UPDATE: Inquest Jury says Charge 3 Milwaukee Cops

UPDATED Thursday, February 21, 2013 --- 1:36 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- An inquest jury has found probable cause that three Milwaukee police officers failed to render aid to a suspect who died while in custody.

Jurors gave their verdict Thursday in the case of Derek Williams. Williams died in July 2011 after gasping for breath and begging for help for about eight minutes in a police car.

Now it's up to prosecutors to decide whether formal charges are warranted against the officers.

The officers were not present when the verdict was read in court.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Wednesday, November 14, 2012 --- 3:27 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A date is set for an inquest into the death of a suspect while in Milwaukee police custody.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Kevin Martens said during a hearing Wednesday that the inquest into the death of Derek Williams will begin Feb. 11.

Martens says the inquest is expected to last a week.

Williams died in July 2011 after gasping for breath and begging for help for about eight minutes in the back of a Milwaukee police car.

An assistant medical examiner initially determined Williams' death was natural but changed the ruling to homicide after a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation.

The Journal Sentinel reports special prosecutor John Franke will call witnesses and present other evidence before six jurors who will render an advisory verdict about whether criminal charges are warranted.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Sunday, September 23, 2012 --- 1:50 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office has changed its ruling in the case of a man who died in Milwaukee police custody last year from natural to homicide.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the decision came after the newspaper alerted an assistant medical examiner to newly released records -- including a video of a suffocating Derek Williams pleading for help from the back of a squad car. The newspaper also made him aware of a national expert who says the 22-year-old did not die naturally of sickle cell crisis.

As a result, District Attorney John Chisholm is reopening his investigation into whether criminal charges are warranted against any officers.

Chisholm and other authorities previously cleared the officers of wrongdoing, largely based on the medical examiner's earlier ruling of natural death.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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