Special prosecutor says officers in Williams case will not face felony

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A special prosecutor told an inquest judge Tuesday, February 19th Milwaukee police officers involved in the death of Derek Williams will not face a felony charge. However, the special prosecutor says he is considering giving the jury a possible misdemeanor charge to consider: failure to render aid.

The inquest jury will be getting the possible charge to ponder when they get this case.

Milwaukee Police Officer Patrick Coe got immunity from prosecution for his testimony on Tuesday. Coe told the jury he helped with the arrest of Williams in July of 2011 in a backyard.

With Williams on the ground face down, Coe said Williams said once he couldn't breathe.

"After he had been taken into custody, we were attempting to find out whether he had a gun on him because it came over as an attempted armed robbery so we searched his pockets. He was handcuffed. However, he began to move around even with his hands behind his back. I believe at that time officer Ticcioni stabilized him. Ultimately what you want to do is put your leg or shin on his shoulder blade," Officer Coe said.

Officer Coe said Williams was passively resisting the arrest. When he and another officer walked to the squad, at times Williams dragged his feet.

Officer Coe testified Williams said he didn't want to go into the squad car. Once inside the squad car, Williams collapsed, and that's when Coe says he ran to give Williams CPR.

Sergeant Richard Thiel was also granted immunity for his testimony. Thiel says during the arrest, he ordered the two officers on either side of Williams to put Williams down on the ground and checked to see if he was medically okay. He talked to him and rubbed his sternum.

"I wanted to make sure whether he was having some type of medical issue -- whether he was injured or if he was just being non-compliant," Sergeant Thiel said.

Sergeant Thiel says Williams did not appear to have trouble breathing during the arrest and Williams then stood on his own power.

However, a citizen witness remembered the scene differently.

"They were carrying him like he was hog tied. He kept saying he couldn't breathe," the witness said.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Derek Williams case via FOX6Now.com.