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MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department on Wednesday released bodycam video that shows the officers arrest and use a stun gun on Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a confrontation in January.
In the video, you can hear an officer say, “Taser, Taser, Taser.”
“The (Police) Department conducted an investigation into the incident which revealed members acted inappropriately. Those members were recently disciplined,” Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said during a news conference Wednesday.
The release of the video instantly drew statements from Brown and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Brown’s statement is below:
“My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody. What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.
“Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ the people.
“The common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims’ families and communities.
“Black men shouldn’t have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it’s our reality and a real problem. There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this.
“There are no easy solutions to this problem, but there are strides that can be made to create change. I will do my part in helping to prevent similar incidents from happening to the minority community in the future.
“This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.”
Brown plans to file a federal lawsuit against the city, WISN 12 News has learned.
The Milwaukee Bucks also released a statement saying, in part, “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.”
Morales’ news conference was held at the same time the video was being released.
“I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” he said. “When I took office, I vowed to rebuild trust between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community. We are doing that.”
The incident took place in a parking lot at a Walgreens store after officers saw a vehicle parked across two disability parking spaces.
At the time, the officer said he asked Brown “repeatedly (to) step back, which he refused” to do.
The officer said Brown “became very aggressive,” so he called for backup.
When another officer arrived, they attempted to interview Brown. The officer said that’s when “Brown physically resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him and he was taken to the ground in a controlled manner.”
The officer said Brown continued to “resist being handcuffed” and “a Taser had to be employed to get Brown in control with handcuffs.”
Brown was not charged in the incident but received a $200 parking ticket.
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