U.S.

Sylville Smith shooting: Milwaukee officer acquitted

Sylville Smith shooting: Milwaukee officer acquitted

Chisholm noted the rarity in Wisconsin of authorities bringing charges against a police officer for on-duty-related homicide.

"This guy is somebody we now know was engaged in all sorts of criminal conduct, shouldn't have been there", the Smith family attorney, David Owens, told reporters after the verdict.

Heaggan-Brown's mother, Karen Morgan, said, "I can't make this better for them", alluding to the family of Sylville Smith, "but I know my son is not a murderer". The following morning Heaggan-Brown reportedly left the man at a Milwaukee area hospital, then text a Police Department superior to say he had made a mistake and wanted "to handle this in the most secret and right way possible". "The state admits that the first shot was a justified shot".

Jonathan Smith, Heaggan-Brown's lawyer, said, "A gunfight doesn't end until the threat is stopped"-although, of course, the threat had stopped when Smith had thrown his gun away and fell to the ground injured".

Heaggan-Brown's former partner, Ndiva Malafa, testified last week they were chasing Smith, 23, because they saw he had a gun. He said it had become clear since the shooting that Heaggan-Brown never should have been on the force.

Heaggan-Brown experienced the encounter in "real time", not in frame-by-frame motion as it was shown to the jury, Willis said, according to WTMJ.




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. The shooting death sparked days of unrest in Milwaukee.

Heaggan-Brown and another officer started CPR on Smith.

Smith's family wants a judge to declare that Heaggan-Brown used excessive force in the wrongful death of Smith, to award the family compensatory and punitive damages, and to hold the city liable for the incident.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm told the jury that Heaggan-Brown didn't need to open fire as he was chasing Smith on foot because the doomed man had thrown his gun away. After the first jury deadlocked during the prosecution of Raymond Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati officer who shot Samuel DuBose during an off-campus stop, prosecutors sought another trial, which got underway this month. The verdict follows last week's acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez in the death of Philando Castile, an incident that drew similar national attention after Castile's girlfriend streamed the shooting's aftermath on Facebook Live. Smith's shooting triggered several nights of violence in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood.

The Milwaukee acquittal also came as jurors in OH concluded their third day of deliberations in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist. But defense attorneys said the officer was just following his training.


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