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Officer involved in in-custody death of Derek Williams fired from force

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jul 14, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- One of the Milwaukee police officers involved in the in-custody death of Derek Williams has been fired from the force.

Jason Bleichwehl was officially terminated by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission Thursday evening. The firing came just a few weeks after Williams' family filed a federal lawsuit against the department.

It took just a few minutes for the Fire and Police Commission to accept the termination of Officer Bleichwehl. It was accepted without question or comment from the commission.

In a letter dated June 20th, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn stated he fired Bleichwehl for "non-disciplinary reasons."

Bleichwehl was in the front seat of an MPD squad car five years ago when Derek Williams died in the back seat. Williams could be seen on dash cameras gasping for air. 

Bleichwehl and another officer tried to administer CPR, but Williams could not be revived. His death was ruled a homicide. No officers were ever charged. 

The family of Williams recently filed a federal lawsuit over his death.

"We are alleging very affirmatively not only that the medical care was inadequate, he had unnecessary force used against him at the arrest," says Flint Taylor, attorney.

Bleichwehl has applied for duty-disability retirement. This firing does not affect that. Bleichwehl's attorney, William Rettko, says he cannot comment on the termination because of the on-going case.