Protesters seek justice for Derek Williams who died in police custody

MILWAUKEE — More developments in the case of a man who died in Milwaukee police custody. FOX6 has learned that two Milwaukee police officers involved in the death of Derek Williams — while in custody — were also named in another high profile investigation. The officers have both been named in the investigation of officers conducting illegal strip searches. But FOX6 is not releasing their names, they are not accused of doing those searches themselves.

Meanwhile, protesters hit the streets angry about how cases are mishandled. With signs in hand, picketers marched up and down Lisbon Avenue with a message to spread. “We’re out here calling for justice for Derek Williams and we`re demanding there be federal investigations regarding the cover up in Milwaukee in this case with Derek Williams and we’re calling for Chief Flynn to be fired or resign,” said Brian Verdin.

The death of Derek Williams has sparked a movement. The protesters said they’re not only seeking justice for Williams and his family, but hoping for change in the future. They feel mistreatment happens all too often and is swept under the rug.

Melissa Hall added, “The system is broken. They see our young black men as criminals and it’s not a criminal nature. These people are in poverty, poverty can cause violence.”

As Williams struggled to breathe while under arrest for robbery, police initially dismissed his cries for help. “Not one person had enough courage to step up and said let’s get him some air, let’s give him some oxygen. All he needed was oxygen, he would be here today.  Doesn’t the bystander laws stand for policeman also.”

Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs also took to the streets and rallied in support for police, and medical examiner transparency. She said, “There are other questions about protocol and procedure and information sharing.” Some policies have already been amended. “The chief of police, he stated the choice of getting medical attention for someone asking for it, will no longer be the choice of officers. If it was requested, they have to take them to the hospital, that is the new policy of the police department,” said Coggs.

But Coggs and the protesters want new laws to be on the books for good. Many public figures and organizations have come together. They say they plan to keep this matter in the spotlight until something gets done. They’re considering going to the U.S. Attorney’s office for a federal investigation.

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