As previously reported on this Blog here, Derek Williams died in Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”) custody back in July 2011. After the MPD failed to discipline the police officers who ignored Mr. Williams’ pleas for help as he struggled to breathe and lost consciousness in the back of an MPD squad car, and after the Milwaukee County District Attorney failed to issue charges against the officers, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the incident and conduct an open Inquest. Former judge and former Assistant United States Attorney John Franke will serve as the special prosecutor. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the MPD officers involved in the death of Mr. Williams may face felony homicide charges and other misdemeanor criminal charges. The Inquest into Mr. Williams’ death is scheduled to begin on February 11, 2013, is anticipated to last at least five days, and may involve testimony by as many as 40 witnesses. The Inquest will be open to the public. Read more about the case in the Journal Sentinel here.
The civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent the three young children of Mr. Williams. SKS Attorney Jonathan S. Safran was credited in the Journal Sentinel article for encouraging the retention of independent experts to testify at the Inquest as to the cause of Mr. Williams’ death. We will continue to work hard to ensure that there is justice and accountability for the death of Derek Williams.