The Milwaukee Bucks released a powerful statement shortly after video of guard Sterling Brown’s arrest was made public, calling the police department’s actions “shameful and inexcusable,” and offering Brown their complete support. Officers used a Taser and tackled Brown to the ground.
The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.
We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.
There needs to be more accountability.
The Milwaukee Police Department and local officials have acknowledged the challenges they are working to address, and we urge them to enact higher standards and more direct accountability. We all want to be able to trust each and every officer serving to protect us.
Incidents like this remind us of the injustices that persist. As an organization, we will support Sterling and build on our work with local leaders and organizations to foster safe neighborhoods and better our community.
While this is a firm statement of support, and a very pointed statement at the Milwaukee Police Department, this issue isn’t a new one for the Bucks — which may explain why they’re taking such a strong stance now.
Milwaukee center John Henson was involved in an incident in 2015 when he tried to buy a watch, yet an employee at the Milwaukee-area store locked the doors and called the police on him. Bucks president Peter Feigin also called Milwaukee the “most segregated, racist place” he’s ever been to in 2016 while trying to secure funding for a new arena — and he had stats to back it up.
Sterling Brown’s reaction
Brown also released a strong statement on Wednesday afternoon, a day after he announced he plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department.
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.
Milwaukee police chief Alfonso Morales held a news conference on Wednesday, where he said that officers involved “acted inappropriately,” and that they “were recently disciplined.” He did not say which officers were disciplined or how they were disciplined.
Brown was initially arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer, though charges were not pressed following an internal review. Brown was only cited for a parking violation.
The 22-year-old guard averaged four points and 2.6 rebounds per game this season for the Bucks. He was drafted in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who traded him to Milwaukee.
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