MILWAUKEE — 43 billboards are being paid for by the family of a 21-year-old man killed by Kenosha police in November, 2004. The man’s father, Michael Bell, is calling for the reform of the way police in-custody deaths are investigated — in light of the recent controversy surrounding the death of 22-year-old Derek Williams.
Williams’ death has sparked controversy after the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner amended his cause of death from Sickle cell trait (natural causes) to homicide (death at the hands of another).
Dashcam video showing Williams in the back of a squad car apparently struggling to breathe has caused outrage among those concerned about civil rights violations. City leaders, faith leaders, attorneys representing Williams’ family and members of the public have called for an investigation into Williams’ death — some even calling for Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn to lose his job.
Chief Flynn met behind closed doors with the Fire and Police Commissionlast week to discuss the case — and another case causing outrage directed at the Milwaukee Police Department. That, of the shooting of department’s handling of the shooting of 13-year-old Darius Simmons. Simmons’ mother, Patricia Larry claims she was held in a squad car at the scene for over an hour, as her son lay dying. The Fire and Police Commission issued a 10-page report saying no rules were broken during the investigation.
Bell’s son, also named Michael, was shot in the head in his driveway after a traffic stop. He was unarmed.
The Kenosha County District Attorney declined to charge the officers involved.
A department investigation ruled the shooting justified.
Bell’s family received a $1.75 million settlement from the city of Kenosha — and is using those funds to get their message out of holding police accountable for these in-custody deaths.
“I call on all good officers and the general public to stand up and get this system changed. Now is the time for our legislators to fix the law enforcement review process to benefit police and the community alike,” Bell said in a statement to FOX6 News.
CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Derek Williams’ case via FOX6Now.com
CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Darius Simmons’ case via FOX6Now.com.