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After Fatal Shooting, Milwaukee Police Chief Says Officer’s Actions Were Justified

Community Unrest Sparked By Shooting On Saturday

(vincent desjardins) (CC-BY)

Milwaukee’s police chief says the officer who shot a 23-year-old African-American man to death on Saturday was justified in his actions.

The Wisconsin National Guard has been activated — but not deployed — in response to community violence overnight stemming from the shooting.

Police said that Sylville Smith was carrying a semi-automatic handgun and was turning toward a 24-year-old African-American officer when the officer discharged his weapon, killing Smith.

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Police Chief Ed Flynn said on Sunday that he has seen footage from the officer’s body camera.

“I know what I saw on the video. I know what I see in the still. Certainly appears to me at the time he made the decision. It was a credible and legally protected decision,” he said.

Flynn said that he doesn’t know if the video or the still image taken from it will be released as the state Department of Justice Department is reviewing the shooting.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says it will be Flynn’s decision as to whether to deploy the Wisconsin National Guard.

Stay tuned to Wisconsin Public Radio and WPR.org for continuing coverage.