Ex-cop avoids charges in killing of 23yo Milwaukee man

Dominique Heaggan-Brown right and his attorney Jonathan C. Smith left watch the power point presentation of use of force expert Robert C. Willis on a video screen during the trial of former Milwaukee officer Heaggan Brown Monday

According to FOX6 News, the jury began deliberations on Tuesday (June 20) and came with their verdict today.

The jury included four African-Americans. It was later determined that Heaggan-Brown's first shot struck Smith in his right bicep area with the bullet passing through Smith's bicep and lodging in a window casement to the east of the shooting.

Prosecutors had argued before a jury that the first shot was reasonable, but the second shot was not, because Heaggan-Brown had no reason to fear for his life once Smith was on the ground, unarmed.

Jurors found that Heaggan-Brown, who still faces charges in an unrelated sexual assault investigation, was not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide when he shot 23-year-old Smith following a brief foot chase.

His lead attorney, Jonathan Smith, said his client was relieved and grateful for the jury's decision in a hard case.

Heaggan-Brown and another officer started CPR on Smith. A jury on Wednesday acquitted Brown of first-degree reckless homicide in the killing of Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man, on August 13, 2016. Heaggan-Brown later told investigators he fired this second shot because he thought Smith was reaching toward his waist. Smith, who was holding a gun by the barrel, attempted to throw it over the fence, presumably to surrender to the police unarmed so he could live. Smith and Heaggan-Brown are both black.

Data shows 82 officers nationwide have been charged with murder or manslaughter for on-duty fatal shootings since 2005, said Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Ohio's Bowling Green State University.

Heaggan-Brown was acquitted Wednesday of first-degree reckless homicide in the August 13, 2016, killing of Smith, which ignited several days of protests in Milwaukee. "We're not animals. Every time they take a shot, it's to kill you because a dead man can't talk, so they can't explain what really happened".


The prosecution argued that Smith was defenseless and "looked like a child" at the moment when he was killed. The officer was sacked two months after the shooting when he was charged in an unrelated sexual assault.

The trial centered on body camera footage from Heaggan-Brown; it captured events as he chased after Smith following a traffic stop.

Heaggan-Brown shot Smith as he was fleeing.

Heaggan-Brown's attorney Jonathan Smith, said by telephone that no officer wants to use deadly force, but his client did what he was trained to do.

Heaggan-Brown then allegedly raped the man and left him at a hospital the next day.

Smith's shooting set off days of unrest in the city, particularly the Sherman neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee.

When Mr. Smith reached the fence, he threw his gun over it, just as Officer Heaggan-Brown fired at him, a shot that hit Mr. Smith in his right arm.

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