Family reacts to arrest video of Milwaukee man who died in police custody

NOW: Family reacts to arrest video of Milwaukee man who died in police custody


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A mother is speaking only to CBS 58 about body camera video showing her son being taken into police custody shortly before his death.

The video of Jamar Ferguson's arrest was released earlier in the week.

Lashinna Wilson isn't accusing the MPD officers of wrongdoing in her son's death. Not yet. For now, she and her lawyers are pouring over the evidence and trying to get to the truth of what happened.

Watching the video and the moments officers closed in on Jamar Ferguson is like ripping open a wound over and over, Lashinna Wilson says.

"For me, it was the last things I know my son said now. I didn't get to see him before he died," said Lashinna Wilson, mother of Jamar Ferguson.

Ferguson led Milwaukee Police on a car chase in November before crashing near 10th and Lindsay. Officers found him in a nearby brush pile. They don't appear to take Ferguson's claims of distress seriously at first.

"You can walk. You ran from us, dude. Get up and walk," one officer can be heard saying.

The 25-year-old was taken into custody and an ambulance was called. He died within two hours.

"You really don't know what you have and you don't really know if there are injuries," said Use of Force Expert Robert Willis.

Willis literally wrote the book on Wisconsin's arrest tactics. After watching clips of the video, he believes the officers handled the situation as well as can reasonably be expected. Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing last month.

"They didn't go overboard. They simply questioned his assertion," Willis said.

"When a person says they can't breathe, you don't think 'Let me handcuff them'," Wilson said.

MPD says they are continuing their internal investigation into the officers.

Ferguson's cause of death was ruled 'complications of sickle cell trait.' His mother says having the trait is not something a person can die from.

She expects the cause to be amended after more investigation.

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