Ex-Milwaukee Cop Charged In Shooting That Led to Riots

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Former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown was charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of Sylville Smith, which led to riots in the city’s Sherman Park in August. the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. It was only the second homicide charge filed against an on-duty Milwaukee police officer in modern history. The criminal complaint says Heaggan-Brown’ first shot hit Smith in the arm as Smith, 23, threw a gun over a fence. The second shot, which hit Smith in the chest, was fired after he tossed the gun and fell to the ground, his hands near his head.

Police Chief Edward Flynn said, “the fact that two shots fired — 1.69  seconds [apart] — and one is legal and one is not, that’s a little bit difficult to understand or explain to the rank and file,” he said. “… The fact is, if you’re in a combat situation facing an armed offender, 1.69 seconds is less than two full heartbeats.” In that type of situation, “your brain’s ability to tell your finger to stop shooting … is somewhat limited by the stress of the circumstances,” Flynn said. Heaggan-Brown, 24, has remained in jail on unrelated sexual assault charges since October. As a result of those charges, he was fired.

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