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Sterling Brown to File Lawsuit Against Milwaukee Police Department

The news comes after Brown’s arrest back in January

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Sterling Brown plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department in regards to the taser and arrest incident that occurred back on January 26th. The incident is resurfacing now as body camera footage of the event was released to the public today. Several officials have already seen the footage, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was quoted in the above story:

“It was a disturbing video when I saw it, and I know that the police chief feels the same way,” Barrett said Tuesday. “And I don’t know exactly what actions his department is going to take, but it is disconcerting to see some of the actions in that video.”

This afternoon, the Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales addressed the media regarding the release of the body cam footage. If you are interested in viewing the entire video, you can see it here on YouTube, although please note it has some disturbing moments. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article from the presser, the first officer on the scene apparently didn’t recognize him as a Bucks player after Brown handed over his identification card. Superiors were called to the situation and it became more animated from there. Brown appears to be standing by his car, surrounded by several officers, before they descend on him to bring him to the ground. An audible, “taser, taser, taser,” is spoken in the video.

Brown released a statement today on his Twitter account that said the following:

The Milwaukee Bucks followed that up with a statement of their own that read:

The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.

We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.

There needs to be more accountability.

The Milwaukee Police Department and local officials have acknowledged the challenges they are working to address, and we urge them to enact higher standards and more direct accountability. We all want to be able to trust each and every officer serving to protect us.

Incidents like this remind us of the injustices that persist. As an organization, we will support Sterling and build on our work with local leaders and organizations to foster safe neighborhoods and better our community.

Chief Morales stated at the conference that the officers “acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined for their actions.” What those disciplinary actions are at this point, remain unclear.

The initial arrest didn’t result in criminal charges for Brown after he was brought in on possible misdemeanor charges of resisting or obstructing an officer. The police first approached Brown in a Walgreen’s parking lot at 2 a.m., where they saw a car parked across two handicap spaces.

A police spokesperson later stated he was cited for a parking violation. Brown showed up to the game the night of the arrest against the Brooklyn Nets with visible cuts and bruises across his face. When asked about the incident, he referred to it only as a “personal issue.” Of all the pro sports leagues, the NBA has never been shy about its players speaking out on social issues like this. Over the coming months and length of this trial, we will see what sort of support Brown gets from his teammates and others voicing their concerns against excessive police force.