Police officers who used a stun gun on Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown after a Jan. 26 parking violation were immediately concerned about community backlash, according to newly released video and images that show the injuries Brown suffered in the incident.
The city’s police department released body-camera and squad-car video last month that showed the arrest in progress; Chief Alfonso Morales announced at the time that officers had been disciplined. “As a human being, I am offended by what I saw on the video,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Mr. Brown deserves an apology, and I’m very sorry the Milwaukee police treated him in the fashion he was treated in.”
New body camera video obtained by Milwaukee’s WISN-TV and broadcast Sunday shows officers discussing the possibility that they could be accused of racism and expressing concern about how their actions would be viewed.
“If he makes a [expletive] complaint, it’s going to be a [expletive] media firestorm,” an officer says in the video. “And then any little [expletive] thing that goes wrong is going to be, ‘Ohhhh, the Milwaukee Police Department is all racist, blah, blah, blah.’ ”
Another officer adds, “We’re trying to protect ourselves.”
In the new video, an officer steps on Brown’s ankle after he is on the ground, prompting Brown to say: “You’re stepping on my ankle, for what?” The officer replies, “So you don’t kick us.”
Another officer asks whether Brown plays for the Bucks, and he replies: “What you think? I look familiar, don’t I?”
In another newly released video, an officer appears to tell a supervisor that “I need to go on the overtime board if I’m not already” and he can be heard singing, “Money, money, money, money, money!”
WISN also published photos that show injuries to Brown’s face and body.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard was arrested around 2 a.m. Jan. 26, when an officer doing a business check at a Walgreens spotted a vehicle parked across two spots reserved for disabled drivers. Brown was arrested on a possible misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer, but police officials did not refer the case to prosecutors after an internal review that included viewing the body camera footage. Speaking with reporters before a Bucks game later that day, Brown’s face appeared bruised and scratched, with Brown calling the injuries “a personal issue.”
The body-camera footage released last month shows an officer asking Brown, who was outside the store, to produce his license. The discussion between the officer and player quickly becomes tense with the officer saying, “These are simple questions, and you’re being all bad-a– to me.”
Moments later, several more police cars arrive, some with lights flashing. The officer tells Brown that they are waiting for his partner, adding, “You had time to park across two lanes here, so we’re going to wait a little longer.”
As the body camera shows numerous patrol cars pulling up, the original officer says, “I just wanted one.” He speaks with a couple of other policemen, telling one, “Have a nice night,” before returning to Brown, who is shown speaking with other officers and appearing frustrated, saying, “I’m just asking you a question.”
An officer can be heard shortly thereafter yelling at Brown, “Take your hands out of your pockets, now!” He says that he has “stuff” in his pockets as several officers close in and take him to the ground, at which point one shouts, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” Brown can then be heard groaning as handcuffs are placed on him.
Brown, who has been considering a lawsuit against the city, said after the initial release of the video that the incident “shouldn’t happen to anybody” and sharply criticized officers for turning “a simple parking ticket” into “an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force.”
The Bucks called Brown’s experience “shameful and inexcusable” and issued a plea for greater accountability.
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