Lawmakers call for new police training standards in wake of Williams death
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn (left) and Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm discuss the in-custody death of Derek Williams and the medical examiner's revised ruling in the case on Monday. Image by Angela Peterson
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The death of a suspect who was in the custody of Milwaukee police has prompted a couple of state lawmakers to call for new training standards for officers.
Derek Williams died in July 2011 after struggling to breath in the back of a squad car. The Milwaukee County medical examiner recently changed the manner of Williams' death from natural to homicide following an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://tinyurl.com/8zej4gm).
Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor, of Milwaukee, and Republican Rep. Garey Bies, of Sister Bay, plan to reintroduce bipartisan legislation that would mandate new training and education standards for police officers. Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert, of Neenah, says he supports additional training as well.
Officers would be required to be trained in "cultural differences, mental health and physical health conditions that can affect behavior and arrest and pursuit procedures." The bill was initially introduced in 2009.