In more than 25 years, no Milwaukee County inquest jury has recommended criminal charges against a police officer involved in a fatal shooting or in-custody death, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. From the time he took office in 2007 until last month, District Attorney John Chisholm had never ordered an inquest – largely because he didn’t want to give families false hope that officers would be charged.
Last fall, when Chisholm reviewed the 2011 death of Derek Williams in police custody, he met with Williams’ family and their attorneys, and he refused to call for an inquest. Now, after a revised finding from the medical examiner and a public outcry, he’s changed his mind. “There are some cases where a public inquest is appropriate, and this is one of those cases,” Chisholm said. His decision came after the video was posted on JSOnline and the medical examiner changed the ruling in the case from natural death to homicide as the result of a Journal Sentinel investigation.