Milwaukee police officer acquitted in shooting of black man
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 26, 2017,
Jun 26, 2017, 10:55
"Hollow-point bullets are created to inflict damage on the people they hit and, though outlawed by the Geneva conventions, are used by the Milwaukee Police Department", the lawsuit states. "Do something different in the community, try as hard as you can to be peaceful and form unity with each other ... black or white".
A jury needed only parts of two days of deliberations before clearing Dominique Heaggan-Brown in the death of Sylville Smith.
Prosecutors said that Heaggan-Brown's first shot was reasonable, his second was not, as he no longer had any reason to fear for his life. In May, Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man.
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.
The defense team also "argued that Heaggan-Brown was following officer training in ending a threat, and that the former officer could not know whether Smith had another weapon", WUWM added. Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Sylville Smith after a traffic stop and a short pursuit. The auto had out of state plates and officers suspected people inside were selling drugs.
Heaggan-Brown's attorney also declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Heaggan-Brown was sacked in October when he was charged with two counts of assault in a separate investigation.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, left, and Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Lindsay, right, speak with Heaggan-Brown attorney Steven R. Kohn, center, speak before a verdict was read in former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown's trail in Milwaukee County Court on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Milwaukee.
The jury that acquitted Heaggan-Brown consisted of nine women and three men.
Prosecutors said the first shot fired by Heaggan-Brown was justifiable, but the second shot, just 1.69 seconds later, was not, because by then, Smith had dropped or tossed his gun away. It was the second one, that Smith was then lying on the ground unarmed and wounded and defenseless when the officer fired the second shot.
"The state admits that the first shot was a justified shot", the lawyer told the jury.
The reading of the verdict was interrupted by anguished cries from some of the attendees in the gallery.
Jury deliberations are entering a second day in the trial of a former Milwaukee police officer charged in a fatal shooting that led to riots in the majority African-American neighborhood where it happened.