Jurors on Thursday saw body camera footage showing former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown shoot Sylville Smith two times last August.
Prosecutors played the footage for the jury, and it’s the first time it’s being released to the public.
The clip shows Heaggan-Brown stop his police car, get out, draw his weapon, and chase Smith, who fell in front of a chain-link fence and tossed a gun. Heaggan-Brown shot Smith in the arm, and then again in the chest about two seconds later as he was on the ground. The entire sequence lasted less than 15 seconds.
“Sylville Smith is on the ground, his hands by his head, unarmed with nowhere to go,” District Attorney John Chisholm told the jury Tuesday during opening statements.
Prosecutors reiterated that point Thursday as they showed the video. But defense attorneys say Heaggan-Brown was doing what he was trained to do. The former officer has said he fired the second shot because he thought Smith had a gun in his waistband.
“A gunfight doesn’t end until the threat is stopped,” said defense attorney Jonathan Smith.
On Wednesday, jurors saw body camera footage from Ndiva Malafa, the other officer on the scene who was trailing Heaggan-Brown during the shooting.
Heaggan-Brown grew up in the Sherman Park neighborhood where the shooting occurred. The incident set off two days of rioting in Milwaukee where people threw rocks and bottles at police, and burned several businesses and a squad car. On the second night, a man was shot.
Heaggan-Brown has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide and could serve up to 60 years in prison if convicted. He’s been in jail since October for an unrelated sexual assault charge, and was fired by the department that same month.