gpolit.com
gpolit.com November 19, 2017


This Acquittal Was Correct -- Jury Exonerates Cop in Milwaukee Shooting

26 June 2017, 02:31 | Latoya Patrick

Dominique Heaggan Brown WDJT

Dominique Heaggan Brown                                   
           WDJT

The jury, which was sequestered, began deliberations on Tuesday - less than a year after the shooting in northwest Milwaukee.

The jury, which included four African-Americans, was sequestered at an area hotel for nine days, part of a tighter-than-normal security procedure adopted for the trial.

Heaggan-Brown's first shot hit Smith in his arm.

"Mr. Heaggan-Brown knew at the time he fired that second shot that Sylville Smith had already disarmed himself", Chisholm told the jury, WISN-TV reported.

Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was charged in October with first-degree reckless homicide after shooting and killing 23-year-old Sylville in August in the Sherman Park neighborhood on Milwaukee's north side.

"This isn't over at all by any means", David Owens, the Smith family attorney said. If he'd been found guilty, Heaggan-Brown, who is Black, could have been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Heaggan-Brown's attorney Jonathan Smith, said his client did what he was trained to do and was "gratified" over the acquittal. Prosecutors contend Smith was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown shot him in the chest because Smith had thrown his gun over a fence.

In the encounter with Smith, Heaggan-Brown and two other officers had approached Smith's rental vehicle because it was parked more than a foot from the curb and they believed a drug deal was about to take place. In May, Betty Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter charges despite video footage showing her fatally shooting Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed Oklahoma pastor who had his arms raised at the time he was shot, last September.

"Indeed, the killing of Sylville Smith via the second shot, as depicted in images of the shooting, shocks the conscience".

The defense also claimed a not-guilty verdict was warranted because Heaggan-Brown showed respect for Smith's life by not firing multiple shots, and instead chose to shoot twice then check Smith's pulse. The crimes are not connected to Smith's death, but they are the reason he was sacked from the Milwaukee police force. The time between the two shots was 1.69 seconds.

Heaggan-Brown had partially holstered his weapon but grabbed it again and shot Smith in the bicep with a hollow-point bullet.

Heaggan-Brown was sacked from the Milwaukee Police Department last fall on sexual assault charges, according to the New York Times.

Heaggan-Brown and two other officers were doing overtime patrol on August 13 prior to the start of their regular 4 p.m. shifts. The officer's defense attorneys argued that he was in fact following police procedure at every step of the incident-particularly a policy that told officers to expect that a suspect with one weapon might have another.

The jury was forced to leave the courtroom after the verdict was read due to a disruption in the courtroom.

But one of Heaggan-Brown's attorneys countered that the former officer was forced to make a split-second decision when confronted with an armed man during a foot chase that followed a traffic stop. Smith ran from police, carrying a gun, while the former officer was in pursuit. After that shooting, there were two days of riots in Milwaukee.



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