By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor, [email protected]
Milwaukee Bucks rookie guard Sterling Brown said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Milwaukee PD after being Tazed and arrested over a parking violation back in January.
Police body-camera footage showing several police officers tackling Brown and Tazing him while he was on the ground was released May 23, even the incident took place in January. Police had also handcuffed and booked Brown before eventually releasing him without charging him. Brown went on to play in an NBA game that same day.
“What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased and then unlawfully booked,” Brown said in a long statement. “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.”
Milwaukee PD released its own statement, apologizing for what Police Chief Alonso Morales deemed as officers “acting inappropriately.”
“I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” said Morales in the statement.
The incident occurred on Jan. 26 in the parking lot of a Walgreens at approximately 2 a.m. Video footage shows Brown was double parked with his vehicle appearing to take up multiple parking spots. According to ESPN, the officer began to argue with Brown before calling for backup.
“These are simple questions, and you’re being all badass,” the officer said to Brown, according to ESPN, before telling Brown that he “had time to park across these lanes here, so we’re going to wait a little longer.”
Brown said in his statement that, “Black men shouldn’t have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it’s a reality and a real problem.”
“There must be mutual respect, and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this,” Brown continued. “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.”
The Bucks also released a statement, criticizing Milwaukee Police for how they handled Brown.
“Abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable,” the organization stated.
“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.”