A former Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith in August, was charged with reckless homicide on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint provided to BuzzFeed News.
Dominique Heaggan-Brown was charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide for the fatal shooting which triggered two days of heated unrest in Milwaukee, prompting authorities to activate the National Guard and forcing news organizations to pull out their journalists.
If convicted, Heaggan-Brown could face up to 60 years in prison.
Police body camera footage captured the deadly interaction between Heaggan-Brown and Smith. Smith, who authorities said had a "lengthy" criminal record, was carrying a gun in his hand when he was shot in the chest and the arm, according to the complaint.
The video showed that Smith slipped to the ground during a foot chase, the complaint said. He then got back on his feet with and turned towards the officer with the gun still in his hand. He then raised the gun and threw it over a fence, according to the complaint. Heaggan-Brown fired at Smith when he had his gun raised in the air. At the time Heaggan-Brown fired the second shot, Smith was unarmed.
Heaggan-Brown was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department after he was charged in October with multiple counts of sexual assault and prostitution in an unrelated case.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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