Former Milwaukee Officer Found Not Guilty In Shooting Death Of Black Man

Heaggan-Brown, a former Milwaukee police officer on trial in a fatal shooting that sparked riots in a predominantly black neighborhood, said Friday he will not testify, as his attorneys prepare to begin presenting his defense. It was at that point that Heaggan-Brown shot him again ... fatally. "I think we must be mindful that a young man lost his life", said Steven Kohn, another of Heaggan-Brown's attorneys.

The Sylville Smith shooting represents just one of many unnecessarily violent encounters in an endless drug war.

The post Jury finds Milwaukee officer not guilty in fatal shooting of Sylville Smith appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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

On Monday, the jury was told it could find Officer Heaggan-Brown guilty of the original charge, first-degree reckless homicide, or of either of two lesser charges: second-degree reckless homicide, which carries a maximum of 15 years in prison, or homicide by negligent operation of a unsafe weapon, punishable by as many as five years in prison.

Jurors on Wednesday found that Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was justified when he shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith after a brief foot chase following a traffic stop August 13.

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

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Jurors will resume deliberations Wednesday morning.

While activist groups such as Black Lives Matter have drawn attention to police shootings in recent years, acquittals of police officers have become all but expected in these sorts of incidents.

And all six Baltimore officers charged over the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, due to spinal cord injuries suffered in the back of a police van, were eventually cleared. Seven of the jurors were white and five were black. 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 community relies on, depends and respects their law enforcement partners", Chisholm said. "He looks like a child".

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 auto with out-of-state license plates, talking to another man. Smith's defense attorneys argued the officer had been forced to act quickly.

"That first shot was a justifiable shot and that justification did not change in 1.69 seconds", Smith said, alluding to the time that transpired before the first and second shot. He put his gun back in his holster as Smith turned into a path between two houses. Heaggan-Brown fired the first shot nearly simultaneously with Smith throwing away his gun when he got up.

Police bodycam video, which was recently released to the public, showed Mr Heaggan-Brown shooting Smith a second time after he threw his weapon over a fence and placed his hands near his head. He faced up to 60 years in prison if he had been convicted. The lesser charges carry sentences of up to 25 years and 10 years respectively. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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