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Man who knows both Milwaukee officer and Sylville Smith speaks out: “They both were not bad guys”

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MILWAUKEE -- Social media posts are lighting up with comments and opinions about the Milwaukee police officer who shot Sylville Smith, and about Smith himself. One local man doesn't know if the officer and Smith knew each other or crossed paths before one shot the other, but they had a few things in common -- including Sawi Perry as a friend.Sylville Smith

"I think the image of both parties are being tarnished," said Perry.

Sawi Perry, is a National Guardsman and local rap artist trying to promote the positive messages in light of the riots in his neighborhood.

Perry says he knew Sylville Smith, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer on Saturday, August 13th. He also knows the officer.

Sawi Perry

Sawi Perry

"They both, from what I know, weren't bad guys so that's the message I want to give so they both were not bad guys and people need to look more into the facts. One was a college graduate, one was a good kid. I know for a fact the officer was a college graduate. He was not a street dude. The other guy I know was not a street guy," said Perry.

Perry says social media posts are fueling anger, trying to vilify Smith or the officer. Neither of his friends, deserves that, he says.

Perry knew Smith as a dancer, the officer a rapper.officer

Perry says he was in the next room when the officer recorded a rap video last year. Perry says the lyrics were not anything more than art, fiction and entertainment.

That's one reason Sawi Perry says he and other artists will gather in Sherman Park Sunday, to talk to kids and hand out school supplies.Sherman Park

"I think they need to hear our real voice. Pretty much the faces that they know and the artists they listen to caring for them and stop all this from happening," said Perry.

Perry says he's not sure if the officer and Smith ever really knew each other. They may have certainly passed each other before that fateful day both had guns and the officer fired.

"If he was in the wrong or he was in the wrong, I hope it comes to some type of closure so we can move on as a city," said Perry.Sherman Park

Local artists will be gathering at Sherman Park at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 21st to hand to school supplies to kids and speak to them.

The public is welcome to bring school supplies to donate as well.


  • Dylan

    The victims rap sheet is colorful so are his social media posts.and his clise.friends social posts..threats fro..his (the viztims)..sympathizers…against the police.officer are.disturbing to say the least..there are multiple social media posts of the victim with wea pons of all types…..and because of our lenient court and district atty in Milwaukee..alot of his bad behavior was swept under the rug..the victim was no choir boy..what kind of work did he do….was it other than criminal…can we hear from his employers…about how he was such a good employee?..the officer needed to pass a background check…etc…was a hard.worker….I don’t think the officer went to work that day thinking this would be his story….he cany even live in his hometown. Can he..what about the officers family and friends…the victims choices in life have now ruined and destroyed this officers life and all he did work…like a.normal human being…can’t even pUllman the race card on this one…how confusing for the black lives matter thugs..and the joke of.the colit is for.justice

  • confused

    Smith was a good guy? He carried a stolen gun and stolen ammo for protection, but he was so loved, yet sis claimed he’d been shot at. More then once. He intimidated a witness so the case was dismissed. He drove after revocation and without insurance involving an accident. These are not things a good guy does. What a messed up concept.

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