Three mothers bonded over deaths in Milwaukee police custody
Jermont Terry reports Video by wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- Ernest Lacy, Larry Jenkins, and Derek Williams: Three men who died in Milwaukee police custody over the past three decades.
And now their mothers are speaking out about the unfortunate bond they share.
The video of Derek Williams begging for help before dying in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car strikes a nerve with the victims' mothers.
The years 1981, 2002 and 2011 may have no significance to many. But to the mothers of Ernest Lacy, Larry Jenkins and Derek Williams -- those years will forever be sketched in their memory.
Debra Jenkins has walked in Sonja Moore's shoes. Moore's son Derek Williams died in police custody last year.
"I told her to stay encouraged and to be a fighter," says Jenkins.
Debra Jenkins spent the past decade looking for justice since the death of her son, Larry. On September 19, 2002 a police officer shot several rounds into a car killing the 31-year-old. Police say Larry Jenkins tried running cops down with a car. Jenkins' family requested an inquest.
The district attorney ruled Milwaukee Police Department's use of force was justified. The Jenkins family filed and lost a civil suit against the city.
"We have to look at the patterns of the police department. We have to look at the pattern of the investigations," says Jenkins.
10 years later the mother of Derek Williams -- a robbery suspect who died while cuffed in the back of squad car -- raises the same concerns.
"I'm gonna fight until there's no more fight in me," says Sonja Moore.
Moore believes her son's death mirrors that of Ernest Lacy.
"It brought back memories of 1981 when my son was lost through police brutality," says Ernest Lacy's mother Myrtle Lacey.
Back in 1981, while looking for a rape suspect, police came across Lacy. When they tried to question him, they struggled and arrested Lacy. But he ended up dead in back of a police car.
"Oh my God I'm so hurt by this. 31 years later and there's still no progress," says Myrtle Lacey.
All three mothers insist the feds need to investigate the department from top to bottom.
"Everyone is looking at this but nothing has come of this," says Debra Jenkins. "Now we have another death at the hands of the police officers."
The mothers support the call from the community to have more accountability from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.