Supervisor Stamper Praises Board for Leadership in Cases Involving Death of a Person in Law Enforcement Custody
Board overwhelmingly approves resolution outlining policy for Medical Examiner’s office
Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Russell W. Stamper II of District 5 is thanking his colleagues and co-sponsors for supporting legislation that revamps policy of the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office related to police custody deaths. The legislation passed on a vote of 17-1.
Co-sponsors include Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Supervisors David Bowen of District 10, Jason Haas of District 14, Nikiya Q. Harris of District 2, Willie Johnson, Jr. of District 13, Patricia Jursik of District 8 and Michael Mayo, Sr. of District 7.
“As the legislative body, this board is demonstrating its commitment to establishing practices that will help to prevent tragic errors in the future,” said Supervisor Stamper. “I look forward to a cooperative relationship with Medical Examiner Brian L. Peterson, M.D., with the implementation of this new policy.”
The policy change follows the July 2011 death of Derek Williams while in Milwaukee Police Department custody. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office initially ruled that Williams died of natural causes; a revised ruling maintains the cause of Williams’ death as sickle cell crisis but changes the manner from natural to homicide due to “flight from an altercation with police.”
“I also want to thank the community for its impassioned interest in our efforts as well as the Milwaukee Common Council, namely Alderman Milele Coggs, for crafting and passing a resolution in support of the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors in this matter.”
The revised policy features several key changes, including: The Medical Examiner or staff investigator must request any and all reports available from known or involved agencies; and The Medical Examiner or staff investigator must also request any and all available audio or video recordings.