Emotional Responses to Heaggan-Brown Not Guilty Verdict

Olive Rios
June 26, 2017

The sequestered jury began deliberations at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after closing arguments, and the news media were told at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday that a verdict had been reached. Smith reportedly had a gun when he ran, but the case hinged on whether he was a threat when Heaggan-Brown fired the shot that killed him. And Chisholm said the officer should have known that Smith was no longer a threat.

In tears outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse Wednesday, Sylville Smith's sister Sherelle made an emotional plea for peace after the former officer who killed her brother was acquitted. A jury on Wednesday acquitted Brown of first-degree reckless homicide in the killing of Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man, on August 13, 2016. Smith ran from the auto with a gun and turned into a gangway between two nearby homes when he fell at a fence and dropped his gun. It added that Heaggan-Brown had said in an interview that he thought it "could be consistent with drug activity". "As he fired, defendant Heaggan-Brown was standing directly over Smith-an execution-style shooting of an unarmed civilian". 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.

In August, Heaggan-Brown is expected to face another jury trial on the charges of sexually assaulting someone during the demonstrations following Smith's death a year earlier. Smith, who was armed with a handgun, ran away from the officers when he saw them exit their squad vehicle. And Marge, first just remind us what happened.

This is the moment Smith was shot twice - once before, and once after he threw the gun.

A graphic video from Heaggan-Brown's partner's body camera shows the quick and horrific resolution of the chase: The two police officers chased Smith to the area between two houses, where Smith encountered a fence.

"They took off as soon as they see us", Heaggan-Brown said.

The verdict drew an emotional reaction in the courtroom, prompting the judge to clear the jury from the courtroom as deputies escorted members of the gallery outside.

Malafa's body camera footage was played several times in court, according to WTMJ.

"As Smith lay unarmed on the ground, curled halfway into a ball, with his hands near his head, defendant Heaggan-Brown fired a second shot into Smith's chest", the complaint alleges. Heaggan-Brown drew his gun and began to chase him.

Smith's shooting set off days of unrest in the city, particularly the Sherman neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee.

Heaggan-Brown's attorneys took less than a day before resting their case.

Smith and an old friend were parked on Milwaukee's north side on August 13 when three officers, including Heaggan-Brown, boxed in Smith's auto with their Milwaukee Police Department SUVs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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