MILWAUKEE — You know what they say about karma. The black police officer who fatally shot a black man in August that sparked days of contentious protests and rallies in the city’s Sherman Park neighborhood, bragged about it before he sexually assaulted a man after they drank shots together at a bar while watching the second night of protests on television, the Milwaukee County district attorney has charged.
Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown is charged with second-degree sexual assault in that incident and another from July in which prosecutors said Heaggan-Brown had sexually-explicit photos on his cellphone of him and a second man taken when that victim was passed out, the ABC News affiliate in Milwaukee reports:
Heaggan-Brown is also charged with two counts of prostitution. In the charging document, prosecutors allege he offered two men money for sex on several occasions dating back to December 2015.
If convicted of the charges, Heaggan-Brown faces up to nearly 90 years in prison and up to $230,000 in fines.
At a court appearance Thursday, Commissioner Grace Flynn ordered him held on $100,000 bail. He has been suspended with pay from the Milwaukee Police Department.
None of the charges are related to the Aug. 13 shooting death of Sylville Smith, but the criminal complaint does make clear that detectives were investigating the sexual assault and prostitution allegations in the days after the incident.
The night after after Heaggan-Brown shot Smith, he and a man he’d met on Facebook were out drinking at the Eastsider bar. News coverage of the protests surrounding Smith’s death was on television, the complaint said.
Prosecutors said the man — identified as Adult Victim 1 — said Heaggan-Brown bragged about being able to do whatever he wanted without repercussions.
Hours later, Heaggan-Brown and that same man appeared at St. Joseph’s Hospital because the man was “completely out, zoned out of his gourd.” But when the man woke up, he “flipped out” and told hospital staff “he raped me,” the complaint said.
The investigation into that incident led to a search of Heaggan-Brown’s cellphone, which prosecutors said revealed several solicitations of sex for money from two other men and a second sexual assault from late July.
In the latter case, the victim said he’d gone to a strip club with a group of friends, including Heaggan-Brown, to celebrate another friend’s birthday. The alleged victim and Heaggan-Brown went back to Heaggan-Brown’s home and drank some more.
During an interview with detectives, the alleged victim was shown photos obtained from Heaggan-Brown’s cellphone that showed the two men engaged in sexual activity.
“That’s f***ing crazy,” the victim said, according to the complaint, adding that he did not consent to sex, nor was he aware of the photographs being taken.
The case surrounding Smith’s death has been in the hands of District Attorney John Chisholm since mid-September when the Wisconsin Department of Justice turned over its findings.
Police said Smith, 23, turned toward Heaggan-Brown with a gun in his hand before he was shot on Aug. 13. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said body cameras from two officers recorded the shooting, but that footage has not been released, and the results of the state’s investigation is pending.
Smith’s death sparked two days of unrest in the city’s Sherman Park neighborhood. Several businesses were looted and set on fire, creating tense confrontations between protesters and police.
Heaggan-Brown was once an aspiring rapper who rapped about rioting. He hit the streets two years ago as a sworn officer.
Mike Crivello, the president of the police department’s union, released a statement on Thursday, saying: “In any large organization there may be a time that one, or a few discredit the overall; this is by no means reflective of the overwhelming majority of good officers. The MPA condemns all criminal behavior by any member of society, whether part of this organization or not – in all situations it is imperative that fact(s) are allowed to dictate the outcome.”
Mayor Tom Barrett said that “no matter the rank or circumstances, Milwaukee police officers must be held to the highest standard of conduct.”
Photo: Dominique Heaggan-Brown Photo sSource: Facebook/ Dominique Heaggan-Brown and Milwaukee Police Department)