Inquest in Derek Williams’ death set for February 2013

MILWAUKEE — An inquest into the death of Derek Williams has moved closer to a jury. That jury will be selected in February to hear details about how Williams died while in Milwaukee police custody in July 2011. 

Williams’ death was captured on a squad camera as he struggled to breathe for nearly 15 minutes without help. 

“The video I think, speaks for itself to some degree and again, there’s got to be some explanation as to why medical help wasn’t provided when he was obviously begging for help quite politely in the back of that squad car,” Jonathan Safran, Williams’ family attorney said.

A Medical Examiner’s report originally indicated Williams’ cause of death as complications due to Sickle cell trait — but that report was amended, and the cause of death changed to homicide (death at the hands of another). MPD and the Milwaukee County District Attorney concluded the officers involved did not break any rules.

On Wednesday, November 14th, preparations for the inquest were firmed up in court. The special prosecutor asked for a 25-person jury pool from which to select a jury that hasn’t been prejudiced by all the media attention on this case.

The inquest is now scheduled for February 11th and is expected to last four days.

In the meantime, those who support the investigation and inquest into the Williams’ death say they’ll continue marching in protest of what they call police misconduct. They say there’s another video they will focus on — a video posted on Facebook that shows several protesters being arrested on Sunday, November 11th.

“There was no reason for their arrests. The march was over. They were walking to their cars,” Maeleen Jordan, Williams’ great aunt said.

After Sunday’s arrests, Milwaukee police say protesters were disorderly and blocking traffic. They did not have a permit, so four were arrested.

The inquest court will reconvene on January 25th to see if it’s still a go to start in February.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Derek Williams’ death investigation via FOX6Now.com.

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