Special prosecutor named in Derek Williams case

CREATED Oct. 2, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's chief judge has appointed a special prosecutor for the investigation into the death of Derek Williams.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office says that Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers picked former Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge John Franke for the role.

Williams died while in Milwaukee Police custody in 2011. 

Video released last week shows Williams, who was under arrest for robbery, in the back of a squad car, pleading for officers to help him, saying he couldn't breathe.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner changed the cause of death of Williams from natural causes to homicide.

Two Milwaukee police officers connected to Wiliams' death have been tied to the illegal strip search investigation, according to a Journal Sentinel investigation.

Franke served the Circuit Court from 1987 until 2008, and previously worked for the U.S. Justice Department.