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Derek Williams' family elated FBI launching probe into MPD custody death

Derek Williams' family elated FBI launching probe into MPD custody death

By Annie Scholz. CREATED Oct 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 10, 2012

MILWAUKEE- The FBI and U.S Attorney Office have launched a probe into the death of Derek Williams.

Williams died in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car last year.

It's an independent civil rights investigation sparked, in part, by the medical examiner changing Derek Williams' cause of death from natural causes to homicide.  The investigation could result in criminal charges. 

Community members gathered in support of Derek Williams' family Wednesday night, just hours after the federal civil rights investigation was announced.

"We're getting justice y'all, that's all I care about," says Williams' mother Sonya Moore.  "We're getting justice, I'm finally getting what I asked for."

Investigators said they'll take as much time as they need to gather information.

"We ask for the public's patience.  We will not set a timeline or a deadline for this case, we will do so as thoroughly as possible," said FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson during a press conference Wednesday.

The investigation now puts Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and his department under a federal microscope.

"My view is the chief should quit, he should leave Milwaukee with a criminal record, that has the rubber stamp of a federal district court," says Moore's attorney Robin Shellow.

When the federal investigation is complete, the information will be handed over to prosecutors to determine if criminal charges are appropriate.

In the meantime, they want the community to hold off on jumping to any conclusions.

"I do want to ask the public to be as objective as possible as we work through this," says Carlson.  "Our investigation will be thorough, it will be unbiased and it will be done as respectfully as possible to everyone involved."

Investigators are also looking into a possible "patterns and practices" investigation.  That would be a separate civil investigation looking into whether the police department has shown a pattern of civil rights violations.