African-American leaders in Milwaukee say they plan to keep the pressure on for answers, in the case of a black man who died while in police custody.
Several African-Americans on the Milwaukee common council met Tuesday afternoon with Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and District Attorney John Chisholm. The topic was the newly-announced investigation into the death of Derek Williams, whose pleas for help in the back of a squad car were largely ignored by patrol officers who had arrested him. Milwaukee Alderperson Willie Wade says he wants Chisholm to name a truly independent investigator, not anyone recommended by Republican state Attorney General JB Van Hollen, "We suggested someone a bit more independent."
Wade says Chisholm may ask a retired judge or prosecutor. The aldermen are also promising to demand answers about the Williams case. Other leaders are keeping up the call for a federal probe not only of the Williams death, but of a possible pattern of civil rights abuses by Milwaukee police. Milwaukee NAACP chapter President James Hall says an FBI-led investigation might restore some confidence in the criminal justice system, "I mean people are always told nothing wrong was done."
Milwaukee U.S. Attorney James Santelle says he will monitor the local investigation into Derek Williams’ death, while considering whether he will okay a federal probe.