The shooting death of Sylville Smith by Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan over the weekend has ignited criticism and calls for an investigation whether Smith had been targeted and harassed by officers of the Milwaukee District 7 Police Station.
By H. Nelson Goodson
August 17, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – The family of Sylville Smith, 23, who was killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan, 24, over the weekend have made allegations that Smith had been targeted and harassed by certain officers including Heaggan for multiple years. Smith was arrested and spent at least ten months in jail, but the charges were later dropped and was never convicted of a felony.
Both Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. were quick to portray Smith as a career criminal when in fact Smith successfully sued the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of being harassed and for frivolous crimes accused by officers from the 7 Police District that ended with no convictions. The criminal charges against Smith were later dismissed. Police say Smith engaged in witness intimidation, but was never proven because according to police, the victims would not testify against Smith. A court record search only found one misdemeanor and numerous traffic violations, which according to both Chief Flynn and Sheriff Clarke Jr. including Mayor Tom Barrett indicated Smith had an extensive criminal record.
Apparently, Flynn, Clarke Jr. and Barrett failed to realized that in Wisconsin and including in the U.S., a person is innocent until proven guilty and Smith definitely was portrayed as a career criminal with an extensive criminal record. These public servants and elected mayor failed to realize that people still have rights today. What Flynn, Clarke Jr. and Barrett should concentrate on, is to launch an internal investigation into what has been really going on at Milwaukee District 7 Police Station and they should look into which officers were involved in targeting Smith and the amount of field stops they logged into record and if, the District Captain and other supervisors knew of Smith’s harassment and condoned it, since they couldn’t get any convictions.
Smith had a valid Wisconsin Conceal Carry License, according to Mildred Haynes, Smith’s mother.
The ACLU-Milwaukee has called on the Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice to release the full footage of the body camera video of Smith’s death. According to police, Smith ran with a gun in his hand after a traffic stop by Officer Heaggan. Smith failed to drop the gun when ordered to do so by Officer Heaggan. Heaggan fatally shot Smith multiple times. But London Ahmed, Smith’s cousin posted on video on her Facebook (FB) account that Smith had fled and while running he had called his mother on his cell phone. Both Smith and Officer Heaggan knew each other and even attended Pulaski High School at the same time.
Ahmed posted on FB, “The news not reporting that my lil cuzn set 10 months in jail with no case and they had to release him. He had a lawsuit against the police department for harassment and so on and WON…..
HE’S NOT A FELON and he has a CCW!!! The same district that shot and killed him is the same district that he had the lawsuit against!!! My lil cousin left behind a two year old son that lived with him!!! But they not reporting that!! And all last night his son kept asking “where’s my daddy??””
Officer Heaggan under the aliases “KB Domo and Lil Nique” is also a Hip-hop singer and composer who posted a video on YouTube singing about doing drugs, shooting people, igniting a riot like Baltimore and weapons.
Police reported that the Milwaukee District 7 Police Station was shot up by unknown suspects, no officers were injured.