Milwaukee police say, 23-year-old man ran from the scene after being stopped by a Milwaukee police officer during a traffic stop with a handgun before getting fatally shot by the cop over the weekend that ignited protests and businesses being set on fire in the Northside of the city.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
August 15, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, social media posts about Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 23-year-old man by a Milwaukee police officer in the Sherman Park neighborhood indicated that both the deceased man and the officer knew each other and had attended Pulaski High School. Smith’s death ignited protests, at least five businesses were set on fire and some were looted. Multiple vehicles were set on fire by protesters. The Milwaukee Police District 7 Station on West Fond du Lac Ave. was shot by unknown suspects.
Police reported that six people had been taken into custody on Monday and one incident of shots fired in the Sherman Park area, no officers were reported injured.
Apparently, Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique L. Heaggan Brown (Officer Dominique L. Heaggan) had stopped several men for a traffic violation when Sylville Smith, 23, fled from the scene with a handgun in his hand. Officer Heaggan chased Smith and ordered him multiple times to drop a weapon, but Smith pointed the weapon at Officer Heaggan who then shot and killed Smith, according to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD).
Smith has no felony convictions. Members of the Smith family confirmed that Smith and Officer Heaggan knew each other and attended the same high school in Milwaukee’s Southside.
Police Officer Heaggan was first appointed as a police aide on July 26, 2010 and on August 4, 2013 was appointed to the rank of Police Officer, according to MPD.
Officer Heaggan is a singer/composer and posted a video in YouTube. In a video, he sings about doing drugs, shooting people and weapons.
Smith’s cousin London Ahmed on her Facebook account posted a video confirming that Smith had a Wisconsin Conceal Carry License (CCL). Police have not confirmed, if Smith had a CCL.
On Tuesday, Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) contacted Johnny Koremenos, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Wisconsin Department of Justice to confirm, if Smith had a valid Wisconsin Conceal Carry License. Koremenos stated, “Per State Statute, information about CCW license holders is not a public record and therefore, not something I can share with you.” Mildred Haynes, Smith’s mother had told media news outlets that her son recently received a CCL and that all his weapons were bought legally.
Also that Smith while he fled the scene when stopped by the officer, he called his mother while running and that Smith had a history of being harassed by police. He spent at least ten months in custody and then was released after the case was dismissed and that Smith had filed a lawsuit against the MPD and had won.
Smith ran because he didn’t want to be arrested again for no reason, according to family members. Ahmed stated, that Smith’s body remained at the scene for more than three hours and when his mother went to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office to identify Smith’s body, they only showed his mother a photo of the body, but didn’t allow her to see the body at all.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says, that an officer’s body camera video shows that Smith pointed a handgun at the officer before he was fatally shot. Smith’s family indicated in mainstream media interviews that he wouldn’t have shot at Officer Heaggan. The MPD hasn’t identified the officer involved in Smith’s death, but has been placed on administrative duty until the outcome of the investigation by the WI DOJ.
The ACLU-Milwaukee on Monday called for the MPD and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (WI DOJ) to release the full video footage of Smith’s fatal shooting.
Mayor Barrett also issued an new order for police to enforce a 10:00 p.m. curfew in Milwaukee. The curfew for teenagers under 18 had been extended to 11:00 p.m. during the Summer. Sherman Park in the Northside will close at 6:00 p.m. until further noticed, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.
At least four Milwaukee police officers and four Milwaukee County Sheriff deputies have been reported injured on Sunday by bricks and pieces of concrete thrown at them by protesters. Another police officer was injured on early Monday when a piece of concrete struck his vehicle.
Police reported that 14 people were arrested on Sunday during protests and charged with disorderly conduct. Three Milwaukee police squads were reported damaged.
On Saturday, at least five separate businesses in the Northside were set on fire and than looted. Four police officers were reported injured and 17 people were arrested. Multiple vehicles were set on fire.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) activited 123 armed Wisconsin National Guard reserves in a State of Emergency executive order on Sunday by request of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr., but the National Guard will not be deployed to Milwaukee’s Northside until needed.