Police Union responds to Williams verdict: 'They did everything they could'

CREATED Feb 21, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - After more than six hours of deliberating over two days, a jury of six decided that officers did not help Derek Williams, and they should have. That verdict is a recommendation, and now we will wait to see if formal charges will be filed against the three officers.

Williams died in the back of a police squad car in July 2011 after telling officers he couldn’t breathe. Squad car video shows Williams begging for help for more than 8 minutes. He died from sickle cell crisis; a condition that deprives the body of oxygen.

“This is somewhat history making since it’s been 25 years or more since this type of thing has occurred. It’s a momentus occasion. It’s a sad commentary,” said Williams family attorney, Jonathan Safran.

Officer Richard Ticcioni arrested Williams, officers Jeffrey Cline and Jason Bleichwehl both sat in the squad car while Williams was in the backseat asking for help.

“The Milwaukee Police Association stand by our officers. Our officers performed admirably at the end of the day. They did everything they could. They did everything in their power to save that young man’s life,” said Milwaukee Police Union President, Michael Crivello.

Crivello argues his officers went above and beyond to help Williams by giving mouth to mouth resuscitation as soon as they knew there was a serious problem.

“There is no doubt that the video is compelling. You have to understand and you heard testimony as to what the officers are experiencing at that time. When they believed that young man was in absolute distress, they rendered aid,” Crivello said.