Sterling Brown Agrees To $750K Settlement For Police Brutality Incident In Exchange For Cops' Admission Of Guilt
Brown initially declined the city's first offer because it didn't include an admission of guilt.
November 10, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown has agreed to a $750,000 settlement from the City of Milwaukee. The revised agreement, sent to Blavity by the city’s public information manager, William Arnol, detailed the terms of the payout and the city’s admission of wrongdoing in Brown’s 2018 arrest by Milwaukee police.
In 2018, Blavity reported that the then 22-year-old Bucks rookie was parked in a handicapped space when a Milwaukee police officer confronted him. The situation escalated quickly, and backup was called. Police video showed the player remaining relatively calm throughout the encounter. On the contrary, police officers became aggressive as Brown asked questions. Without provocation, an officer tased the player.
According to the Associated Press, Brown rejected the city’s initial offer of $400,000 because the monetary settlement didn’t include an admission of guilt by officers and the municipality.
Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer issued the new terms via the letter dated Nov. 4 to city council members. Along with the settlement, Milwaukee officials would have to release a statement that implicates a violation of Brown’s constitutional rights, as well as committing to changing current policies to Milwaukee police’s operating procedures. The final stipulation to the revised arrangement is that the new guidelines would go into effect within 180 days of the pact.
As the proposal needed to be approved by the council, Spencer advised that this offer was beneficial because of the added risk for allowing the case to go to trial.
“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, we recommend that this matter be settled for that amount,” the attorney wrote in the letter.
Spencer also added that Brown had filed a federal court lawsuit, reportedly putting the city in a quandary.
“Mr. Brown brought a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the officers used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment, that they failed to intervene to stop the constitutional violation, and that the city has an unconstitutional policy condoning the use excessive force under Monell,” Spencer concluded.
On Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks issued a statement regarding the abuse and the city’s revised terms. The organization also commended Brown for his grace under fire, given the gravity of the incident.
“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 changes to the MPD’s standard operating procedures,” the statement read. “No one should ever have to go through the horrifying abuse and injustice that Sterling experienced.”
“We commend Sterling for his courageous response to this terrible situation by repeatedly sharing his story and working tirelessly with countless local groups and organizations to help make a change in our community,” it continued. “And we also commend the City’s leadership for its commitment to implement these important changes to better Milwaukee.”
The Milwaukee City Council has not given a date for the proposal’s approval.