Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Asst. M.E. Resigns After Controversial Ruling in Derek Williams Death
by Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE---The assistant medical examiner whose ruling was changed in the Derek Williams death has resigned.

Williams is the robbery suspect who died in the back of a police squad car in the summer of 2011.

Recently released dash cam video shows he asked for help repeatedly after having problems breathing.

Dr. Christopher Poulos said Williams died of natural causes.

The chief medical examiner maintains that the term homicide must be used because of the struggle that occurred between officer and Williams that night.

The M.E. still maintains that sickle cell crisis was a factor in the death.

A special inquest is scheduled for February in the case.

A spokesperson for the medical examiner's office tells CBS 58 that the Poulos resignation took place in October.

The office declined further comment.

County Supervisor David Bowen released the following statement:

"The delay in making public the resignation two weeks ago of the Assistant Medical Examiner shows no respect to this community, which continues to be concerned about the death of Derek Williams in City of Milwaukee Police custody."

“When the County Executive fires well-respected public servants like Sue Black and Frank Busalacchi, who he had appointed, he makes it a priority to inform the public the same day. But when a community is frustrated by the lack of humanity of officers who refuse to call for medical attention as a resident dies in the back of a police car, the Executive is silent, misleading the public into thinking nothing has happened."

“The resignation of the Assistant Medical Examiner strongly suggests that there has been wrongdoing in this situation, to the degree that he could not continue in his job in good conscience."

“Residents of Milwaukee County should question the Executive’s priorities: Is he more interested in protecting the interests of the residents he represents, or of leaders who protect the status quo of wrongdoing, while relations between the Milwaukee Police Department and community residents deteriorate."

“I call for the County Executive not to succumb to the same old politics that have gotten us into this mess but to enforce accountability and be the honest leader we need him to be."