Milwaukee Hopes For Healing, Observes The Day of the Dead

A few hundred people gathered in a drizzling rain Friday afternoon and into the evening to observe Dia de los Muertos — The Day of the Dead — a traditional Mexican holiday to honor those who have died .

Decision Not To File Charges in Derek Williams Death Outrages Milwaukee Community

No criminal charges will be filed against three Milwaukee police officers found by an inquest jury to have failed to render necessary aid to Williams when he collapsed and died in the back of a squad car on July 6, 2011. The controversial death of Williams, a young father of three, has roiled police-community relations since the incident and community anger exploded after last week’s development.

Inquest into Death of Milwaukee Man in Police Car Resumes After Week of Clashes

The inquest into the death of Derek Williams while in the custody of Milwaukee police resumes today after a week when seven police officers refused to testify and conflicting testimony was taken from medical professionals, family members and eyewitnesses. The inquest into the 2011 death of the 22-year-old father of three, who collapsed and died in the back of a police car, is expected to conclude after a day or two of additional testimony. But whether the inquest will answer the concerns of his family and community activists who believe Williams was the victim of police misconduct, remains as unclear as ever.  

The inquest was called after a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner changed the classification of Williams’ death from natural causes to homicide, sparking months of protests in Milwaukee against police misconduct that family and community members believe was the cause of Williams’ death. Witnesses at the inquest, which could produce criminal charges against police, provided conflicting views of events surrounding the arrest, Williams’ collapse in the back seat of a squad car, and even the exact cause of his death.

Students Protest Union Busting Move At U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Graduate students who teach at a University of Wisconsin college say the Dean there has broken his promise to honor their union contract. The students say Dean Rodney Swain of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s College of Letters and Sciences has sent out a letter saying there is no current contract, so UWM would be discontinuing summer tuition remission for the union members. This benefit allowed summer tuition remission for graduating assistants who must take a summer class to fulfill their degree. The union says while cuts to the college’s budget may prompt the administration’s action, it is not right to pay for budget cuts on the backs of graduate workers. The union is pressing Dr. Swain to honor the spirit of his promise of March, 2011 and “do no harm” to workers’ contracts.