tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Jury deliberations begin in police shooting

22 June 2017, 06:01 | Cynthia Sparks

Smith's family and supporters were disappointed by the ruling, with some crying when the announcement was made. "I really don't want them to act irrationally toward the cops, because all cops ain't bad", he said.

Smith family's attorney, David Owens, also announced that a civil lawsuit has been filed against the former officer and the city of Milwaukee, Wisc. "It's a decision the community had to make", Chisholm said.

Heaggan-Brown was sacked in October when he was charged with two counts of assault in a separate investigation. He was sacked after being accused of the sexual assault of another man. But the case is different from recent high-profile police shootings that have inspired a national conversation about how officers interact with African-Americans: Heaggan-Brown and Smith are both black and from the north side of the city where the shooting occurred.

In Heaggan-Brown's bodycam video, he began chasing Smith immediately after stepping out of his patrol auto. Yanez testified the driver, Philando Castile, disregarded his commands not to take out his gun and he feared for his life. The shooting death sparked days of unrest in Milwaukee.

Police move in on a group of protesters throwing rocks at them in Milwaukee Aug. 14, 2016. The protesters burned eight businesses and a police auto and when it was over, 40 demonstrators had been arrested and a handful of officers hurt.

Heaggan-Brown and two other officers had approached Smith's rental vehicle on August 13, where they believed a drug deal was happening. Those agents walked the jury through video of the chase and shooting.

But the defense said that Officer Heaggan-Brown was merely following police procedure when he fired his gun a second time.

During the brief foot chase, Smith slipped and fell after turning into a path between two houses. He then gets to his feet and throws the gun over the fence. Smith, who was armed with a handgun, ran from the officers until he reached a fence.

"Any prosecutor will tell you that self-defense cases are tough cases", Chisholm told a news conference after the verdict. Prosecutors contended Smith didn't pose a threat before Heaggan-Brown fired again.

On Friday, Minnesota police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety for the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop a year ago. Ray Tensing's first trial ended last November in a hung jury after some 25 hours of deliberations on the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said he was content with the verdict. Heaggan-Brown fired the first shot nearly simultaneously with Smith throwing away his gun when he got up.

He faces a jury trial in August in that case, in which he is accused of raping a man with whom he had been drinking. Four of the jurors are black and the rest are white.

The incident highlighted how a person's race might bias an officer's decision to use deadly force.

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