Jury chosen for inquest into Milwaukee custody-death of Derek Williams

A public inquest into the death of Derek Williams, who died as he struggled to breathe in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car, began Monday with new medical details about his death and a viewing of part of the video showing him before he died.

The hearing, which is more like a public investigation than a trial, will result in an advisory verdict intended to guide special prosecutor John Franke as he considers whether to issue criminal charges. Unlike in a trial, Franke said, he is not prosecuting a position but rather providing a jury with an accounting of what happened so they can reach their own conclusion. He said one of the key questions he hopes the testimony will address is what might have happened if medical help was summoned earlier by Milwaukee police officers.

“Would it have made a difference?” Franke said.

Nine jurors were picked, seven women and two men. Three will be alternates. The jury has five white, two African-American and two Hispanic members.

Via Journal Sentinel Watchdog Update.