Police mum on how Milwaukee cops were disciplined for using stun gun on NBA rookie
Written by KT on May 24, 2018
(MILWAUKEE) — Questions swirled about how officers were disciplined a day after Milwaukee police released video showing those officers using a stun gun on NBA rookie Sterling Brown.
In a news conference Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said that the officers involved “acted inappropriately” and were “recently disciplined,” but he did not answer reporters’ questions about how many officers were disciplined or what that discipline entailed.
Wisconsin State Rep. Leon Young told ABC News that Morales told him and other state lawmakers Thursday morning that one sergeant and two officers were disciplined in the incident, but said the chief told the lawmakers that statutory reasons prevented him from disclosing how they were punished.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday afternoon that the first officer on the scene was suspended for two days and two other officers who arrived later were suspended for 10 and 15 days.
“We’re calling on the police department to share this information that many of you have been asking for about the discipline,” Milwaukee Council President Ashanti Hamilton said at a press conference. “What type of discipline is being issued? Who are the officers that are being disciplined? What is the process?”
Reporters asked Morales those questions as he entered City Hall Thursday morning, but he only said that those details would be released soon.
It was not immediately clear why Morales didn’t disclose details of how officers were punished, though in a news conference Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett suggested the discipline would be shared with the public once the officers’ rights were met.
“As I understand it – you have to ask the chief these questions – give some rights to those individuals being disciplined in terms of the process,” Barrett said. “As soon as he can legally, I expect that discipline will be announced.”
“Let’s share what that process is,” Hamilton said of the disciplinary process. “They should share that information with the public.
The body camera video captured a confrontation between Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown and members of the Milwaukee Police Department outside a Walgreens drugstore shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 26.
Brown had parked horizontally across two handicap parking spots in the store’s empty lot while he had gone into the store. When he returned to his vehicle, an officer was waiting and the situation turned tense with the officer repeatedly telling Brown to “back up” and accusing Brown of “being all badass to me.”
Other officers arrive on the scene and Brown appears to be talking calmly with them when an officer orders him to take his hands out of his pockets.
“Hold on, I got stuff in my hands,” Brown can be heard responding on the video before officers take him down and taser him. Brown can be heard moaning in pain after the taser is deployed.
“If this guy hadn’t been such [an idiot], it would’ve been ‘Hey, have a nice day.’ But then I thought, ‘Oh, he is being an ass, he is trying to hide something.’ And now he’s like ‘I’m a Bucks player,'” the first officer on the scene can be heard explaining to his colleagues after Brown had been tasered.
The scene that plays out on the body camera footage seems to contradict the police report which says Brown was “very aggressive” and “physically resisted” the officers’ attempts to handcuff him.
Brown was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer, but ultimately was only cited with a parking ticket.
On Twitter, Brown, the son of a retired Illinois police officer, pledged to take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department, but called on his supporters to respond peacefully.
“Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond,” Brown’s statement read, in part.
In the hours after the video was released, there were no protests in Milwaukee. The calm was striking in contrast to fiery protests seen in many places after incidents of alleged police brutality in minority communities.
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