After suing City of Milwaukee on claims of police brutality, NBA player reaches $750,000 settlement with city
WILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - After suing the City of Milwaukee on claims of being unnecessarily tackled, tased, and stepped on by police in Milwaukee, an African American NBA player has reached a $750,000 proposed settlement with the city, CNN reports.
The alleged incident of police brutality, Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown says, occurred in January of 2018.
Brown was tased by police and wrestled to the ground by several officers after an officer said he had parked across two handicapped spots at a drugstore. He was never charged with a crime.
Bodycam footage reveals a Milwaukee police officer stepping on Brown's ankle during his arrest, while others mock Brown and any potential civil rights complaint he might make.
Shortly after it happened, he brought a civil rights lawsuit in federal court claiming Milwaukee police violated the Fourth Amendment, according to a letter from the City of Milwaukee's Office of the City Attorney to Milwaukee's Common Council.
According to the lawsuit, in addition to discriminating against Brown because of his skin color and therefore violating his rights by treating a parking violation as a criminal offense, officers also failed to read Brown his Miranda rights.
Additionally, some of the officers turned off their bodycams during certain parts of the confrontation, the suit said.
The lawsuit alleged, among other things, unlawful arrest, excessive use of force and violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. It also accused the officers of collaborating to conceal their actions.
The Milwaukee Police Association initially defended the officers who arrested Brown in 2018, calling use of force "a necessary component of policing" and slamming city leaders for failing to defend the officers.
But after the bodycam footage was released to the public, the union softened its tone and said it welcomed "appropriate review and oversight" of the matter.
One officer was suspended for two days for "failing to treat a member of the public with courtesy and professionalism." Eight others were scheduled to receive remedial training in professional communications.
The Milwaukee Bucks issued a statement on Monday supporting Brown's commitment to use the "horrifying abuse and injustice" as a catalyst to make change in the community.
"We are pleased that Sterling's lawsuit has been mutually resolved and that there's been an important commitment by the City of Milwaukee and its Police Department to make changes to the MPD's standard operating procedures. No one should ever have to go through the horrifying abuse and injustice that Sterling experienced," the statement said. "We commend Sterling for his courageous response to this terrible situation by repeatedly sharing his story and working tirelessly with countless local groups and organizations to help make change in our community. And we also commend the City's leadership for its commitment to implement these important changes to better Milwaukee."
When asked for a comment, the Milwaukee Police Department told CNN it "does not have a formal statement as this is ongoing litigation."
Following the incident, two sergeants were suspended without pay -- for 10 and 15 days, respectively -- for "failing to be a role model for professional police service."
As of Tuesday, Nov. 10 the city's proposed $750,000 settlement to Brown is accompanied by a joint statement from the City of Milwaukee that recognizes a constitutional violation and a promise to make adjustments to the police force's operating procedures, CNN reports.
However, council members must support the proposal for it to officially move forward.
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