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Verdict reached in police shooting trial

Verdict reached in police shooting trial

Dominique Heaggan-Brown was acquitted of reckless homicide Wednesday in the fatal August shooting of Sylville Smith in Milwaukee, WDJT reported.

The encounter started as a traffic stop and turned into a foot chase. Heaggan-Brown fired a another shot less than two seconds later while Smith was on the ground, striking him in the chest and killing him.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said in a statement via Twitter, "A year ago I told the public I'd seen nothing in the video that was a violation of the law or policy".

Chisholm has said that Heaggan-Brown was justified when he fired the first shot, but argues the second shot was unnecessary. The video showed the second shot - 1.69 seconds later - hit Smith in the chest as he lay on the ground.

The officer was sacked two months after the shooting when he was charged in an unrelated sexual assault. The crimes are not connected to Smith's death, but they are the reason he was sacked from the Milwaukee police force.

Heaggan-Brown, 25, faced 60 years in prison. The sexual assault case was not mentioned during the trial because it is being handled separately and knowledge of it could prejudice the jury.

Attorney David Owens announced the lawsuit minutes after a jury acquitted Dominique Heaggan-Brown in the death of Sylville Smith.

Prosecutors argued that it was unnecessary when Heaggan-Brown discharged his weapon a second time.

The key piece of evidence in the case was never-before-released police body camera video, both from Heaggan-Brown and another officer on the scene.

Heaggan-Brown's former partner, Ndiva Malafa, testified last week they were chasing Smith, 23, because they saw he had a gun.

The former officer still faces charges in an unrelated sexual assault investigation. It added that Heaggan-Brown had said in an interview that he thought it "could be consistent with drug activity". "It's not. We have to go back - and I can't tell exactly how many frames but we have to go back two-tenths or three-tenths of a second - we have to go back several frames ... to delve into the decision-making process that goes into firing this shot".

The second and fatal shot was sacked after Smith tossed his gun and dropped to the ground. Smith, who was armed with a handgun, ran away from the officers when he saw them exit their squad auto.

The 12-member jury included four African-Americans. The trial judge is also allowing jurors to consider two lesser charges: second-degree reckless homicide, and reckless use of a firearm.

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.

But Heaggan-Brown's attorneys say he feared for his safety and had to make a split-second decision.


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