U.S. police officer gets off scot-free for killing black man

Dominique Heaggan Brown

The first shot hit Smith in the arm, and the second, which was sacked after Smith fell to the ground, hit him in the chest.

The prosecutor argued that Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Smith as the suspect attempted to surrender.

In a statement after the verdict, Flynn said the jurors had made the right decision.

Right around the time the verdict was reached, the Smith family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee and Heaggan-Brown.

Willis testified that Heaggan-Brown acted in "accordance with his training", CNN affiliate WTMJ-TV reported. 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.

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Smith's family wants a judge to declare that Heaggan-Brown used excessive force in the wrongful death of Smith, to award the family compensatory and punitive damages, and to hold the city liable for the incident. Outside, one man shouted obscenities at a sheriff's deputy as he was held back by other family members. One man was held back by the family as he screamed obscenities at a deputy.

During the trial, Chisholm noted that Heaggan-Brown didn't pat down Smith after the second shot, a unusual omission if he truly believed Smith might still be armed.

A former Milwaukee police officer, whose fatal shooting of a black man last August led to two nights of rioting, was found not guilty in the killing on Wednesday.

Five days before the former Milwaukee officer was found not guilty, a Minnesota police officer was also acquitted in another high-profile shooting that sparked intense protests. Smith fled the officer with a gun, and was shot twice.

Smith was running with a handgun which body camera footage revealed but prosecutors argued that since he was throwing his gun as he was being shot in the arm, that the subsequent shots in his chest did not need to occur.

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The officer was sacked two months after the shooting when he was charged in an unrelated sexual assault. Jurors began deliberating in that second trial on Monday.

The reading of the verdict was interrupted by anguished cries from some of the attendees in the gallery.

MARGE PITROF, BYLINE: Well, it had been a violent weekend in Milwaukee last August with about a half dozen shootings when Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown and a partner tried to pull over the vehicle that Sylville Smith was in. Those agents walked the jury through video of the chase and shooting. Smith 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.

Heaggan-Brown had previously said he believed Smith "was reaching for his waist so he discharged his weapon a second time".

But Heaggan-Brown's attorneys say he feared for his safety and had to make a split-second decision.

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