Milwaukee Jury Finds Officer Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Sylville Smith

Dominique Heaggan-Brown listens to the statement he made to investigators after the shooting is read back to him in court on Friday, June 16, 2017 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

 

 

MILWAUKEE (AP) –

Sylville Smith (Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

A Milwaukee jury has acquitted a former police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting of a black man last year that ignited riots in the city.

Jurors on Wednesday found that Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was justified when he shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith after a brief foot chase following a traffic stop August 23. Smith had a gun when he ran, but prosecutors said Smith had thrown the weapon over a fence and was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown fired the shot that killed him.

Heaggan-Brown’s attorney argued the officer had to act quickly to defend himself. Bodycam footage showed 1.69 seconds passed between a shot that hit Smith in the arm – as he appeared to be tossing his gun – and the one that hit his chest.

 

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