Crivello, who said he was present for nearly every hour of testimony over seven days, said officers performed "admirably" and did everything in their power to save Williams.
"You heard testimony as to what the officers are experiencing at that moment in time. And when they believed that young man was in absolute distress, they rendered the proper aid. They went above and beyond the proper aid," Crivello said. "Our officers are taught to use protective masks when they give mouth-to- mouth resuscitation, and an officer dismissed that and went right to resuscitation because he wanted to save that young man's life."
He added: "Our officers did nothing wrong that night."
Ald. Milele Coggs also observed much of the inquest.
"I can unequivocally say it has been a worthwhile endeavor. The public is much more aware of the series of events that led up to Derek Williams' death, and they have seen firsthand as the wheels of justice begin to turn," she said in a statement. "But this specific case is still far from over, and Derek Williams' death is only one of a number of cases that constitute a broader federal investigation into the Milwaukee Police Department. It bears repeating that the proceedings of the last week are only the first steps in the march toward justice."
The Police Department released this statement: "Chief Flynn appreciates the diligence and professionalism of Special Prosecutor Franke. The Milwaukee Police Department has cooperated and will continue to cooperate with this process."
That statement is an about-face from the one Flynn issued after the revised medical examiner's report ruled the death a homicide. At that time, Flynn said he did not expect any officers to be criminally charged and said: "This second report contains no information that was not in the first report, nor does it present any new objective fact."
After the Journal Sentinel brought the video and other public records about Williams' death to light, some community leaders called for Flynn's resignation. Flynn proposed a series of what he called reforms and new policies. However, the Journal Sentinel found that similar reforms had been made in the past after previous deaths in police custody.
Chisholm named Franke, a former Milwaukee County judge and assistant U.S. attorney, as special prosecutor partly to counteract criticism that inquests in the county typically have been biased toward police.
In his closing statement Wednesday, Franke personified first a prosecutor then and a defense attorney, offering jurors arguments both for and against charges. He did not tell the jury what he believed or what he thought should happen.
The jury also found there was probable cause to believe Williams died of sickle cell crisis, the cause listed on both the initial autopsy report and the revised report. The difference: The first listed the manner of death as natural. The second listed the manner as homicide "due to flight from and altercation with police."
Williams did not have sickle cell disease; he had only the genetic marker for the condition, known as sickle cell trait. There is controversy in the medical field regarding whether people with the trait can die suddenly as a result of that condition.
Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Brian Peterson and his former assistant, Christopher Poulos, who performed the autopsy on Williams, stood by the rulings of homicide and sickle cell crisis during their inquest testimony. Other experts, however, testified there was not enough evidence to show Williams died of a sickle cell crisis. They also disagreed with the manner of death being called homicide. They classified both the cause and manner of death as "undetermined."
In finding probable cause that sickle cell crisis caused Williams' death, jurors sent a signal that they agreed with the medical examiner's homicide ruling.
Franke said before the inquest that he also might ask jurors to consider whether any police officers should be charged with reckless homicide, a felony. But as the testimony neared its conclusion, Franke told Judge Kevin Martens he did not feel the evidence would support that charge.