Recently, there have been two high profile incidents involving Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”) officers captured by video recorders inside MPD squad cars. In July 2011, a video camera recorded Derek Williams during the last few minutes of his life struggling to breathe and begging police officers for help as he sat in the back of an MPD squad car. In another incident, squad car video showed MPD Officer Richard Schoen punching a handcuffed woman in the face and dragging her out of the squad car by her hair.

Now, the MPD is requesting that 136 of the squad car video recorders be replaced because they are failing at unacceptable rates. The money to replace the equipment, approximately $900,000, will come from the City of Milwaukee’s contingency fund. For more information about the problems with MPD squad car video, please see the article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.

The civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent the three young children of Derek Williams. We believe that the squad car video will be crucial in obtaining justice for Mr. Williams’ death. We hope that the MPD ensures that all squad car video recorders are working properly, so that police officers who engage in misconduct can be held accountable.