Sylville Smith Officer Accused of Sexual Assault
The Milwaukee police officer who fatally wounded Sylville Smith has been accused of sexual assault.
CNN reports that an unidentified man told investigators that Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulted him while off duty two days after the Aug. 13 shooting death of the 23-year-old Black man.
Police said Smith was armed during a lethal confrontation that started with a traffic stop. The shooting sparked massive demonstrations, and resulted in six businesses, including a BMO Harris Bank, being set ablaze.
Haeggan-Brown, 24, has been suspended from the force. He was being held on $100,000 bail as of Thursday, and it is unclear whether he has secured legal representation.
The alleged assault occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 15 after a night of heavy drinking, the man said. According to the alleged victim, the two men “sat and watched television as coverage of the Sherman Park protests aired” at a bar, the criminal complaint said.
After allegedly assaulting the man at his home, Heaggan-Brown took the accuser to a hospital and told a nurse the man “began to act weird and unresponsive” at a bar, according to the complaint.
Heaggan-Brown told a security officer at the hospital that the man was “zonked out of his gourd” after drinking, the complaint said.
Later that morning, Heaggan-Brown sent a text message to a sergeant who had mentored him saying he was “not so good” after having a “separate situation.”
“Need your help big time,” the text said. “F***ed up big time…But need to handle this the most secret and right way possible.”
Heaggan-Brown met with the sergeant and described the sexual encounter as consensual and said his accuser “was drunk and had ‘medical issues,'” the complaint said.
The sergeant is also under investigation. Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters that allegations against Heaggan-Brown were “altogether awful” and “extraordinarily disappointing.” Flynn also stressed that the investigation into Smith’s death should be based on the circumstances of the shooting, not the officer’s character.
Heaggan-Brown is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of prostitution and one count of capturing an intimate representation without consent. The complaint said he is accused of offering two other men money for sex at his home.
In addition to a criminal investigation, the internal affairs division will review the case.