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Milwaukee Offers Bucks Player Sterling Brown $400K To Settle Police Lawsuit

Lawsuit Accused Police Of Using Excessive Force, Being Racially Motivated

Screenshot of body camera footage arrest of Sterling Brown
Screenshot of body camera footage arrest of Sterling Brown. Milwaukee Police Department/AP Photo

Milwaukee city officials are offering Bucks guard Sterling Brown $400,000 to settle his lawsuit accusing police of using excessive force and targeting him because he’s black when they confronted him over a parking violation.

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Common Council voted 12-2-1 on a recommendation by City Attorney Grant Langley to offer a judgment of $400,000 to pay for all damages, attorneys’ fees and costs in the case.

The council met in closed session for about an hour before voting. They did not discuss the matter in open session.

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Once Brown’s attorney Mark Thomsen receives the judgment order, Brown will have 14 days to respond.

Thomsen said until the city admits Brown’s constitutional rights were violated, he won’t settle.

“From day one this case has been about if this city, my city, can identify a problem, accept responsibility for it and move forward,” Thomsen said. “We can’t heal in this city without that.”

Alderman Robert Bauman said admission of guilt won’t happen.

“If the issue here is an admission of liability by the city relative to the officers involved, then the case won’t be settled and we’ll take our chances,” Bauman said. “As a practical matter, that would in essence make officers forever useless in all the cases they are involved in.”

Bauman said he doesn’t expect the case will be resolved.

On Jan. 26, 2018, Brown was parked across two handicap parking spots outside a Walgreens at West National Avenue and South 26th Street, and was talking with a group of officers while waiting for his citation when the situation escalated.

Brown was then surrounded by a handful of officers that stunned him with a Taser because, police said, Brown didn’t immediately remove his hands from his pockets as ordered.

The incident sparked outrage in the city and garnered national attention. Five months after it occurred, Brown went on “Good Morning America,” saying he hoped a lawsuit would bring real change in Milwaukee policing.

Three officers were suspended and eight were required to go through retraining. Officer Erik Andrade was singled out in the lawsuit for racially charged social media posts and statuses joking about Brown’s arrest. He was later fired.