Derek Williams died in Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”) custody in June 2011. Initially, the MPD determined that the police officers involved did nothing wrong. After the video was released showing Mr. Williams in the back of an MPD squad car struggling to breathe and begging MPD officers for help, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office changed its ruling on the manner of Mr. Williams’ death to “homicide.” The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office then appointed a special prosecutor to conduct an Inquest into the death of Mr. Williams. Despite the fact that the Inquest jury issued an advisory verdict recommending criminal charges against three MPD officers, the special prosecutor announced that he will not bring any charges. Although the Inquest revealed several instances of misconduct by the MPD officers involved, MPD Chief Ed Flynn announced that the officers will not face any discipline.
The Milwaukee civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent the three young children of Derek Williams and their mother. On behalf of the mother, SKS Attorney Jonathan S. Safran has filed a formal complaint with the City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (‘FPC”), seeking an independent investigation into Mr. Williams’ death. Even though the FPC has never conducted an independent investigation of a citizen complaint, we hope that the FPC will fulfill its legal duty and hold the MPD officers involved in Mr. Williams’ death accountable. Read more about the FPC complaint and the Derek Williams case in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.