Many people may not know Derek Williams. To his family and friends, Derek Williams was a 22 year-old, African-American man, a son, a father, and well loved by many.
But in July 2011, to Milwaukee police saw Derek Williams as a robbery suspect.
Officers state that Williams was arrested under suspicion of robbery. After placing Williams in the back of a squad car, Williams became short of breath and started to hyperventilate. Williams begged for assistance, but to no avail.
(Please be warned that this video is extremely graphic.)
More than 100 protesters gathered Wednesday to express outrage at the death of Derek Williams in Milwaukee police custody and to insist that the officers involved be held accountable.
“People need to demand that the police change,” said Mark Stanson, 29, of Milwaukee. “They need to stop identifying black folks age 18 to 30 as criminals to be eliminated.”
Williams, 22, died after being arrested on suspicion of robbery in July 2011. Recently released squad video shows him begging for help in the back seat of a Milwaukee police car as officers ignore his pleas for nearly eight minutes. About a dozen of the protesters – including Williams’ mother and girlfriend – wore T-shirts bearing haunting images of Williams gasping for breath pulled from the video.
Officials at the police department, the district attorney’s office and the city’s Fire and Police Commission all viewed the video months ago and concluded the officers involved did nothing wrong.
All reopened their inquiries after a Journal Sentinel investigation prompted the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office to change its ruling from natural death to homicide.
At a news conference last week, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said the officers missed signals that Williams was in distress and that better training would be implemented.
Many people are now calling for the resignation of Chief Edward Flynn.
Chief Flynn responded with this, ‘If they think they can accomplish that, I welcome them to try,” Flynn said. “But I’m not going anywhere.’
This is an ongoing investigation.
Many African-Americans/Blacks have experienced negativity from authority figures.
A person is innocent until otherwise proven otherwise by a jury of ones peers.
Police are not the judge, jury, and/or the executioner.
How do you feel about this?