The city of Milwaukee is looking to settle the federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who was tased and arrested by city police in January 2018 over a parking violation. Wednesday the city’s Common Council voted to authorize a $400,000 settlement offer, while depositions in the case are still underway.
Brown reportedly has 14 days to accept or decline the offer. Brown’s attorney told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the dollar amount itself is “not sufficient and undervalues the insult inflicted on Brown,” but the larger problem is the city evidently trying to scurry out from under this lawsuit without formally admitting any wrongdoing. According to Brown’s attorney, that makes Wednesday’s offer a non-starter:
“I fully anticipate that any settlement that doesn’t include an admission that they violated Mr. Brown’s civil rights will go nowhere,” Brown’s attorney Mark Thomsen said after the Common Council vote. “We can’t heal in this city without that.”
Police wildly mischaracterized Brown’s actions during the arrest, accusing him of being confrontational and combative in a way that required the use of force. Police body camera footage, released nearly four months after the incident, definitively disproved that version of events, and showed police escalating the interaction and later standing on Brown’s ankle and gloating about overtime pay. Suffice to say, the city attempting to buy its way out of the consequences of such egregiously awful policing without admitting that Brown’s civil rights were violated is weaselly as shit.