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Attorneys for Dominique Heaggan-Brown say he’s “thankful” after acquittal

MILWAUKEE -- Attorneys for a former Milwaukee police officer acquitted in the fatal shooting of Sylville Smith in August say the officer always believed he was justified in using deadly force.

Jonathan Smith said Dominique Heaggan-Brown is "thankful for the jury" that found him not guilty Wednesday, June 21st of first-degree reckless homicide for the death of Sylville Smith last August.

Another of his attorneys, Steven Kohn, said there "is not joy in a case like this" because "a young man lost his life."

Smith's death sparked riots in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood.

Heaggan-Brown ran after Smith when he fled from a traffic stop and shot him in the arm and chest. Prosecutors argued Smith was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown shot him in the chest because Smith had thrown away his gun.

Heaggan-Brown's attorneys argued the encounter that unfolded over 12 seconds forced the officer to make a split-second decision to defend himself.