Former officer charged in Sylville Smith's shooting appears in court Friday

Dominique Heaggan-Brown was charged Thursday
Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 21:15:21-05

On Friday morning District Attorney John Chisholm made a rare appearance at ex-Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown’s first court appearance for one count of reckless homicide.

“State of Wisconsin versus Dominique Heaggan-Brown,” said the intake court judge.

It was the moment Sylville Smith's family had been waiting for. Dominique Heaggan-Brown faces up to 60 years in prison for shooting and killing Sylville Smith on August 13 during a traffic stop. Smith’s deadly shooting death sparked two days of outage and violence in the community.

"The maximum years that he can face up to, I mean, at the end of the day you can't clarify what level of justice your suppose to get for someone's life,” said Sedan Smith, Sylville's brother.

District Attorney John Chisholm is aware people of color are closely watching this case, and that they hope it sets precedent in police shootings.

However, Chisholm said Heaggan-Brown’s case isn't the correct forum to send a message about police-community relations.

“On an individual case, I have an ethical obligation just to look at those facts and make a determination based on those facts,” said Chisholm.

“Defendant has a pending case before Judge Kohn,” read the clerk.  

The ex-cop already faces two unrelated counts of sexual assault and two counts of prostitution.

Brown's legal team says the officer's record and details about the criminal complaint cause are concerning to them.

One of the biggest concerns in the 1.69 seconds between the first shot Heaggan-Brown fired at Sylville Smith and the second fatal shot to the chest.

“There are evident issues that are raised by the criminal complaint, those have been (discussed) about by politicians and the chief of police, as far as concerns, we have those same concerns,” said Steve Kohn.

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