Milwaukee Common Council
Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s insight needed in Williams death investigation

We are respectfully requesting that the office of the U.S. Attorney conduct an investigation into the case of Derek Williams, who died last year while in the custody of Milwaukee police.

By - Sep 27th, 2012 11:16 am

We are respectfully requesting that the office of the U.S. Attorney conduct an investigation into the case of Derek Williams, who died last year while in the custody of Milwaukee police.

The changing of the coroner’s determination that Mr. Williams died not of natural causes but as a result of homicide has sparked concern and many questions, and we believe that a U.S. Attorney’s investigation will provide “fresh eyes” and the fresh perspective that is needed to look into this troubling case.

Last year, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and Alderman Willie C. Wade brought forth legislation sparked by the Derek Williams case (and other deaths in police custody) that directed the Fire and Police Commission to report to the Common Council biannually, by January 31 and July 31, on new incidents of officer-involved shootings and deaths of citizens in police custody. The measure put in place a scheduled reporting of these incidents in order to better investigate the causes and to keep all involved aware of procedures for the safe handling of persons in custody. We strongly recommend that the thorough reinvestigation of the coroner’s finding in the Derek Williams case is covered in that report to the Common Council.

The dash cam video has raised serious questions about how police handled Derek Williams when he was struggling to breathe. The video was enough for us and thousands of reasonable community members to question the handling of Mr. Williams and police processes in general.

We believe accountability to the public by police and investigative agencies is needed, and it is our hope that an investigation by the U.S. Attorney will be a step toward more accountability and greater transparency in this case.

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Common Council

Milwaukee Common Council

Colin Kaepernick to be featured in city’s 28 Days of Black History

From Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Cavalier Johnson and Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd

Milwaukee Common Council

Joint statement on the death of a Department of Public Works worker

From Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Robert Donovan, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Michael J. Murphy, Alderman Mark A. Borkowski, Alderman Jóse G. Pérez, Alderman Terry L. Witkowski, Alderman Tony Zielinski, and Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II

Milwaukee Common Council

Joint statement on fallen Milwaukee Police Officer

From Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Michael J. Murphy, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Jóse G. Pérez, Alderman Robert Donovan, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderman Terry L. Witkowski, Alderman Cavalier Johnson and Alderman Mark A. Borkowski

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us