Milwaukee former police officer charged with homicide

Dominque Heaggan-Brown (L) and Sylville Smith

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Dominque Heaggan-Brown (L) and Sylville Smith

A former Milwaukee police officer has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide in an August shooting.

Dominque Heaggan-Brown shot and killed Sylville Smith, 23, on 13 August 2016 after he fled from police. The death spawned two days of riots in Milwaukee.

Prosecutors decided to charge him after police body camera footage reportedly showed the officer shooting Smith in the chest as he lay on the ground.

Smith was armed with a pistol, but threw it over a fence before his death.

Both the victim and the former police officer are African-American.

Mr Heaggan-Brown has already been fired from the police force due to an unrelated investigation accusing him of sexual assault.

According to the criminal complaint, the body camera video shows Smith fall to his back after being shot by the officers who had pursued him on foot after he fled from a traffic stop.

Mr Heaggan-Brown’s first bullet hit Smith in the right arm, as he was turning “his head and upper body towards the officers”, while still holding the semi-automatic pistol.

“He then raises the gun upward while looking in the direction of the officers and throws the gun over the fence into the yard,” the complaint reads.

After Smith was hit, his partner’s body camera shows Smith fall to his back, with his arms extended upwards towards his head.

“Heaggan-Brown is observed standing a short distance from Smith with his weapon pointed down at Smith when Heaggan-Brown discharges a second shot from his weapon at what appears to be Smith’s chest.”

A review of the body camera video “confirms that at the time of the second shot, Smith was unarmed and had his hands near his head”.

Milwaukee former police officer charged with homicide

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