Ex-officer charged in fatal shooting that launched Milwaukee protests

The former Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot a young black man in August, resulting in two days of riots, has been charged with reckless homicide, according to court documents released Thursday.

Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also a black man, shot Sylville Smith on Aug. 13 after a traffic stop turned into chase when Mr. Smith fled from the car. Although Mr. Heaggan-Brown was fired from the police force in October, soon after being charged with unrelated sexual assault charges, this is the first the public has known of his sentencing. If sentenced he will face a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.

Mildred Haynes, Smith’s mother, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she was pleased Heaggan-Brown has been charged, but wished the charges had been more severe: “To me, he shot to kill,” she said.

According to the criminal complaint, Heaggan-Brown and another officer chased Smith through a residential neighborhood. Heaggan-Brown fired the first shot when Smith turned toward him with a raised semi-automatic pistol. After being shot in the arm, Smith then threw his gun over a fence, before Heaggan-Brown fired a second shot, hitting Smith in the chest. The two shots were fired less then two seconds apart.

“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,” the criminal complaint reads. READ MORE.