Brown, a Milwaukee Bucks rookie, says he was arrested and tasered outside a drugstore because he is black. His lawsuit cites racially charged comments and social media posts by the officers involved.
NBA guard Sterling Brown sued Milwaukee’s police department in federal court Tuesday, claiming he was arrested and Tasered because he’s black, in an incident that was captured on video, reports Courthouse News. Brown, a Milwaukee Bucks rookie, seeks punitive damages from the city and eight police officers for civil rights violations, including excessive force, unlawful arrest, discrimination, pain and suffering and failure to intervene. The lawsuit cites racially charged comments and social media posts about the incident by the officers involved. Brown was confronted by police after parking across two handicap spots outside a Walgreens drugstore at 2 a.m. on Jan. 26.
Mayor Tom Barrett said, “I’m hopeful this incident will be a turning point and allow us to take those actions necessary to improve police community relations.” Brown’s arrest made national headlines after body camera footage of the incident was released. According to the video, Brown initially gave an officer his name and showed an identification card. The officer apparently did not recognize him as a player with the Bucks and called for assistance. Half a dozen squad cars showed up and the situation escalated, with police standing in a circle around Brown. One officer drew a gun. Brown, who had put his hands into and out of his pockets several times before that on a cold January night, answered: “Hold on. I’ve got stuff in my hands.” Police responded by swarming him and an officer shouted: “Taser! Taser! Taser!”