Swift acquittal for former Milwaukee cop charged in shooting

2017-06-22 10:07
Ex-police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. (AP File)

Ex-police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. (AP File)

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Milwaukee - A jury in Milwaukee needed only two days to clear a former police officer in the on-duty shooting of a black man last year that ignited riots on the city's north side.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was acquitted of reckless homicide on Wednesday in the death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith. Smith was shot twice.

The case turned on whether Smith was defenceless after Heaggan-Brown's first shot hit him in the arm as he appeared to be tossing his gun over a fence. The second hit him in the chest. Defence attorneys argued that Heaggan-Brown had to make a split-second decision.

Smith's family members reacted with outrage to the verdict, and their attorney immediately announced a civil lawsuit against the former officer and the city.

Heaggan-Brown was fired two months following the shooting after he was charged in an unrelated sexual assault, but the jury heard nothing about the other case.

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