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FBI, Justice Dept. investigate civil rights abuses by Milwaukee police

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MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The FBI and the U.S. Justice Department are getting involved in the death of a Milwaukee man while he was in police custody.

The investigation would search for evidence of a pattern of civil rights abuses by the Milwaukee Police Department.

Derek Williams died after being arrested on suspicion of robbery in July of last year. Squad car video showed the 22 year old man gasping for air and begging for help as officers basically ignored his pleas.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office after he saw the video.

Four Milwaukee police officers were charged with felonies Tuesday in connection with incidents over the last two years.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle and other Justice Department officials will decide whether to open the pattern and practice investigation and to file a lawsuit against the police department.

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