Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of Dominique Heaggan-Brown, the former Milwaukee police officer who prosecutors say committed an act of reckless homicide when he shot and killed Sylville Smith in August of last year.
The shooting death sparked violence in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood last summer and led to Heaggan-Brown’s firing from the police department.
Before getting to the matters of the jury, the judge heard a motion from defense attorneys to delay the trial until August, citing Sunday’s shooting near Milwaukee’s lakefront as a reason. The defense argued the jury pool may be tainted by the details of that case. The judge ultimately decided to move forward.
The jury pool was divided into two groups of 60. The first group entered the courtroom for the selection process Monday afternoon. The judge expects to whittle that number down to the jury and alternates for the trial by midday Tuesday.
The jury will be sequestered for the first time in Milwaukee County in 20 years according to the judge. They will also be anonymous to the public, meaning their names will be sealed from the record.
The trial is expected to last through next week.