NBA Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee and multiple local police officers after they used a stun gun on him for a parking violation, and for an officer’s inappropriate memes on social media regarding the incident.
Brown was stopped and questioned by police after allegedly parking across two handicap spots outside a Walgreens drugstore on Jan. 26 around 2 a.m. The body cam video that was released last month went viral.
It shows Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) officers tackling and using their Tasers on Brown. He was arrested and later released with no charges. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized for the incident.
Brown claims in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday wrongful arrest and excessive force and that police violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The “imbalance in violence against African Americans by police officers is particularly rampant in the State of Wisconsin,” the lawsuit states.
Three of the officers received suspensions following the release of the video: Sgts. Sean A. Mahnke (15 days) and Jeffrey S. Krueger (10 days), and Officer Bojan Samardzi (two days). Other involved officers are required to review the MPD policy on cooperating with citizens to ensure public safety.
The lawsuit states that “while Mr. Brown remained in police custody or shortly after his release, [Officer Erik A. Andrade] took to Facebook to mock and laugh at Mr. Brown.”
It includes a screenshot of the Facebook post, which says:
“Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work the morning! Lol.#FeartheDeer.”
“Defendant Andrade also used his Facebook account to publicly engage with others regarding Mr. Brown’s arrest, an arrest he unlawfully participated in and presumably has been trained to not engage the public about such matters,” the lawsuit states.
Not only did Andrade mock Brown, three months later he made fun of another NBA player’s hair.
“Defendant Andrade had used his Facebook account to share racist memes, including one with a picture of NBA Superstar, Kevin Durant,” according to the lawsuit.
A meme shows a side-by-side photo of Kevin Durant and an ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles.
The text says: “Who Wore it Better”
Andrade commented: “Damn, more naps than preschool. Lmao!”
After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Andrade posted on Facebook he believed J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers deserved to be punished for his performance.
He said: “I hope JR double parks in Walgreens handicap parking spots when he’s in Milwaukee.”
The suit argues that the post about Smith “is an admission that [Andrade] and other Defendant officers are allowed to engage in unlawful attacks and arrests of African-Americans without justification and then relish such events without any fear of real discipline.”
And, the “Facebook posts are admissions that Defendant officers and other MPD officers exacerbate parking tickets, unjustly stop and arrest, and use unlawful force against African Americans in Milwaukee without fear of real discipline.”