In a historic verdict, an inquest jury recommended Thursday that three Milwaukee Police officers be criminally charged in connection with the in-custody death of Derek Williams in July 2011.

Three of the officers involved in the arrest of Williams, who died after gasping for air in the back of a squad car, should be charged with failure to render aid by a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail, jurors concluded.

Officer Richard Ticcioni put his knee across Williams' back during the arrest. Officers Jeffrey Cline and Jason Bleichwehl each spent time in the front seat of the squad car as Williams struggled to breathe for nearly eight minutes in the back, a squad video shows.

After Williams slumped over, unconscious, Bleichwehl then checked his pulse, propped him up in the seat and walked to a nearby supervisor's car, the video shows. Finding no one there, Bleichwehl returned to Williams and started CPR. Police and paramedics continued CPR for about 45 minutes before Williams was declared dead.

Read the full Journal Sentinel story.

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