Jurors to see video of fatal Milwaukee police shooting

Jurors to see video of fatal Milwaukee police shooting

Jurors to see video of fatal Milwaukee police shooting

Jurors hearing the case of a former Milwaukee police officer accused in a shooting death that sparked two days of unrest on Wednesday saw footage from one officer's body camera.

An officer who witnessed Dominique Heaggan-Brown shooting 23-year-old Sylville Smith after a foot chase is expected to testify Wednesday afternoon.

The shooting, which occurred August 13, sparked riots in a mostly black neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side.

December 15 - District Attorney Chisholm charges Heaggan-Brown with first-degree reckless homicide. District Attorney John Chisholm conceded that Heaggan-Brown's first shot, which hit Smith as he was reaching for a gun he had just dropped, was justified. Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, says he thought Smith may have been reaching for a firearm. Smith ran away from the vehicle, holding a gun with Heaggan-Brown in pursuit.

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Chisholm told jurors body camera video from both the defendant and another officer would show that a second, fatal shot to Smith's chest - at point blank range when he was clearly unarmed and on his back - was not.

"These are literally split-second decisions that Mr. Heaggan-Brown is making", said the former officer's attorney, adding that Heaggan-Brown fired the second shot because he feared for his safety. The video from his body camera was played several times and Malafa took the jury through it frame by frame as well. But prosecutors say video footage will show he had tossed it when Heaggan-Brown fired the fatal shot.

"Sylville Smith is on the ground, his hands by his head, unarmed with nowhere to go", Chisholm told the jury. Defense attorney Jonathan Smith said Sylville Smith's hands were moving forward when he was shot. Both shots happened within two seconds. He's been in jail since October for an unrelated sexual assault charge.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were selected to hear the case, which is expected to last about a week.

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Heaggan-Brown, who was sacked in October after being charged with sexual assault in an unrelated case, faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted for killing Smith.

Within hours of Smith's shooting, demonstrators flocked to the Sherman Park neighborhood and began throwing rocks, bricks, and bottles at police officers.

August 14 - After a calm day, about 150 protesters gather at night near the scene of the shooting and more confrontations with police ensue. But the case is different than other police shootings that have given rise to a national debate over how officers interact with African Americans.

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