More officers testify in Derek Williams inquest: 'I thought this was a good arrest'

CREATED Feb 14, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Dozens of police officers hunted for Derek Williams after he allegedly robbed two students. Officer Craig Thimm was nearby when police found him.

"I heard Officer Ticcioni saying, 'Show me your hands,'" Thimm described.

Williams died in the back of a squad car, after telling officers he couldn't breathe. They had no way of knowing he carried the sickle cell trait. The medical examiner ruled he died of sickle cell crisis - a condition the deprives the body of oxygen.

Autopsy reports showed bruises to Williams' neck, that may have contributed to his death.

Thimm testified that officers put a foot on Williams' shoulder, which he called standard procedure. Thimm says the neighborhood is plagued with crime, and he was proud of the arrest.

"When I knew the man was in custody, I thought this was a good arrest, something I wanted to be part of," he said.

By the time officer Chad Boyack was close to Williams, he was on the ground, not breathing.

"I was saying get us some medical ASAP," said Boyack.

Special prosecutor John Franke asked Boyack about when officers would normally call for medical help. Boyack answered some suspects fake sickness to try to escape, so they call medics on a case by case basis.

"When people say they can't breath, and they are talking, half-way decent to you in a squad or outside of a squad, they are obviously breathing," Boyack said.