Brown’s lawsuit contended the officers used excessive force and targeted him because he is Black.
Per the Associated Press, Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer approved the settlement amount along with an admission from the city that Brown’s constitutional rights were violated. Brown’s attorney signed the agreement on his behalf Friday. The settlement still must be approved by the Milwaukee Common Council.
“We are pleased that Sterling’s lawsuit has been mutually resolved and that there’s been an important commitment by the City of Milwaukee and its Police Department to make changes to the MPD’s standard operating procedures,” the Bucks said in a statement. “No one should ever have to go through the horrifying abuse and injustice that Sterling experienced. We commend Sterling for his courageous response to this terrible situation by repeatedly sharing his story and working tirelessly with countless local groups and organizations to help make change in our community. And we also commend the City’s leadership for its commitment to implement these important changes to better Milwaukee.”
After video of the incident was released, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters he was “offended by what I saw on the video. … Mr. Brown deserves an apology, and I’m very sorry the Milwaukee police treated him in the fashion he was treated in.” According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the settlement probably is the first time the city has admitted wrongdoing in a police misconduct case, and it also will include changes to police department policy. Since 2015, the city has paid at least $31.6 million in legal settlements because of police misconduct, forcing the city to borrow money to make the payments, according to the Journal Sentinel.
In September 2019, Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, rejected the city’s settlement offer of $400,000, calling it “not sufficient.” He also said any settlement must include an admission of a civil rights violation.