Plans now underway for inquest into death of Derek Williams

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee man seen on a police squad video, struggling to breathe, will be the focus of an inquest in February.

On Friday, January 25th, the special prosecutor in the Derek Williams case and the judge met to plan for the case. The outcome will determine whether police officers should be charged with wrongdoing.

"I just hope we get justice because there's so much going on. It's so complicated. I just hope we get justice," said Sharday Rose, the mother of Williams' three children.

Rose is watching the fact-finding case into Williams' death. She came to court on Friday wearing a shirt with a photo of her and Williams in happier times.

Williams struggled in the back of a Milwaukee police squad in July 2011. One question will likely be, what did officers on the scene do when Williams asked for an ambulance, saying he couldn't breathe.

"They're going to get charged. I ain't gonna worry about it. This will be the first inquest in which they'll get charged," believes Rose.

The special prosecutor says he will have three large monitors so everyone can view the video, witnesses will testify, as will officers on the scene and medical personnel. Ultimately, the judge will decide if there will be charges and what those charges would be.

First however, there will be a recommendation from the inquest jury. Six jurors will be chosen with three alternates. There is some concern by those supporting the Williams family that the inquest jury may not end up being diverse.

"We're certainly hoping that this will indeed be a diverse jury. I would be concerned certainly from the public's standpoint if it's not. Hopefully the court and special prosecutor will make sure that indeed does occur," said attorney Jonathan Safran.

The judge on Friday determined the jurors will not be allowed to ask questions during the inquest. They'll have to look at the evidence, hear the testimony and reach a verdict -- which will be recommendations to the judge.

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