Former Milwaukee Officer Acquitted In Shooting Of Sylville Smith

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

Former Milwaukee Police Officer Acquitted in Shooting That Sparked Riots

Smith was killed in August 2016 after fleeing a traffic stop.

Heaggan-Brown's attorney, Jonathan Smith, countered that his client was simply protecting his life and the life of his fellow officer. 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.

Mayor Tom Barrett said there would be a strong police presence at Sherman Park on Wednesday, though as of the early evening, there were no reports of disruptions or violent protests around the city.

In August, Heaggan-Brown is expected to face another jury trial on the charges of sexually assaulting someone during the demonstrations following Smith's death a year earlier. In that lawsuit, they claim that the city kept him employed as a police officer even though he had a "pervasive pattern of excessive force and misconduct". "It was unconscionable for defendant Heaggan-[Brown] to kill Sylville Smith by shooting him at point-blank range, standing above him, while Smith had already been shot and was completely unarmed", according to the complaint.

"Why are they trained to kill when they're supposed to protect and serve us?"

Prosecutors argued he was defenseless when the officer fired a second shot, killing the 23-year-old.

The jury is made up of nine women and three men.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, who made the decision to charge Heaggan-Brown, said he did not agree with the verdict but would respect it. And Marge, first just remind us what happened.

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Five days before the former Milwaukee officer was found not guilty, a Minnesota police officer was also acquitted in another high-profile shooting that sparked intense protests. The auto had out of state plates and officers suspected people inside were selling drugs.

During the trial, Heaggan-Brown's lawyer told the jury that the "first shot was a justifiable shot and that justification did not change in 1.69 seconds", The Associated Press reported.

Stinson said the race of the officer charged didn't appear to matter to judges or juries weighing these cases. Heaggan-Brown chose not to testify.

Heaggan-Brown's attorneys said he he was thankful for the acquittal and believed he was justified in using deadly force.

Heaggan-Brown and two other officers were doing overtime patrol on August 13 prior to the start of their regular 4 p.m. shifts.

Two months later, he was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and prostitution in another case, after which he was arrested and fired by the Milwaukee Police Department.

The entire 12-second incident was captured by body cameras worn by both officers.

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