Storyline: Sterling Brown Arrest

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The Milwaukee Bucks guard has a platform as an NBA player and plans to be “that voice” to shine a light on the poor treatment of black men by police. “I’ve questioned it a few times, just trying to brainstorm and figure out, ‘Why me?’ But I got a platform that a lot of people don’t have,” the 23-year-old Brown told The Undefeated this week at the NBA summer league. “And for the people that do have a platform that haven’t experienced it, it’s just something I got to take on and I just got to do it. I got to be that voice, and once it’s time to actually step up and do something and put things into play, I can’t look nowhere else but forward and try to make things happen.”

Brown admitted that he should not have parked there and deserved a ticket. But he also said the punishment from the police far exceeded the crime. Brown acknowledged there were no other cars in the parking lot during his quick late-night stop. “During the day I’m not going to park double handicap,” Brown said. “I was literally in and out. But I parked in a double handicap. I should have been given a ticket, no doubt about it. That has no justification to what escalated afterwards. So I did it, but what came after, you can’t even compare it to what I should’ve gotten for what happened.”

“I was trying to get out of the situation that was made,” Brown said. “I knew anything could happen and I tried to stay as calm as I could, especially once all the backup and everything came. I’m out there by myself. My [mindset] was definitely get home. At first, I was thinking, ‘All right, man, I got a ticket, I got to come out my pocket for some money, a big, healthy fine.’ Then once backup came, it was like, ‘All right, get home. Get home, get to your family, get back to what you love to do, get back to your job.’ That was pretty much my mindset.

The Milwaukee Bucks guard has a platform as an NBA player and plans to be “that voice” to shine a light on the poor treatment of black men by police. “I’ve questioned it a few times, just trying to brainstorm and figure out, ‘Why me?’ But I got a platform that a lot of people don’t have,” the 23-year-old Brown told The Undefeated this week at the NBA summer league. “And for the people that do have a platform that haven’t experienced it, it’s just something I got to take on and I just got to do it. I got to be that voice, and once it’s time to actually step up and do something and put things into play, I can’t look nowhere else but forward and try to make things happen.”

Brown admitted that he should not have parked there and deserved a ticket. But he also said the punishment from the police far exceeded the crime. Brown acknowledged there were no other cars in the parking lot during his quick late-night stop. “During the day I’m not going to park double handicap,” Brown said. “I was literally in and out. But I parked in a double handicap. I should have been given a ticket, no doubt about it. That has no justification to what escalated afterwards. So I did it, but what came after, you can’t even compare it to what I should’ve gotten for what happened.”

“I was trying to get out of the situation that was made,” Brown said. “I knew anything could happen and I tried to stay as calm as I could, especially once all the backup and everything came. I’m out there by myself. My [mindset] was definitely get home. At first, I was thinking, ‘All right, man, I got a ticket, I got to come out my pocket for some money, a big, healthy fine.’ Then once backup came, it was like, ‘All right, get home. Get home, get to your family, get back to what you love to do, get back to your job.’ That was pretty much my mindset.

The Milwaukee Bucks guard has a platform as an NBA player and plans to be “that voice” to shine a light on the poor treatment of black men by police. “I’ve questioned it a few times, just trying to brainstorm and figure out, ‘Why me?’ But I got a platform that a lot of people don’t have,” the 23-year-old Brown told The Undefeated this week at the NBA summer league. “And for the people that do have a platform that haven’t experienced it, it’s just something I got to take on and I just got to do it. I got to be that voice, and once it’s time to actually step up and do something and put things into play, I can’t look nowhere else but forward and try to make things happen.”

Brown’s mindset during his arrest was simply, “Get home.” “I was trying to get out of the situation that was made,” Brown said. “I knew anything could happen and I tried to stay as calm as I could, especially once all the backup and everything came. I’m out there by myself. My [mindset] was definitely get home. At first, I was thinking, ‘All right, man, I got a ticket, I got to come out my pocket for some money, a big, healthy fine.’ Then once backup came, it was like, ‘All right, get home. Get home, get to your family, get back to what you love to do, get back to your job.’ That was pretty much my mindset.

Brown wants to have a social impact that goes beyond Milwaukee and his hometown of Chicago. “Once the case is over with, then it’s a full head of steam,” Brown said. “We are going to make some changes. We are going to implement programs. We are going to work with the city [Milwaukee]. We are going to go out there, speak to the community and help the people. So, yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it and I’m definitely in the loop of everything. Nothing is set in stone to what I’m going to do yet. A lot of brainstorming between myself, the Bucks, people in the community. Yeah, it’s a lot of brainstorming, but I haven’t set anything yet.

“C’mon man, you’re stepping on my ankle for what?” Brown said. In response, the officer said he was trying to prevent Brown from kicking anyone. Other videos obtained by WISN-TV show an officer talking with two others who are seated in a squad car as they explained they were trying to protect themselves during the arrest. They also talk about how they could be perceived as racist for arresting a black Bucks player, with one saying if anything goes wrong, it “is going to be, ‘Ooh, the Milwaukee Police Department is all racist, blah, blah, blah.”’ Another video shows an officer in his squad car, calling to let a supervisor know he’ll need to be on overtime before singing, “Money, money, money, money, money.”

The Milwaukee Police Department apologized Wednesday and said officers who “acted inappropriately” have been disciplined after an internal investigation over an incident in which a stun gun was used on Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown after he was questioned over a potential parking violation in January. Body camera video of the incident was released by the police shortly after Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales’ news conference. Criminal charges against Brown were not pursued, Morales said in a statement that was read to gathered media. “I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” said Morales, who did not take questions from reporters. Brown, then 22, was arrested in a Walgreens parking lot at about 2 a.m. local time on Jan. 26.

On Wednesday evening, after a brief press conference, the Milwaukee police department released disturbing footage of Bucks guard Sterling Brown’s Jan. 26 arrest. In the video, Brown, who is surrounded by several officers, speaks with police and follows orders. Soon after, however, the mood changes and Brown is told to take his hands out of his pockets and is forcibly taken to the ground and tased. In the background of the video, Brown can be heard writhing in pain.

Brown, who played in the Bucks’ game against the Nets later that night, declined to discuss the incident at the time and deemed it a personal issue. But his teammates and coaches knew different, Bucks forward Khris Middleton told The Crossover on Wednesday. “We saw him the day after the incident at practice,” Middleton said. “We saw the bruises and marks on his face and cuts on him. He explained briefly what happened, but at that time he just wanted to keep it private so we respected that.”

Sterling Brown: My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody. What should have been 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. 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.

Sterling Brown: 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. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.

Video of Milwaukee police arresting and tasing Bucks rookie Sterling Brown will be released Wednesday, according to the Police Department and the player’s attorney. Milwaukee police officials said Chief Alfonso Morales will have a news conference Wednesday evening and will release the body camera footage at that time. Several sources who have watched the body camera footage have told the Journal Sentinel that Brown does not appear to do anything to provoke police during the encounter, which began as a parking violation.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett expressed concerns Monday about the actions of Milwaukee police in the arrest and tasing of Bucks rookie Sterling Brown. His comments came as the Police Department braces for a backlash when it releases the video of Brown’s arrest. Brown did not appear combative or threatening when officers questioned him about a parking violation in January, according to two sources who have watched the video. The sources asked that their names not be used because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about it.

“I’m going to let the release of that speak for itself, but yes, I definitely have concerns after watching that video,” Barrett said at a news conference. Police officials have been preparing community leaders for the release of the body-camera footage by showing it to selected local officials, including a closed session of a Common Council committee. Bucks officials have reportedly watched the video as well. A Bucks spokesman declined to discuss the matter Monday. “This could be bad,” said one source who watched the video. “The player doesn’t appear to be provocative at all.”

A police spokesman did not name Brown but released the information in response to a Journal Sentinel reporter’s inquiry about an incident involving Brown. According to the statement: Police were doing a business check about 2 a.m. Friday at the Walgreens at the corner of S. 26th St. and W. National Ave. when they saw a vehicle parked across two handicap parking spaces. Officers spoke with a 22-year-old man about the situation and, during the incident, a Taser was used and the man was arrested.
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