Today, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced that his office filed first-degree reckless homicide charges against former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who shot and killed Mr. Sylville Smith on August 13, 2016 in Sherman Park. In response to the announcement, the ACLU of Wisconsin issued the following statement. It is attributable to ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty.
“The ACLU of Wisconsin welcomes the District Attorney’s decision. It will give the Smith family the support of the State of Wisconsin in their quest for justice, as well as giving the accused, former Officer Heaggan-Brown, his day in court.
The criminal proceedings may also shed some additional light on the degree to which Milwaukee Police Department policies and practices may have contributed to Mr. Smith’s death. As we’ve seen around the nation, stop practices such as those employed by the Milwaukee Police Department can result in unwarranted civilian deaths.
Regardless of the outcome of these proceedings, the Milwaukee community needs to know that justice has been served. However, separate from the issue of former Officer Heaggan-Brown’s criminal liability, city leaders and law enforcement officials need to make sure that the Milwaukee Police Department and all its members work to protect and serve all residents in an unbiased and professional manner.”
The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 8,460 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.