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Inquest begins into death of Milwaukee robbery suspect in police custody

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Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A half-dozen jurors are starting to hear testimony Monday, in deciding whether prosecutors should file charges in the death of a Milwaukee man in police custody.

An inquest is getting underway into the death of 22-year-old robbery suspect Derek Williams.

Former Circuit Judge John Franke will conduct the proceedings. The jurors will issue an advisory verdict – but ultimately, it’s up to Franke whether to file charges. He’s acting as a special prosecutor in the case.

Milwaukee D.A. John Chisholm says he wants the new review to be, “untainted” by previous findings and conclusions.

Last summer, the Journal Sentinel dug up a police video which showed Williams gasping and begging for help in a squad car for almost eight minutes before he collapsed and died.

In the days after that video was shown, the county medical examiner’s office changed the cause of Williams’ death from natural causes to homicide. 

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