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Jurors Acquit Ex Cop Who Fatally Shot Sylville Smith

26 June 2017

A prosecutor argued during the trial that Heaggan-Brown shot Smith as he was attempting to surrender and that the second shot was unreasonable. The officer is also African-American. Jonathan Smith, Officer Heaggan-Brown's lawyer, told jurors that officers were taught to use the "one-plus rule" - or to expect that if a person has one weapon, he might have another. Less than two seconds after the first shot, with Smith on the ground and his gun over the fence and out of reach, Heaggan-Brown fired the second shot.

A former Wisconsin police officer who fatally shot a black man after he fled from a traffic stop has been acquitted of first-degree reckless homicide.

Heaggan-Brown's acquittal is the latest in a string of similar verdicts or deadlocked juries to follow charges against police officers for using deadly force.

Judge Jeffrey Conen had instructed the jury of nine women and three men to consider lesser charges in the reckless homicide trial but Heaggan-Brown was cleared of all counts.

Body-camera video showed Smith was unarmed and on the ground with his hands near his head when he was shot a second time in the chest, according to the criminal complaint.

News of Dominique Heaggan-Brown's acquittal has sparked plenty of reactions on Twitter. Prosecutors contended Smith didn't pose a threat before Heaggan-Brown fired again. He was sacked in October after those charges were filed, not for the shooting, and prosecutors were barred from referring to him as "a former officer" during his nine-day trial.

The former officer still faces charges in an unrelated sexual assault investigation. Smith, who was armed with a handgun, ran away from the officers when he saw them exit their squad vehicle. He believes the second shot was unreasonable.

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This is the moment Smith was shot twice - once before, and once after he threw the gun. The officer's defense attorneys argued that he was in fact following police procedure at every step of the incident-particularly a policy that told officers to expect that a suspect with one weapon might have another. Smith's shooting triggered several nights of violence in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood.

Heaggan-Brown then allegedly raped the man and left him at a hospital the next day.

When Mr. Smith reached the fence, he threw his gun over it, just as Officer Heaggan-Brown fired at him, a shot that hit Mr. Smith in his right arm.

Heaggan-Brown and two other officers were doing overtime patrol on August 13 prior to the start of their regular 4 p.m. shifts.

The entire 12-second incident was captured by body cameras worn by both officers.

Heaggan-Brown experienced the encounter in "real time", not in frame-by-frame motion as it was shown to the jury, Willis said, according to WTMJ.

Jurors Acquit Ex Cop Who Fatally Shot Sylville Smith