Ed Flynn Says Officers Concerned After Ex-Cop Charged In Shooting

Milwaukee Police Chief Responds To Criminal Complaint In Sylville Smith's Death

Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Milwaukee’s police chief says he’s concerned about how a criminal charge filed Thursday against a former officer will affect his police force.

During a press conference, MPD Chief Ed Flynn said he’s not criticizing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s decision to bring a first-degree reckless homicide charge against ex-officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown in the on-duty shooting death of Sylville Smith. But Flynn said his officers are worried.

“The concern most of them are already expressing is, ‘Hey, what does that mean to me, if I’m in a similar set of circumstances, and I’m reacting to what I believe to be an armed threat?’” Flynn said.

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Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Smith in August during a foot chase. The criminal complaint says Heagann-Brown’s second and fatal shot came less than two seconds after Smith had tossed away a gun.

At the time, Flynn defended the shooting as justified use of force.

Smith’s family says Chisholm’s decision to issue a criminal charge is a necessary step in bringing some measure of justice.

Heaggan-Brown was fired by the Police Department in October following sexual assault charges from an incident unrelated to Smith’s death.

Heaggan-Brown has an initial court appearance for the homicide case scheduled for Friday afternoon.