MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police have released body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown, the younger brother of Shannon Brown, during a January arrest.
The release comes as city officials who’ve viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers conducted themselves. Three officers were ultimately disciplined in the incident.
Bucks guard Sterling Brown talks about how “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.” pic.twitter.com/wPMhZfS4iU
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 23, 2018
Brown was arrested in a Walgreens parking lot about 2 a.m. Jan. 26. Officers had been checking on a vehicle parked across two handicap spaces. Brown was not charged. Police have shown the body-camera footage to some local officials, including a closed session of a Common Council committee.
The Milwaukee Bucks signed the 6-foot-6 guard from SMU last summer in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The video represents another potential setback for a department that for years has tried to rebuild its image and relationship with Milwaukee’s black residents after several high-profile cases of police misconduct.
A day before releasing the body camera footage, Chief Alfonso Morales posted a video on YouTube to reiterate his commitment to rebuild the public’s trust in the department.
“I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” Milwaukee PD Chief Morales says. “Today we are releasing body camera video capturing the interaction.” https://t.co/15cgld0pEC pic.twitter.com/ngoJqMJmqt
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 23, 2018
“So if there’s ever an incident where one of our members makes a mistake, unnecessarily escalating a situation, I’m going to be honest and transparent about it,” he said. “In those incidents, where we have made mistakes and are wrong, I’m sorry.”
Morales was appointed chief in February, following the retirement of Edward Flynn, who held the position for 10 years.
Last year, Milwaukee paid $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit over the death of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man fatally shot by a police officer after the officer roused him from a park bench downtown. The officer said he shot Hamilton 14 times in self-defense because they got into a struggle when the officer frisked him for weapons.
In 2016, the city paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit by 74 black residents who said police illegally strip-searched them between 2008 and 2012. Currently, the city is considering settling a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union in Wisconsin, which is representing eight residents who say police targeted them for stops simply because they were black or Latino and the high-crime areas where they lived.
In early May, police and prosecutors began investigating four officers who were involved in the violent arrest of a black man in a majority African-American neighborhood. Video from a bystander showed a group of officers kicking and punching the man on the ground while he was restrained. Police presented their body camera footage of the encounter, which showed the man aggressively charging at officers and trying to punch them.
We will update with video as soon as it’s available.
PHOTO: NBA.com Screenshot
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