Mother of Williams' children requests independent FPC probe

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Sharday Rose, the mother of Derek Williams' children, filed a complaint with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission on Monday, April 8th.

In a letter written to Michael Tobin, the executive director of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, Rose's attorney, Jonathan Safran says: "Given the change to the death certificate and the changed conclusions by the medical examiner; the testimony by police and citizens at the inquest hearing; the face that a number of police officers refused to testify and asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege at the hearing; Sharday Rose and I would formally request that an independent investigation be conducted pursuant to the power that the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission has by statute and rules."

A citizen complaint was also filed with the FPC on Monday. It indicates Rose would like "Criminal charges issued against police officers responsible for Derek Williams' death, in addition for police officers who committed MPD policy, rule and procedure violations involving the arrest and custody of Derek Williams, Jr., leading to his death, and discipline for those who failed to do reports, etc., and those who refused to testify at the inquest."

A special prosecutor assigned to the inquest into the death of Derek Williams decided NOT to charge three officers in Williams' death -- though an inquest jury recommended the officers be charged with "failure to render aid."

Williams died in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car in July of 2011. A Medical Examiner's report initially ruled Williams' death as due to Sickle cell trait -- and later amended his cause of death to homicide (death at the hands of another).

The inquest in the case was to determine whether anyone should be criminally charged in Williams' death.

Now, Safran and the mother of Williams' children are calling for an independent investigation -- hoping for some disciplinary action in the case.

"We think we've identified a number of policies and procedures and rules that have been violated. This family wants accountability. They want those responsible to be held accountable and that's all they are asking," Safran said.

Safran says he and Rose are asking for the independent investigation because of the change made to Williams' death certificate, testimony by police during the inquest, and the fact that seven officers invoked their Fifth Amendment rights at the hearing.

"I'm very concerned and I think many people are that we have officers on this department who have asserted that type of privilege that are continuing to now be out on the street," Safran said.

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