March for Derek Williams set for Wednesday in Milwaukee

CREATED Oct 3, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - On Wednesday, family and friends of Derek Williams were to join others in the community to march and demand what they believe to be justice in his case.

Williams died in Milwaukee Police custody in 2011. 

Marchers were set to head from the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the street named after him on Milwaukee's north side, to MacArthur Park in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The rally and march have been scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

A dashcam video captured Williams' final moments before he passed away.

Williams: "Sir"

Officer: "What's your last name?"

Williams: "I can't breathe."

Officer: "You're breathing just fine."

More than a year later, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner ruled his death as a homicide and not from natural causes.

The Medical Examiner's office clarified that its definition of homicide is different than what a court may use.  It defines homicide as "death at the hands of another."

The changed cause of death ruling led to a firestorm, and many community members have rallied to support Williams' family and the justice they seek.

"That was wrong what they did to my child. I live with that every day and I'm going to live with it until there's no more," said Derek's mother.

His family is asking for an independent federal investigation into the handling of this case.

A judge has approved a special prosecutor, former Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge John Franke, for the case.

"It's clear that our training was insufficient, and our policy was insufficient to the medical crisis that presented itself to an officer who did not respond rapidly enough," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes" last week.

Flynn says they have already made changes to the department's training.