Testimony becomes emotional in Derek Williams inquest

CREATED Feb. 13, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Wednesday’s testimony in the inquest of Derek Williams’ death was emotional. The jury will recommend to the district attorney whether or not charges should be filed against the Milwaukee police officers who arrested Williams.

Derek Williams' mother and his girlfriend both took the stand, explaining what happened the night Williams died.

Sonya Moore, Williams’ mother told the jury about the phone call from Sharday Rose, williams' girlfriend, telling her what happened.

"She said, ‘Oh man, he gone. He's dead, he's dead,’” said Moore. “I'm like, ‘What are you talking about?’ ‘They wouldn't give him no air, he dead.’"

Moore immediately ran to the scene, horrified at what she saw.

“Half of him was on the curb, his legs were on the street,” she said.

Moore asked a detective what happened.

“He said they never touched him,” she recalled.

Rose explained Williams' health history. She knew he had sickle cell trait, because their three kids inherited it. Williams died from sickle cell crisis, which is a lack of oxygen.

She said otherwise, her boyfriend Williams was healthy.

Rose described seeing him in the back of the squad car the night he died. She could hear his cries for help; that he couldn't breathe.

"I asked him how [he] got here,” she said. “He wasn't responding. He was just moving back and forth saying, I can't breathe.”

The officers involved in Williams arrest also took the stand.