The name of the black police officer who killed Sylville Smith has been made public. The officer is Dominique Heaggan, also referred to as Dominique Heaggan-Brown.
According to this report, Heaggan grew up poor and “rough” in the same neighborhood as Smith. Indeed, the two attended the same high school and apparently knew each other at the time.
Heaggan joined the city’s police force as a police aide in 2010. He became a sworn officer three years later.
No citizen has ever filed a complaint against Heaggan with the city’s Fire and Police Commission, the board says. In 2014, police officials recognized Heaggan for helping a homeless woman.
Once it became known that Heaggan killed Smith, death threats quickly followed. As of Tuesday, at least 3,000 people had shared a Facebook photo of the officer, with some adding threatening comments. They included:
Now y’all see his face if he’s seen anywhere in the city drop him.
Shoot him right in his head.
Do whatever ya’ll need to do to this man.
Regardless of what the facts are found to be, there’s a good chance that Heaggan’s career will be wrecked, as Darren Wilson’s was following his justified shooting of Michael Brown. The fact that Heaggan is black, and therefore couldn’t have had racial animus towards Smith, won’t help him. Racial animus by the police, though it exists in some instances, is a pseudo-issue in the current debate (as is “implicit bias”).
Regardless of the facts, the thugs and their sympathizers and enablers in the Black Lives Matter movement will take the side of the guy from the neighborhood who became a thug, not the guy from the neighborhood who tried to make it safer and who helped the homeless.