Family Urges Calm After Milwaukee Ex-cop's Acquittal

Former officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown was found not guilty of first degree reckless homicide and of second degree reckless homicide by negligent use of a weapon by a jury of nine women and three men.

The reaction to the video, including sobs from Smith's family, caused the judge to clear the courtroom.

The officer is going to face a jury trial in August for the sexual assault charges, which follow a disturbing narrative: Heaggan-Brown allegedly had been drinking heavily at a bar the night after Smith's shooting, where he "bragged about being able to do whatever without repercussions" to a man whom he later sexually assaulted.

Prosecutors argued Smith was defenseless at the time of the second shot because he had thrown the gun over the fence.

Smith's death at the hands of Heaggan-Brown on August 13 sparked two nights of rioting in the Sherman Park neighborhood and highlighted the strained relationship between police and African-Americans in the city.

After the verdict was announced, Smith's father, Patrick, was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying, "I want the community to calm down and come together".

Flynn says the jury saw the same evidence he did and came to the same conclusion. "A year ago I told the public I'd seen nothing in the video that was a violation of the law or policy". 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.

The complaint states that the deadly encounter started when Heaggan-Brown and the other officer saw a man leaning in through the passenger window of a vehicle with out-of-state license plates, talking to another man. It was at that point that Heaggan-Brown shot him again ... fatally.

Smith ran into a yard carrying a semi-automatic handgun, according to the complaint.




Mr. Smith then fell onto the ground. The time between the two shots was 1.69 seconds.

The shots, 1.7 seconds apart, ended the brief foot chase that lasted 12 seconds.

An autopsy showed that Smith had a gunshot wound through his upper right arm and another to his right upper chest.

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.

During closing arguments prosecutors noted the first shot he fired at Sylville Smith was justified, but the second one, which proved deadly when it hit the man in the chest, was not.

But Heaggan-Brown's defense argued he was acting as he was trained and only fired to protect himself and another officer.

The officer was sacked two months after the shooting when he was charged in an unrelated sexual assault.

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