More than a year after Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown sued the city and local police over claims he was unlawfully and forcefully arrested, the city has approved a $400,000 settlement offer, but his attorney says that may not spell the end of their battle.
The 24-year-old’s lawyer, Mark Thomsen, said his client wants the city of Milwaukee to admit wrongdoing. If not, the case will be fought in court.
“I fully anticipate that any settlement that doesn’t include an admission that they violated Mr. Brown’s civil rights will go nowhere,” Thomsen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We can’t heal in this city without that.”
The settlement offer had been approved on Wednesday by the Common Council in a closed session. Now, the clock is ticking as Brown must decide whether to accept it in 14 days, TMJ4 reported.
The compensation proposal is for a lawsuit Brown filed last June alleging that police stunned him with a Taser outside a local Walgreens on Jan. 26, 2018, when he did not immediately do as told and remove his hands from his pockets. The encounter began with one officer confronting Brown over the athlete illegally parking in an accessible parking space. In the suit, Brown alleged one of the officers involved later mockingly tweeted of the NBA player, “Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol#FearTheDeer.”
By May 2018, body camera footage of the incident was released.
No charges were filed against Brown, and three officers faced suspensions that ranged from just two days up to 15 days. Remedial professional communications training was ordered for eight other officers, The Associated Press reported.
That Brown may not take the payout should come as no surprise, as Thomsen said it’s about more than money.
“I think what people overlook and forget is that the city had the video and sat on it,” he told TMJ4. “It was months, and during that time, his name was trashed on the internet.”
Brown opened up about the police confrontation on “Good Morning America” last year, saying he “felt like it was unnecessary” that backup officers arrived on the scene.
“Everybody thought I was combative, thought I was, you know, being aggressive,” Brown said of what the officers claimed of the incident despite the video showing he was not confrontational. “I get mad every time I watch it, you know, ’cause I was defenseless, pretty much.”
He said he filed a civil suit to “draw attention to it and … be that voice and try to help as many people as I can in this situation.”