MILWAUKEE (AP) – A Milwaukee jury has acquitted a former police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting of a black man last year that ignited riots in the city.
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 Aug. 23. Smith had a gun when he ran, but prosecutors said Smith had thrown the weapon over a fence and was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown fired the shot that killed him.
Heaggan-Brown’s attorneys argued the officer had to act quickly to defend himself. Bodycam footage showed 1.69 seconds passed between a shot that hit Smith in the arm – as he appeared to be tossing his gun – and the one that hit his chest.