Chief Flynn says there’s concern among officers after decision to charge former officer in Sylville Smith case

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn spoke with reporters Thursday evening, December 15th after charges were filed against a former officer in connection with the August shooting death of Sylville Smith near 44th and Auer.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide for the shooting death of Smith.

Chief Flynn spoke out ahead of Thursday evening's meeting of the Fire and Police Commission.

Flynn did not say whether he agrees with the district attorney's decision to charge Heaggan-Brown -- saying he is waiting for all of the information to be put out there before making a judgement in this case.

Right now, he said only one charging document has been made public.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown

Dominique Heaggan-Brown

Heaggan-Brown was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department on October 31st after a Milwaukee Police Department Internal Affairs investigation related to the criminal complaint filed against him on October 20th -- accusing him of sexual assault.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown

Dominique Heaggan-Brown

He's facing the following criminal charges in that sexual assault case:

  • Second degree sexual assault (two counts)
  • Prostitution (two counts)
  • Capture an intimate representation without consent

He'll make his initial appearance in court in the Sylville Smith shooting case on Friday, December 16th.

Chief Flynn said there is some concern among the rank and file after this charging decision because one shot fired by Heaggan-Brown was justified, while a second shot was not.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, Sylville Smith

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, Sylville Smith

"In the context of the seven-and-a-half second video, in which two shots were fired in 1.69 seconds, I did not see something that looked like it was obviously a violation in policy and law. I am concerned that based on what is in the criminal complaint, officers will feel that they are engaged in a form of double jeopardy -- which is on the one hand, they'll be facing a deadly threat from a criminal offender who's armed, and on the other case, will get no allowance for the stress involved in that confrontation,"

Flynn said he does not want to put pressure on the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office to release the body camera video because that video is now evidence.

3 comments

  • walloffthenorthside

    Hey Flynn. Your officers have had concerns ever since you threw Christopher Manney under the bus. To Milwaukee and your department a favor and resign. PS. Take Barrett and Chisholm with you.

  • Huh !

    I just hope the jury and public in general, look at the evidence in the shooting and don’t consider the sex charges as part of this incident ! They are 2 separate cases and should be seen as such !!!

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