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Milwaukee council approves $750K settlement with NBA player over 2018 arrest


Milwaukee city leaders on Tuesday agreed to a $750,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by NBA player Sterling Brown over his 2018 tasing and arrest caught on body camera footage. 

The Milwaukee Common Council approved the settlement in a 14-0 vote, with one member abstaining. 

The measure will now go to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) to sign the legislation, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The settlement also requires that the city implement changes to the Milwaukee Police Department, including to its fair and impartial policing standards, to its training and career development, and to its search and seizure and use of force practices, the Journal Sentinel reported. 

The settlement does not admit that police violated Brown’s constitutional rights during the January 2018 incident, although it includes an official apology from the city council and police department recognizing “that the incident escalated in an unnecessary manner and despite Mr. Brown’s calm behavior.”

Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel that with the settlement “the city turns a page and embraces the 21st century, where we will insist on recognizing citizens’ rights, human rights and developing a police force of peace officers to work with the community to better our city.” 

“The payment of the $750,000 recognizes the value of individuals’ civil rights and in particular young African American men, who have been for too long mistreated and had their civil rights violated without any real oversight,” he added. 

In the body camera footage from the 2018 incident, Brown, who at the time played for the Milwaukee Bucks, could be seen being confronted by police officers for a parking violation as he walked out of a store. 

The situation then escalated, and Brown was eventually pulled to the ground while one of the officers shouted, “Taser! Taser! Taser!”

Brown, who signed with the Houston Rockets in 2020, argued in his lawsuit that police targeted him and used excessive force because he is Black, thus violating his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. 

In a May 2018 statement, Brown called his experience with law enforcement just months before “wrong,” adding that it “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,” he added at the time.

Tags civil rights Fourth Amendment Houston Rockets Milwaukee Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee Journal Sentinel NBA police use of force use of force
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