Milwaukee mayor surprised at city’s attorney defending police in Bucks Sterling Brown arrest
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee’s city attorney said officers did nothing wrong when they used a stun gun on Bucks’ player Sterling Brown during his arrest over a parking violation in January — a direct contradiction to the police chief and mayor, who condemned the officers’ actions.
The city attorney’s assertion comes in response to a lawsuit Brown filed in June alleging that officers targeting him because he is black and that their use of force was unwarranted. Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Brown and in May announced that 11 of the officers involved in the rookie guard’s arrest were disciplined or retrained.
But city attorney Grant Langley said in a court filing in federal court Friday night that Brown was at least partially to blame for what happened on Jan. 26 during his encounter with police outside a Walgreens at around 2 a.m.
“The injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff, if any, were caused in whole or in part by their own acts or omissions,” the court filing reads.
#SterlingBrown: All this, for what? You're stepping on my ankle, for what?"
MPD: "So you don’t kick us”
SB: "I ain’t got no reason to kick y’all, man"
Officer asked if Brown was an NBA player.
SB: "What you think? I look familiar, don’t I?”
MPD: “I remember the name” pic.twitter.com/30TP34zDjb
— David C. Crowley (@DavidCrowleyWI) June 5, 2018
The Journal Sentinel reported Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was surprised by the city attorney’s response, saying Saturday that he wasn’t briefed on it before it was filed.
“I think it’s counterproductive for anybody to turn up the heat with rhetoric like this,” Barrett said. “I’m trying to bring respect throughout the entire community, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
The Milwaukee Police Department did not respond to a request for an interview with the chief, the newspaper reported. Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, said he wouldn’t comment until Monday.
Brown had been talking with officers while waiting for a citation for illegally parking in a disabled spot outside the Walgreens when officers took him down because he didn’t immediately remove his hands from his pockets as ordered. Brown had been cooperative with officers and never appeared to threaten police before or during his arrest, according to police body-camera videos . He was never charged for the parking violation.
Here’s another video of the officers discussing the potential repercussions.
“The bureau is coming out for this?”
“We’re trying to protect ourselves.”
“Because he’s a Bucks player?”
“Because he plays for the Bucks, if he makes a complaint, it’s going to be a [expletive] media firestorm.”
“And then any little [expletive] thing that goes wrong is going to be, ‘Ooh, the Milwaukee Police Department is all racist … blah, blah, blah.’”
There’s also a third video where an officer is in his car talking on the phone about overtime pay.
“Money, money, money,” the officer sang over the phone after Brown was taken to the hospital.
The officer continued about the taser, saying, “I don’t have a Taser,” adding that it belonged to Officer Bojan Samardzic. … “Sergeant [Sean A.] Mahnke said, ‘tase, tase, tase.’ We were fighting with him, and it wasn’t working. Sgt. Mahnke said, ‘Taser, Taser, Taser,’ so he Tased him.”
The officer imitated the sound of a Taser. He then laughed before getting off the phone.
That video can all be seen here.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compared the police reports and the initial Brown arrest video, stating, “They don’t match.”