Back in July 2011, Derek Williams died in Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”) custody. Initially, both the MPD and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office cleared the MPD officers involved of any wrongdoing. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Gina Barton investigated the incident, and determined that the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner missed key details regarding the arrest and death of Mr. Williams. The Journal Sentinel also obtained a copy of a video which shows Mr. Williams in the back of an MPD squad car struggling to breathe and begging MPD officers for help. For her efforts, Ms. Barton has won the prestigious George Polk Award, which recognizes investigative and enterprising reporting. Read more about Ms. Barton’s achievement in the Journal Sentinel here.
The civil rights attorneys of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. congratulate Ms. Barton on winning the Polk Award. We represent Derek Williams’ three young children and their mother, and we will do all we can to make sure that there in justice and accountability for the death of Mr. Williams. We believe that good investigative reporters like Ms. Barton are crucial to holding those in power accountable.