Milwaukee demands justice for Williams

The protest was held on Friday after special prosecutor John Franke declined to charge officers Jason Bleichwehl, Jeffrey Cline and Richard Ticcioni in whose custody Derek Williams died.

The 22-year-old Williams, a robbery suspect with no criminal record, died in the back of a police car after his arrest in July 2011.

According to a transcript of the police-car video, Williams who had breathing difficulties, asked the officers to roll down a window and call an ambulance. The arresting officers denied the request and instead accused Williams of “playing games.”

An inquest jury recommended that Bleichwehl, Cline and Ticcioni be charged with misdemeanor crimes of “failing to render aid” to Williams last month.

The special prosecutor, however, said in a 33-page report that the “evidence is clearly insufficient to satisfy that burden of proof as to any one of these three officers.”

The Williams family has been outraged by the decision and decided to fight it.

Police Chief Edward Flynn said in a statement that the officers would soon return to active duty.

The officers could still face federal criminal charges. The US Attorney’s office in Milwaukee has not ruled out charging the officers, and the Department of Justice might take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department over a possible pattern of civil rights abuses.


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