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Barrett Says He Hopes Milwaukee Police Try Harder To De-Escalate Confrontations

Mayor's Comments Come As Sterling Brown Goes On National TV

Steve Glynn (CC-BY-NC)

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said that he hopes the controversy following the use of a Taser on Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown leads the city’s police to be less confrontational.

Police video was released this week of officers using a Taser on Brown in a parking lot in January. Brown told ”Good Morning America” on Friday that during the arrest he felt “defenseless.”

Barrett told reporters later on Friday that the case is an opportunity for Milwaukee police to do more training on de-escalating confrontations with members of the public.

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“So much of this is personal interaction. I was talking to a police officer yesterday who noted probably the most powerful tool a police officer has is his mouth or her mouth, and how do you defuse and de-escalate situations?” he said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said more changes are coming to the department. He briefly suspended three officers involved in the incident and said they acted “inappropriately.”

Barrett also said that he hopes the controversy over the release of the video doesn’t spark a violent Memorial Day weekend in the city. The mayor said he is asking local citizens to also cope with the high temperatures expected this weekend.

“We know the Memorial Day weekend is always the unofficial start for summer, and the police know that. They have made sure they’re going to have an adequate number of police officers there. But it is going to be hot. It’s going to be hot today. And we ask people when it’s hot, to be be cool. Let’s be cool here,” Barrett said.

Police said that a 14-year-old boy was shot during a confrontation with a property owner on Thursday night. Two older men were seriously injured when a man involved in an argument fired multiple shots toward several people.

Meanwhile, an annual block party called “Heal the Hood” will be held Saturday to promote non-violence.