Milwaukee police shooting of Sylville Smith: officer cleared of killing of black man

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, the former Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man, was acquitted of first-degree reckless homicide charges on June 21, 2017. Two men, including Smith, were pulled over for suspicious activity in a rental car on August 13, 2016. They fled on foot, and Smith, who had an allegedly stolen gun, was shot two times by Heaggan-Brown – once in the arm when Smith raised his gun at the two MPD officers and once in the chest after Smith had tossed his gun over a fence. This shooting shortly sparked violent riots and protests in Milwaukee. Dozens of protesters were arrested, police cars were smashed or burned, several police officers were injured, and businesses were looted and burned. City Alderman Khalif Rainey stated, “This entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become the worst place to live for African Americans in the entire country … Do we continue — continue with the inequities, the injustice, the unemployment, the under-education, that creates these byproducts that we see this evening? … The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They’re tired of living under this oppression …”

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