Paramedics and doctors testify at Williams Inquest

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by Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE-The paramedic who took over CPR from police the night robbery suspect Derek Williams died in police custody said if he had been called to the scene sooner he would have had more options.

Ambulance records, submitted as evidence in day 5 of the inquest Friday, indicate at least 10 minutes passed from the time Williams was having breathing problems to the time paramedics were called.

Lt. James Arps of the Milwaukee Fire Department said if he was on scene when Williams was still upright in the back of the squad, "We would have got a set of vitals. We would have checked his oxygen level in his blood with a machine that we have. I mean there's a lot of things we would have done. The sooner the better the better the outcome."

Earlier in the day a medical expert said it would be mere speculation as to whether calling paramedics sooner would have saved Williams' life.

Originally the medical examiner's office ruled the death natural because of a sickle cell trait in the 22-year-old. Then months later, the cause of death was changed to homicide.

The inquest resumes Monday. The jury is there to advise authorities if criminal charges should be filed against police.

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