Ex-officer begins defense in Milwaukee shooting trial

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Attorneys for a former Milwaukee police officer charged in a fatal shooting will begin making their case that the officer was acting in self-defense when he killed a black man after a brief foot chase.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also African-American, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Sylville Smith last year. The Aug. 13 shooting sparked two nights of riots in the predominantly black neighborhood where it happened.

Smith was armed when he ran from a traffic stop but prosecutors argue he was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown shot him because Smith threw his gun over a fence. But Heaggan-Brown’s attorneys say the fatal encounter happened so fast the officer had to act quickly to defend himself.

Heaggan-Brown’s attorneys will start presenting their case Monday.

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