Milwaukee Officer Who Killed Sylville Smith Fired for Sexual Assault Charges

By Sameer Rao Nov 01, 2016

Following an internal investigation into a sexual assault case, the Milwaukee Police Department fired the officer whose fatal shooting of Sylville Smith touched off major protests and unrest this summer.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown’s termination was made effective yesterday (October 31), according to a department statement. He was suspended on October 19, following his arrest for sexually assaulting a man while off-duty. "The investigation found Heaggan-Brown to be in violation of the Milwaukee Police Code of Conduct, Core Value- Integrity that states ‘Department members shall obey local ordinances and state and federal laws, whether on or off-duty’ and ‘Whether on or off duty, department members shall not behave in such a way that a reasonable person would expect that discredit could be brought upon the department, or that it would create the appearance of impropriety or corruptive behavior,’" reads the statement. 

Heaggan-Brown’s booking page on the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department website (searchable by name here) lists five specific charges: two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault, two misdemeanor counts of prostitution and one felony count of capturing "an intimate representation" without consent. Authorities said that an investigation into Heaggan-Brown’s cell phone revealed secretly-recorded sex footage, nude photos of alleged survivors and evidence of attempts to solicit sex for money.

Citing the unreleased complaint, The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune reported on October 20 that the survivor alleges that he met Heaggan-Brown at a bar two days after he fatally shot Smith. The man said he remembers being heavily intoxicated and feeling drugged, leaving the bar with Heaggan-Brown and waking up to the officer forcing himself on him. The former officer took the man to a nearby hospital the next morning, where the survivor told workers that he had been raped. The report says that Heaggan-Brown then texted a superior, Sgt. Joseph Hall, saying that the encounter was consensual, but the accuser "was messed up."

Sheriff’s department records say that Heaggan-Brown returns to court on November 4 to face the charges. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office has yet charged the ex-officer for his role in Smith’s death.

(H/t Time, The Root, New York Daily News)