newspaper reported.
Authorities say Alvin Cole was shot outside the Mayfair Mall on Feb. 2 while he fled from police while carrying a stolen 9 mm handgun. They claim Cole had fired a shot while fleeing and refused commands to drop the gun.
On Wednesday, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm declined to file charges against Officer Joseph Mensah, a 14-year veteran of the force, claiming Mensah’s use of deadly force was justified during the incident.
The teen was the third person Mensah had fatally shot during his career, authorities said.