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Milwaukee Common Council committee passes proposed $4M settlement for family of Sylville Smith

Posted at 7:52 AM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 08:52:29-04

The City of Milwaukee's proposed multi-million dollar settlement for a lawsuit from the family of Sylville Smith has passed its first step. The proposed settlement now heads for approval by the Common Council Finance Committee on Oct. 28.

The city wants to settle a lawsuit with the family of Smith, who was killed by a former Milwaukee Police Officer Dominque Heaggan-Brown in 2016. Smith's death sparked several months of protests.

Smith's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

The case was set to go to trial, but now both sides appear ready to settle for $4 million, one of the city's largest settlements.

Heaggan-Brown was charged with first-degree reckless homicide in Smith's death, but a jury later acquitted him.

"While criminal justice is one form of justice, it's not the only form of justice,” said David Owens, the attorney for Smith’s estate, who spoke out after Heaggan-Brown’s acquittal.

On Monday, the Judiciary & Legislation Committee voted to adopt the proposed settlement and move it forward. It will now be taken up by the Common Council's Finance Committee Wednesday morning.

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