Sylville Smith was murdered by a police officer named Dominique Heaggan-Brown on August 13th. Since then, it appears the story has largely fallen off the national radar. Heaggan-Brown was arrested last week, but not for the murder and currently faces two charges of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault and two charges of Solicitation.
For the most part, these allegations have nothing to do with the murder, except for a few highlights. Most notably, prior to his arrest he texted the following to a sergeant, believed to be a mentor-like figure for Heaggan-Brown:
Need your help big time but need to handle this the most secret and right way possible.”
Hmmm. It almost seems as if there’s an unofficial system in place for mitigating legal problems for police officers.
Also noteworthy is that Heaggan-Brown was not in hiding, fearing for his life, as the police maintained. No, he was spending time at bars and alleged to have bragged about being able to get away with murder:
Prosecutors said the man — identified as Adult Victim 1 — said Heaggan-Brown bragged about being able to do whatever he wanted without repercussions.”
All of this adds new wrinkles to the ongoing investigation. There are still many unanswered questions about what happened on the day of the shooting. In the immediate aftermath, the police and mayor claimed there was unequivocal video evidence that Sylville was armed and pointing a gun at the officer. Later, once the unrest had died down, it was admitted that the footage was “ambiguous, [and] difficult to interpret.” The video still has not been released, and won’t be until the District Attorney decides not to file charges, because of course he won’t.
It seems as if the police are not willing or able to sweep these new allegations under the rug. It could signify they’ve turned their backs on Heaggan-Brown. On the other hand, no one should be surprised if he’s not arrested for the murder. After all, he is still a police officer and part of an institution that believes they have the right to murder whomever they deem a threat.