UPDATE: FBI to Investigate Death in Wis. Police Custody

UPDATED Wednesday, October 10, 2012 -- 3:42 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a federal civil rights investigation into the death of a man who died in Milwaukee police custody.

Derek Williams died in July 2011 after struggling to breath in the back of a squad. The Milwaukee County medical examiner changed the manner of Williams' death last month from natural to homicide following an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a statement Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he has told federal officials they are open to the investigation and will cooperate fully.

There's also a state criminal inquest into the death being overseen by a former Milwaukee County judge.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle said they are also considering a formal investigation into a possible pattern of civil rights abuses by the department.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 --- 6:35p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A special prosecutor has been named to oversee the investigation into the death of a man who died in Milwaukee police custody.

Former Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Franke was appointed Tuesday to oversee the public inquest into the death of Derek Williams.

Williams died in July 2011, gasping for air in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office initially ruled Williams' death natural. But the medical examiner changed the death to a homicide after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel presented police reports and squad video of Williams struggling to breathe.

The Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/PUts5a ) reports Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers appointed Franke, a former judge now in private practice. Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm says Franke has agreed to handle the matter for free.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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