The additional footage from Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown's January arrest proves the entire incident was much more disturbing than it previously appeared.
The dash cam and squad car videos obtained by WISN 12 News showed the police officers, who initially lied about the events that led to the brutal arrest, not only talked about protecting themselves, but one of them even expressed glee for the overtime he would acquire by singing “money money" in the tune of the hit song from The O'Jays. Meanwhile, another cop viciously stomped on the NBA player’s ankle – for no apparent reason at all.
"You're stepping on my ankle, for what?" Brown asked the officer from his position on the ground.
“So you don't kick us,” the cop responded.
“I ain't got no reason to kick y'all, man,” replied Brown, who was reportedly unarmed and showed no signs of physical aggression.
Meanwhile, other officers discussed how the arrest could turn into a public relations nightmare.
“The bureau is coming out for this?” an officer can be heard saying. “We're trying to protect ourselves ... because he plays for the Bucks, and if he makes a complaint, it's going to be a [expletive]. ... And then any little [expletive] thing that goes wrong is going to be, 'Ooh, the Milwaukee Police Department is all racist.... blah, blah, blah.”
The recently released videos have caused outrage among social media users.
For no reason whatsoever other than to injure an NBA player, this cop stepped on Sterling Brown’s ankle. He had already been beaten, tasered, and handcuffed. https://t.co/omDxAN2I69— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 4, 2018
This is why people take a knee https://t.co/aEuO3gSWjg— Fleury Jesus (@PittsburghSlim) June 4, 2018
The cop stepping on #SterlingBrown' s ankle is probably the most revealing (passive) aggressive action that illustrates the dark envy, and hatred, behind this assault, sorry, arrest. This man is an athlete, who makes lots of money with his talent and body. The cop resented that. https://t.co/tL6JionLmn— Claudia Cojocaru (@anarkriminology) June 4, 2018
The Milwaukee Police Department recently released the body cam footage of the January arrest of professional basketball player Sterling Brown – and it wildly contradicted the cops’ account of what happened that night.
Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Bucks guard was arrested outside a Walgreens over a parking violation that escalated into cops deploying Taser on the victim. The incident took place after an officer spotted Brown’s vehicle parked across two handicap parking spaces.
At the time, the cop claimed Brown stood “within arm's reach” of the officer, refused to step back and “became very aggressive,” which ultimately led the officer to call for backup. When other squad cars arrived, the initial police report alleged “Brown physically resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him and he was taken to the ground in a controlled manner.” It said Brown continued to “resist being handcuffed” and “a Taser had to be employed to get Brown in control with handcuffs.”
The body cam footage of the violent arrest showed otherwise.
While the video, posted above, did show an officer approaching Brown outside of the Walgreens, it definitely did not show Brown getting aggressive or resisting anyone. Although seemingly frustrated, he didn’t even appear to raise his voice. The two men got into a back-and-forth, at the end of which the officer told Brown to “back up” before asking his name. However, before the athlete could even respond, the cop had called for backup.
Moments later, multiple police cars arrived at the scene. All this time, Brown – who is African American – had his hands inside his pocket, which the police officer didn’t even seem to notice, but once one of his colleagues suddenly yelled “Take your hands out of your pockets now!” the cops seemed to get extremely aggressive.
As soon as Brown said “I’ve got stuff in my hands,” at least five officers tackled him to the ground with an officer shouting “Taser, Taser, Taser!” in the background. They then proceeded to deploy a stun gun on the NBA player who was lying on the ground, reportedly unarmed and showing no signs of physical aggression.
After the cops handcuffed Brown, the officer who first questioned him in the parking lot bean mocking him.
“Sorry I don’t follow the Bucks, so I didn’t recognize you. I didn’t recognize your famous name,” he told the athlete. “Why else are you famous for? You been to Mars? You been to Venus? You been to the Moon?”
Brown, who was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer, was not charged with anything after the department reviewed the body camera footage.
According to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, the officers involved in the arrest were disciplined.
“The department conducted an investigation into the incident, which revealed members acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined,” he said during a brief news conference. “I am sorry this incident escalated to this level.”
At a time when racial tensions between minority communities and police are running high and incidents of officers using excessive force against people of color routinely make headlines, what happened with Brown was a chilling reminder of how easily the narratives could be changed and how things can get viciously out of control.
“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,” Brown said in his poignant statement. “I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren't able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ the people.”
The athlete also said he planned to take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department.
“Black men shouldn't have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it's our reality and a real problem. There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this,” he continued. “There are no easy solutions to this problem, but there are strides that can be made to create change. I will do my part in helping to prevent similar incidents from happening to the minority community in the future.”
The Milwaukee Bucks also released a statement.
“The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable,” it read. “Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.”
The complete arrest video can be watched above.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Dylan Buell/Getty Images