MILWAUKEE — The father of a man was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer Saturday afternoon, August 13th has identified him as 23-year-old Sylville Smith, as did Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn Sunday afternoon.
Court records show in February of 2015, Smith was charged with one felony count of first degree recklessly endangering safety and one misdemeanor count of possession of THC. The charges were dismissed by prosecutors in November.
In August of 2015, Smith was charged with felony intimidation of a witness/person charged/felony. That charge was dismissed by prosecutors in September.
In July of 2014, Smith was charged with carrying a concealed weapon — a misdemeanor charge. He pleaded guilty in November, and was sentenced to serve one day in the House of Correction.
In July of 2013, Smith was charged with felony retail theft — intentionally taking $500 to $5,000 as party to a crime. Prosecutors dismissed the charge in October.
He had this to say in the wake of the shooting of his son by Milwaukee police and the violence that followed:
“What are we gonna do now? Everyone playing their part in this city, blaming the white guy or whatever, and we know what they’re doing. Like, already I feel like they should have never OK’d guns in Wisconsin. They already know what our black youth was doing anyway. These young kids gotta realize this is all a game with them. Like they’re playing Monopoly. You young kids falling into their world, what they want you to do. Everything you do is programmed. I had to blame myself for a lot of things too because your hero is your dad and I played a very big part in my family’s role model for them. Being on the street, doing things of the street life: Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like ‘he’s doing all these things.’ I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail and they see those things so I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to. When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get. They got us killing each other and when they even OK’d them pistols and they OK’d a reason to kill us too. Now somebody got killed reaching for his wallet, but now they can say he got a gun on him and they reached for it. And that’s justifiable. When we allowed them to say guns is good and it’s legal, we can bear arms. This is not the wild, wild west y’all. But when you go down to 25th and center, you see guys with guns hanging out this long, that’s ridiculous, and they’re allowing them to do this and the police know half of them don’t have a license to carry a gun. I don’t know when we’re gonna start moving. I’ve gotta start with my kids and we gotta change our ways, to be better role models. And we gotta change ourselves. We’ve gotta talk to them, put some sense into them. They targeting us, but we know about it so there’s no reason to keep saying it’s their fault. You play a part in it. If you know there’s a reason, don’t give in to the hand, don’t be going around with big guns, don’t be going around shooting each other and letting them shoot y’all cause that’s just what they’re doing and they’re out to destroy us and we’re falling for it,” Patrick Smith said Sunday.
At the time of the shooting, he was wearing a body camera.
The body camera video is not being released at this point, as the investigation continues.
“A young man lost his life (Saturday) afternoon. No matter what, his family has to be hurting. There was a body camera the officer was wearing. The video will be under the jurisdiction of the state of Wisconsin. I have seen a still photo extracted from that video. That photo demonstrates, without question, that (Smith) had a gun in his hand. The police officer didn’t know it at the time, but there were 23 rounds in that gun. He had more bullets in his gun than the police officer had in his gun. What that police officer encountered was an individual who had a gun in his hand,” Barrett said.
“We’re going to have to weigh a couple different things. We have to weigh the public’s benefit. We have to weigh the rights of the officer involved. We have to weigh the concern that DCI has to have an investigation. I suppose there are people that would say we might have to protect a potential jury pool someday, I don’t know,” Flynn said.
By state law, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will lead the investigation.
As the chaos escalated overnight, authorities implored the crowds to disperse and go home. Some used social media to urge others to come out and take part in the protests, according to Barrett.
“If you love your son, if you love your daughter text them, call them, pull them by the ears and get them home. Get them home right now before more damage is done,” the mayor said.
The mayor said police presence would be strong as part of an “all-out-effort” to restore order. At least three people have been arrested, he said.
The shooting occurred near the scene of a double homicide that happened this month. In the related attacks August 9, a man was shot dead while another one was fatally stabbed, police said.