Former MPD officer found not guilty in shooting Sylville Smith

Officer Heaggan-Brown and another officer were working in a residential neighborhood in Milwaukee when they approached Mr. Smith, who they suspected was involved in a drug deal.

Sherelle Smith spoke shortly after a 15-person jury found former officer Dominique Heaggan-B´╗┐rown not guilty Wednesday of first-degree reckless homicide in the on-duty fatal shooting of Sylville Smith past year.

A former Wisconsin police officer was acquitted Wednesday in the fatal shooting of an African-American man, a killing that had ignited two nights of unrest in Milwaukee.

The fatal encounter transpired over 12 seconds from the time Heaggan-Brown got out of his auto to begin chasing Smith to when the fatal shot was sacked.

The death sparked riots on Milwaukee's north side, as The Two Way reported. As he threw his gun over a chain-link fence, intending to climb up after it, Heaggan-Brown fired his own gun and hit Smith in the arm. "And our argument is that justification did not change over the course of 1.69 seconds between shots", defense attorney Jonathan Smith said. "It's a decision the community had to make", Chisholm said.

The Milwaukee Police Department fired Heaggan-Brown a couple months after the shooting, after he was charged with an unrelated sexual assault.

The two engaged in a foot chase after Smith fled from a traffic stop on August 13.


Jurors relied on video from two body cameras: one worn by Officer Heaggan-Brown and another by the second officer on the scene, Ndiva Malafa.

The family's attorney, David Owen, said he has filed a lawsuit against Heaggan-Brown and the city of Milwaukee.

The trial hinged on whether Dominique Heaggan-Brown acted in self-defense when he killed Sylville Smith or if the former officer is guilty of first-degree reckless homicide or two lesser charges.

Heaggan-Brown's attorneys took less than a day before resting their case.

"While Smith raises his gun upward, P.O. Heaggan-Brown discharges one shot from his service weapon at Smith and Smith falls to the ground on his back". Smith, who was armed with a handgun, ran from the officers until he reached a fence. Heaggan-Brown fired the first shot nearly simultaneously with Smith throwing away his gun when he got up.

While activist groups such as Black Lives Matter have drawn attention to police shootings in recent years, acquittals of police officers have become all but expected in these sorts of incidents.

Milwaukee police Chief Edward Flynn says the jury that cleared an officer Wednesday in the shooting death of a black man saw the same thing he did in officers' body-camera video of the shooting.


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