ibusinesslines.com September 22, 2018

Ex-cop avoids charges in killing of 23yo Milwaukee man

26 June 2017, 10:54 | Laverne Osborne

Jurors found that Heaggan-Brown, who still faces charges in an unrelated sexual assault investigation, was not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide when he shot 23-year-old Smith following a brief foot chase.

Officer Heaggan-Brown was sacked in October from the Milwaukee Police Department on unrelated sexual assault charges. The sequestered jury began deliberations at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after closing arguments, and the news media were told at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday that a verdict had been reached.

The post Jury finds Milwaukee officer not guilty in fatal shooting of Sylville Smith appeared first on PBS NewsHour. Jurors are also being given the option to choose from two lesser charges instead - second-degree reckless homicide and homicide by negligent operation of a unsafe weapon.

The death sparked riots on Milwaukee's north side, The Two-Way had reported.

While Smith raises his gun upward, P.O. Heaggan-Brown discharges one shot from his service weapon at Smith and Smith falls to the ground on his back.

Using frame-by-frame video from the officers' body cameras, prosecutors argued that while the first shot fired by Mr. Smith was reasonable, the second shot was not.

Defense attorneys argued Heaggan-Brown had to act quickly to defend his life and that of another officer.

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

He added, "I want the community to calm down and come together".

Smith's family has already filed a lawsuit against Heaggan-Brown and the city.

Heaggan-Brown could also be heard in the video complaining he'd been "stung by a bee".

"There is not joy in a case like this". "I think we must be mindful that a young man lost his life". He said it was important for the community, through the jury, to make the decision. Heaggan-Brown fired the first shot nearly simultaneously with Smith throwing away his gun when he got up. In this case, the jury reached the just result.

Heaggan-Brown's former partner, Ndiva Malafa, testified last week they were chasing Smith, 23, because they saw he had a gun. But the shooting outraged many black residents in the highly-segregated Milwaukee, many of whom who have long complained about police brutality, and touched off 48 hours of uprising in the Sherman Park neighborhood. The incident sparked nights of rioting following the August shooting. The protesters burned eight businesses and a police auto.

Because the charges related to that incident are to be handled separately from the killing of Smith, information related to the alleged rape was not presented to the jurors to factor into Wednesday's decision. He put his gun back in his holster as Smith turned into a path between two houses.

This is the moment Smith was shot twice - once before, and once after he threw the gun.

Heaggan-Brown and another officer started CPR on Smith.

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