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Ex-officer begins defense in Milwaukee shooting trial

Dominique Heaggan-Brown listens to the statement he made to investigators after the shooting is read back to him in court by Special Agent Raymond Gibbs of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Milwaukee. Heaggan-Brown, a former Milwaukee police officer on trial in a fatal shooting that sparked riots in a predominantly black neighborhood, said Friday he will not testify, as his attorneys prepare to begin presenting his defense. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP, Pool)

Dominique Heaggan-Brown sits in a Milwaukee County courtroom on Friday. Heaggan-Brown, a former Milwaukee police officer on trial in a fatal shooting that sparked riots in a predominantly black neighborhood, said Friday he will not testify, as his attorneys prepare to begin presenting his defense. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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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