Milwaukee’s school-to-prison pipeline for Black students is notoriously awful. In Milwaukee County, more than half of Black men in their thirties have served time in prison. The racism and racial profiling that perpetually exists in the city is again in the national spotlight as police used excessive force on a Black NBA player.
Milwaukee police released a body cam video on Wednesday of the January arrest of Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown.
Brown was stopped and questioned over an alleged parking violation at a Walgreens pharmacy.
“You’re not parked across three lanes” an officer asks Brown.
Brown replies: “That’s cool. That’s cool. You can get back in your car now. We’re good.”
An officer then makes a call for backup and that’s when the situation escalates.
The video shows Brown being asked to take his hands out of his pockets before being surrounded by police. Then you see officers tackling him.
“Taser, Taser, Taser,” is shouted by one of the officers, followed by the audible groans of Brown. The NBA player was booked, issued a parking ticket and released. He ultimately was not charged with anything.
“My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody,” Brown said in a statement.
“A simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation,” including the “unlawful use of physical force,” he said.
Brown also said he would be a voice “for people who won’t be heard.”
“I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on,” he said. “These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ the people.”
The NBA appears to support its players more than the NFL, which announced Wednesday it would fine teams if players kneel during the national anthem, a practice initiated by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest police brutality.
Not only did the Milwaukee Bucks give Brown their full support, the team also said in a statement that “this isn’t an isolated case” and “racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized for the incident at a news conference on Wednesday and said that members of the force were disciplined, without specifying how many officers were affected.