Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown and the Milwaukee city attorney have agreed to a revised $750,000 settlement of a lawsuit Brown filed after he was taken to the ground, shocked with a taser and arrested during an incident with the police in 2018.
Tearman Spencer, the City attorney, recommends the payment plus an admission that Brown’s constitutional rights were violated during the arrest that started with a parking violation outside a Walgreen’s store. On Friday, Brown’s attorney signed the agreement on his behalf. Spencer’s recommendation came in a letter he sent to the Milwaukee Common Council members.
Brown contends in his lawsuit that police used excessive force and targeted him because of his colour when they confronted him for parking illegally in a handicapped-accessible spot in January 2018. He was speaking to officers while waiting for his citation when the situation escalated. Officers took him down and used a stun gun because he did not immediately remove his hands from his pockets, as ordered.
In a statement on Monday, the Bucks said that “we are pleased that Sterling’s lawsuit has been mutually resolved and that there’s been an important commitment by the City of Milwaukee and its Police Department to make the changes to the MPD’s standard operating procedures.”
In 2019 the Milwaukee City Council made a settlement offer of $400,000 which Brown rejected. Mark Thomsen, Brown’s attorney, said at the time that any settlement without an admission of a civil rights violation would lead nowhere. He said that the admission was essential for the city to heal.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the latest offer also includes unspecified changes to the police department’s policies.
In a letter dated 4 November, Spencer recommended the new settlement proposal to the Common Council’s Committee in Judiciary and Legislation “because of the unpredictability of a trial, and the city’s risk for exposure to compensatory and punitive damages, as well as additional attorney fees and costs.”