Two body cameras caught fatal Milwaukee police shooting of Sylville Smith, AG says

MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin’s attorney general says a fatal police shooting in Milwaukee that sparked two nights of violence was recorded by not one but two body cameras.

The state is investigating the Aug. 13 shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith​. Authorities have said he was fleeing police and that footage from the officer’s body camera clearly shows Smith holding a handgun and turning toward an officer when he was shot.

Attorney General Brad Schimel says authorities are reviewing that as well as a second video recorded by another officer’s body camera. He says the vantage points are similar.

Schimel says the videos won’t be released until after the county prosecutor decides whether to charge the officer, whose name hasn’t been made public.

The police officer has however allegedly been outed by those in the community who knew him, and has been targeted by online threats​. Widely shared social media posts and at least one news report identified him as a 24-year-old patrolman - matching the age and departmental experience that police released. Many posts contained threats against him and a photo.

The department said in a statement Tuesday it has noticed a “disturbing national trend” in which social media users have identified officers involved in fatal shootings and threatened them and their families. A spokesman declined to confirm the identity being circulated online.

The department said it is aware of some local threats against its officers and is investigating.

Smith was shot and killed Saturday after a brief foot chase that followed a traffic stop. Police say Smith had a gun in his hand when he turned toward the officer, who opened fire. Both the suspect and the officer are black.

A few hours after the shooting, violence erupted on the city’s largely black north side, with protesters hurling rocks at police and burning six businesses. Later protests were much calmer.