Lawsuit follows acquittal of ex-officer in Milwaukee shooting

Lawsuit follows acquittal of ex-officer in Milwaukee shooting

A Milwaukee jury has acquitted a former police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting of a black man last August, which led to two nights of rioting in the city. The trial judge is also allowing jurors to consider two lesser charges: second-degree reckless homicide, and reckless use of a firearm.

Last August, then-Milwaukee Police Department Officer Heaggan-Brown and another officer approached Smith over suspicions that he was involved in a drug deal.

Following an investigation by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, he was charged over Smith's death in December, four months after the incident.

The incident highlighted how a person's race might bias an officer's decision to use deadly force.

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

Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood was calm Wednesday night after the jury acquitted the former officer.

The death sparked riots on Milwaukee's north side, The Two-Way had reported. Smith's sister Sherelle added, "Don't give them a reason to take your life".

"Self-defense cases can be very hard, but it's still our obligation to pursue those cases if we believe justice demands it", District Attorney John Chisholm said after the verdict. "This is just an issue that this community had to decide".

The jury is made up of nine women and three men.

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"The community relies on, depends and respects their law enforcement partners", Chisholm said. You can read some of them below. "You can't compare it to Ferguson". A review of the body camera video from both Heaggan-Brown and [Officer] Malafa confirms that at the time of the second shot, Smith was unarmed and had his hands near his head.

"We are absolutely grateful to a mindful jury that took time to deliberate, look at the evidence and realize that what took place was a necessity born of the actions of a criminal that day", Crivello says.

Heaggan-Brown faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted. Bodycam footage shows that Smith ran into a walkway and fell down near a chain link fence as he rounded the corner.

But one of Heaggan-Brown's attorneys countered that the former officer was forced to make a split-second decision when confronted with an armed man during a foot chase that followed a traffic stop.

Syville Smith, 23 Photo is from Facebook.

Prosecutors argued that it was unnecessary when Heaggan-Brown discharged his weapon a second time.

Heaggan-Brown had partially holstered his weapon but grabbed it again and shot Smith in the bicep with a hollow-point bullet.

Ninety seconds passed before the officer made a decision to help Smith but he quickly stopped when some blood got on his thumb, which he then wiped on Smith's shirt, according to the lawsuit.

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