Ex-cop will be charged in shooting death of unarmed Black man

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, the former Milwaukee police officer who has been chagred with first degree reckless homicide in the shooting death of Slyville K. Smith on August 13, 2016.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has charged the ex-Milwaukee police officer with first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith.

Smith’s death set off a firestorm of protests and violent retaliation in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. For two days following the shooting that occurred on Aug. 13, neighborhood residents demonstrated their anger over years of systematic poverty, segregation and racism.

In October, the former police officer, Dominique Heaggan-Brown was charged in a separate sexual assault case. He is accused of raping a man just one day after shooting Smith. He was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in mid-October.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the news of Heagann-Brown’s charges and reported

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has charged former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown with first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal on-duty shooting of Sylville Smith.

WISN 12 News reports

According to the criminal complaint, a review of the body camera footage from Smith and another officer showed that Smith fled from police carrying a semi-authmatic handgun with an extended magazine. The video showed Smith slip, rise back to his feet with the gun, then raised the gun upward while looking in the direction of the officers and throw the gun over the fence into the yard. Smith’s firearm was not discharged, the compliant said. When Smith raised his upward, Heaggan-Brown fired one shot from his service weapon at Smith, and Smith feel to the ground on his back. Heaggan-Brown is then seen standing a short distance from Smith with his weapon pointed down at Smith. When Heaggan-Brown discharged a second shot from his weapon at what appears to be Smith’s chest.

Heaggan-Brown is expected to make an initial court appearance Friday December 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with more local coverage of ongoing developments. 

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