Milwaukee cop who shot Sylville Smith accused of sexual assault

Dominique Heaggan-Brown Photo Source: Facebook/ Dominique Heaggan-Brown and Milwaukee Police Department)
Dominique Heaggan-Brown Photo sSource: Facebook/ Dominique Heaggan-Brown and Milwaukee Police Department)

This past August the city of Milwaukee found itself in the national spotlight after a police shooting of a Black male. Sylville Smith was shot on the evening of Aug. 13 after police stopped a car with two Black males inside. After the shooting, dozens of residents took to the streets of Milwaukee to march in protest. The cop who fired the fatal shot was officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who knew and went to school with Smith. After the shooting, Milwaukee experienced two days of rioting that revealed intense racial strife in the Black community. During this time period, Heaggan-Brown was out of sight as tensions flared. What he did during this time now has him behind bars accused of raping a man. Heaggan-Brown was arrested on Wednesday on a criminal complaint from an unidentified male victim. It is alleged that Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulted the man on Aug. 15, 2016, after the two went out drinking at a bar.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim and Heaggan-Brown were drinking heavily at a bar and watching the protests on TV. During their drinking Brown allegedly boasted “he was the boss … there were ‘no limitations’ on how he lived” and that he could do whatever he wanted “without repercussions.” The victim stated that he felt drugged when he left the  bar. He awoke to Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulting him.  Heaggan-Brown took the man to St. Joseph’s Hospital the morning of Aug. 15, he told a security guard who helped him wheel the victim inside that he had had too much to drink and was “completely out, zonked out of his gourd.”

But when the victim was being treated by a nurse he cried out “He raped me! He raped me!” and pointed to Heaggan-Brown. An investigation was launched which showed that Heaggan-Brown had texted his mentor, Sgt. Joseph Hall stating that “I messed up big time.” The text further read, “Need your help big time. But need to handle this the most secret and right way possible.”

Hall is currently under internal affairs investigation and reported his contact with Heaggan-Brown to his superiors. When police searched Heaggan-Brown’s cellphone, they found damning evidence. Investigators revealed that Heaggan-Brown offered two other people money for sex several times — in December 2015 and in July and August of this year and that he sexually assaulted another unconscious person in July, and photographed that victim naked without that person’s consent.

Charges for Heaggan-Brown include two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault, two misdemeanor prostitution counts and one felony count of capturing an intimate representation of a person without consent. He has been suspended from the police force and bail was set at $100,000. He’s set to appear at a preliminary hearing on Oct. 27.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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