MILWAUKEE Bucks rookie Sterling Brown said Thursday (AEST) he will pursue legal action against the city’s police after he was tased after parking improperly.
Brown and the Bucks released statements on Wednesday after Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales released body camera video of the January incident and said department members who “acted inappropriately” in the case had been disciplined.
“My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown said the reaction of police officers in “what should have been a simple parking ticket” was another example of “racism towards the minority community.”
The incident occurred in a Walgreens drug store parking lot, where Brown had parked across multiple spaces and was confronted by police as he returned to his car.
Mayor Tom Barrett reportedly voiced concern this week that release of the video, showing an escalation to violence without provocation from the then 22-year-old Brown, would spark a backlash.
“Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community,” Brown said, invoking the names of Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento and Eric Garner of New York — all black men killed by police officers in their towns.
“This is bigger than me,” he added. “Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond.
“I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.”
The Bucks decried “the abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced” as “shameful and inexcusable.” “Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability,” the team said.
Players across the NBA came out in support of Brown, using the hashtag, #StandwithSterling. Those who showed solidarity included Sudanese-Australian centre, and Brown’s fellow Buck, Thon Maker.