The video of the January arrest of Sterling Brown, guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, could be released as early as Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday.
Brown was tased during the arrest, which did not lead to any charges, but resulted in an internal investigation at the Milwaukee Police Department.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has seen the video, and he told the Journal Sentinel that he’s concerned about police officers’ actions during the interaction.
WISN 12 News and the Journal Sentinel each reported that Brown planned on filing a lawsuit.
Why was Brown arrested?
The incident happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 26. Officers were doing a business check at a Walgreens, and spotted Brown’s car parked across two handicapped spots. The officers went to investigate and spoke with Brown, but what happened after that isn’t clear, and the statement from the police was vague.
It read: “Officers spoke with a 22-year-old male and during the incident an electronic control device was deployed and the man was arrested.”
Brown was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer, but after the police department conducted an internal review and looked at body camera footage from the arrest, he was not charged.
Why is the mayor worried about the video?
The video of Brown’s arrest hasn’t been released publicly yet, but the Journal Sentinel spoke to several sources who had seen it. According to them, Brown wasn’t threatening, provocative or combative during the interaction, yet it ended with him being tased and arrested.
During a news conference, Mayor Tom Barrett expressed his concerns about the video and the incident that led to Brown’s arrest.
“I’m going to let the release of that speak for itself, but yes, I definitely have concerns after watching that video.”
Barrett also said that police chief Alfonso Morales shares his concerns about the video.
Milwaukee police are already doing damage control
The Milwaukee Police Department has shown the video to community leaders and Bucks officials to prepare them for the video’s release, and presumably the public’s response. Assistant police chief Michael Brunson spoke to the congregation of a Milwaukee church on Sunday, and said this about the video:
“There’s going to be a video that’s going to come out soon, in the next couple of weeks, involving the department, and I’m going to honest with you, we’re going to need your support during the challenges,” he said, according to video posted on WITI-TV.
Only a handful of people have seen the video but the police department is clearly bracing for intense public backlash. Brown’s arrest led the department to open an internal investigation into the response of the officers involved, as well as their supervisors. According to the Journal Sentinel, the investigation is still ongoing, but the department won’t say if the officers involved in Brown’s arrest are facing any disciplinary action.
The release of the video isn’t the only thing turning up the heat for the Milwaukee police. Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen of Gingras, Cates & Wachs, confirmed to the Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that due to his tasing and arrest, Brown plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department.
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