Death of Derek Williams – Suffocated in a Police Car While Pleading for Help

Death of Derek Williams - Suffocated in a Police Car While Pleading for Help

In July 2011, 22-year-old Derek Williams was arrested by Milwaukee police for attempted robbery. He had only got out of the jail earlier that day, after being held for unpaid parking fines. Derek was seen wearing a mask and attempting to rob a couple and fled on foot after he was spotted by police. Once caught, he was restrained and placed into the back of a cop car, video footage from inside the car shows Derek struggling to breathe and slowly suffocating while pleading for help for over 7 minutes before dying.

The police officers claimed they did not realise anything was wrong until he slumped unconscious in the back of the car. A police officer then tried to check for a pulse, after which he left him in the back of the car to try and find a nearby supervisor, but after finding no one, he returned to the car to start CPR while another officer called for an ambulance. Police and paramedics both continued CPR on Derek for over 45 minutes before he was pronounced dead.

The autopsy at the time claimed the cause of death to be natural causes. He was believed to have suffered from sickle cell disease, which can cause shortness of breath, rapid heart rate and breathing problems, due to the blood being sickle and not enough oxygen travelling to the organs.

The family of Derek Williams did not believe that the natural cause ruling was correct and felt the officers did little to help him and left him to die. After a review of the original coroner’s report in the autopsy and new information, which only recently came to light, including the video footage, it was requested by an inquest jury that the cause of death was to be changed to homicide. A new investigation is under way to see whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the officers involved in his arrest.

New Information regarding Death of Derek Williams

Some of the new information which has been released states that Derek Williams was sweating profusely when police found him hiding behind an overturned table. After being cuffed, Derek repeatedly told officers that he could not breath and when the officers released pressure, he kept struggling and tried to reach around his waistband. Because he had not been previously searched, officers thought he was maybe reaching for a gun and got physical again, pinning him back to the ground, with an officers knee in his back.

Derek Williams was then searched. No gun was found. New reports also states that officers felt like he was messing them around and trying to resist arrest or possibly escape once pressure was released. Locked inside the back of the cop car, Derek was still asking for ambulance assistance while having trouble breathing. Police officers deny hearing him asking for any medical assistance at this point.

A cracked hyoid bone was also found during autopsy, and a claim raised that this is proof that excessive force was used against him, possibly a choke hold, although no mention of this was ever found in any report to date. Police say this was not from force and probably caused during the CPR.

There is no video footage of the arrest, only once Derek was placed into the back of the car. City officials from the police and prosecutors offices reviewed the video months ago and determined that the cops did nothing wrong.

Whether this is proved to be another case of police brutality and if any of the officers will be held accountable for Derek Williams’s death it is yet to be determined. If it ever is determined it will probably take months and will only be ruled after a lengthy trial. The recommendation from an inquest jury – the first time this has happened in 25 years in Milwaukee – is only advisory and there is still a chance that no charges will be filed at all. The misdemeanour the jury recommended they be charged for is failure to render aid by a law enforcement officer. Which carries a maximum penalty of nine months.

Video of Derek Williams suffocating to death in the back of a police car is below:

54 thoughts on “Death of Derek Williams – Suffocated in a Police Car While Pleading for Help”

    1. Up here in Canada R.C.M.P officers take native women off reserves gang rape them and kill them sometimes bodys are found but most of the natives here are losers and drink 24/7 so no one relay cares about them

      1. hahaha dumb nigger dont be mad because your race is garbage you fuckin piece of shit niggers are 12% of the american population but you cause 60% of the crime…i see this as one less nigger to worry about…he was trying to rob someone so the nigger got what he deserved hahaha fuck all you niggers your fuckin jungle bunnies

  1. I think it must happen to coppers a lot. People will try anything to delay going to the police station so will fake illness to try to go the hospital. I’m not saying it’s not unpleasant to watch, but if you see people acting like that all the time your going to have a different response then we would.

  2. This will be a very hard case for the jury to decide, and will likely be determined by their own personal experiences with law enforcement, their personal prejudices, as well as the mood they happen to be in when the evidence is being presented to them.

    1.) Is there reason to believe that the officers intended to have the suspect die in the back of their squad car?

    Ostensibly, there is none. The video makes it clear that the mistake was made when the police officers determined that because this man had been “suspected” of committing a crime, he could not have been suffering a legitimate injury. Whether they are criminally charged or not, the consequences of this decision, namely that a man died while in their charge, is going to follow these officers for the rest of their lives. Believe it or not, no one – with the exception of the psycho/sociopath – can kill a human being, either directly or indirectly, without riding the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it. One may be tempted to accuse these officers of racism, but again, without knowing the officers personally, there simply is not enough information in this video to reach this conclusion, and hopefully, it won’t be used by the media to drum up ratings as this will only serve to contaminate public perception.

    2.) Did Derek Williams deserve what he got?

    Again, depending on who you ask, the potential answers to this question are manifold. If one has been conditioned to think that Human beings cannot change their behavior, then they are likely to rationalize his death as a well deserved execution for his previous crimes. Likewise, if a person has been conditioned to believe that one’s moral character can be decided solely by physical attributes determined by genetic data inherited from parents (i.e. skin color, hair texture, lip size, etc.), they will likely rationalize his death as a well deserved execution for future crimes yet committed, or those done in secret that have not yet come to light. However, both of these conclusions reveal a clear bias which can only cloud one’s judgement, making the reality of the situation more illusive than it has to be.

    1. I agree with you. This will be a tough case. My question at this point before a rush to judgement is to know the exact cause of his death. Why did he suffocate? If it turns out he had medical conditions that are life threatening was it brought to the arresting officers attention? Was he having a seizure or ODing on dope? Until a few answers to questions are known I can’t say one way or another.

  3. It was the most horrific video that I have ever seen. Although, I do not condone theft and rubbery, but he didn’t deserve to die like that. It was truly the most horrible video that I have ever seen. The man was dead… And he was still handcuffed. How about undoing the handcuff and then administer proper CPR!

  4. If there is a fractured hyoid bone, this man is definitely MURDERED, the hyoid is free floating and in order to crack it you need to squeeze it along the plane of its U-shape. The cause of death can either be due to direct pressure occlusion of the airway and/or the great vessels, or what we call laryngospasm—-spastic closure of the vocal cords triggered by an external stimuli (e.g. impact, strangulation, etc.). Sickle cell disease??? “Sick” my member!

  5. Further thoughts: Laryngospasm fits this story perfectly, it explains the delay between the strangulation and his death. He was strangulated during the arrest, got his hyoid fractured, the forceful grip causing the fracture also triggers laryngospasm, he was gasping for air—–he was gasping for air which was futile owing to airway obstruction (by the spastic vocal cords). Can anyone convey this message to his family members?

  6. I have the unfortunate privilege of living in Milwaukee and it’s a crime-ridden shit hole. The favorite past time up here is getting as snot-slinging drunk as possible, getting behind the wheel of a rusty car and hurtling down I-43 or I-94 in the wrong direction until stopped by concrete, a police cruiser (by hitting it, not by getting pulled over), or by the preferred method of hitting a car full of innocent people, usually young families with kids. It’s a weekly event. I am not from this awful place, but from Mississippi, and you’d think I’d be anti nigger all the way but I’m not. Surprisingly, these northern states are FAR more segregated than the deep South and have astronomical crime in comparison. This is also the third (reported) case of murder by MPD under similar circumstances. I imagine for every case like this 50 more go unreported. MPD also arrested a handful of its own after a 15 year history of sexual assaults upon suspects and prisoners. This is male-on-male violence, fwiw. It’s not like they got caught groping a hot mama or fucking a little drunkie-drunkie. This whole motherfuckin place is sick.
    As a nurse, I’d have to agree with laryngospasm as a result of strangulation. His cricoid cartilage was crushed too BTW…(Adams Apple) I’d venture a guess his spleen was also ruptured; sickening cell disease or not, it’s fatal in many cases. I don’t condone the suspect’s behavior that got him in the back of a police car, but there’s a far larger problem here.
    Besides, the house cleaning should really be directed at the illegals who share the bulk of the crime with the niggers. The drunks will continue to maim and kill… it’s not unusual for these motherfuckin cheeseheads to have 8,9 even 10 DUIs.
    All that being said, even a change of venue won’t get this family a fair investigation. Sad but true. Must admit, cop brutality on the Gulf Coast is dealt with swiftly and justly once we started making examples of sick pigs and locking them the fuck up. Fuck Wisconsin- I can’t wait to get home when my job ends up here….

  7. What a way to go man fuck that was fucked up I mean I was saying to myself where the fuck are the police and they were sitting rite there all along wtf man just imagine not being able to breath with your hands tied behind your back at that nasty nasty nasty poor guy man I just hope he don’t lose his way to the other side trying to get those cuffs off god bless his soul

  8. All the ppl that said he’s a criminal so he deserves to die 😀 If i had to choose between having my tv stolen and weather or not someone lived or died…… I’d have to ask myself ‘are we talking about a flat screen with HD or….’ hmmm ??

  9. It was announced yesterday that none of these three scumfucking pigs will be held accountable for this homicide. There are still 2 outstanding homicides of this nature and I suspect they will also be swept under the rug.

    Milwaukee is a cesspool. It is a shithole breeding ground for child molesters, drunks and serial killers (think Ed Gein and Dahmer, but there are many more). We had 2 more drunks flying down the freeway in the wrong direction last weekend fwiw. Last, but not least, two of the recent mass shootings took place within months of each other and about 20 miles apart; one was at a Sikh temple and the other at a salon and day spa. And these stupid fucks want to keep their beloved assault rifles and related bullshit….

    Just a few more weeks and I’ll be out of here. It’s safer to walk around in the 9th Ward in New Orleans with 50 gold chains and a briefcase full of money than it is to go get a manicure in some uppity suburb in Milwaukee.

    Fuck this fuckin place.

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    Hard what to make of this video.

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