(RNN) – Milwaukee police released body cam footage of a January arrest of NBA player Sterling Brown in which he was tased, and have apologized for the incident.
Brown meanwhile is planning a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department.
Milwaukee police arrested Brown in a Walgreens parking lot in January, saying he became combative as they wrote him a parking ticket.
But the department never filed charges in the case, and now says officers “acted inappropriately.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said, “I am sorry this incident escalated to this level” on Wednesday.
In the video, Brown can be seen calmly talking to an officer who asserts he “got up in” his face. More officers arrive, as many as seven total, and they stand around him continuing a discussion which mostly cannot be heard.
A little more than eight minutes into the footage, one of the officers yells for him to get his hands out of his pockets. He responds, “All right, I’ve got stuff in my hands,” before four officers grab him and wrestle him to the ground.
One then yells “taser, taser, taser!” and Brown can be heard groaning in pain.
In a statement obtained by WISN, Brown said: "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.
Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. 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 common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims’ families and communities.
Brown’s team, the Milwaukee Bucks, also issued a statement saying “the abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable."
“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,” the Bucks said. “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.”
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