NBA player Sterling Brown captured groaning in video after cop tases him over parking violation
The National Football League's Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown was tased by police officers over a parking violation earlier this year.
Authorities have now released a police body-camera video of the player's arrest, which sparked immediate outrage on social media platforms.
In a tweet, Brown also condemned the treatment meted to him by the police officer and said that his experience with the Milwaukee police department was "wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody".
The NFL player also criticized police officers for turning "a simple parking ticket" into "an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force."
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, during a brief statement, on Wednesday said that the officers involved in the incident had been disciplined for acting "inappropriately" when they "decentralized, tased and arrested" Brown, reports state.
The city Mayor Tom Barrett, before the release of the video, had warned that the clip was "disconcerting" and "disturbing."
Reports state that the 23-year-old football player was tased during a routine parking violation in January and that he is now planning to file a civil rights lawsuit in association with the incident.
Milwaukee police Sgt. Timothy Gauerke said that Brown was arrested around 2 am on January 26 when an officer conducting a business check at a Walsgreen spotted the player's vehicle parked across two parking spots which were reserved for disabled drivers, according to Journal Sentinel.
Reports state that Brown was initially arrested on a possible misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer, however, police officials did not refer the case to prosecutors after an internal review. The review reportedly included viewing the body camera footage.
A police spokesperson, while speaking to the Journal Sentinel at the time, said that Brown, who was 22 at the time, had been cited for a parking violation. Reports state that when Brown was speaking with reporters before the Bucks' game later that day, his face appeared bruised and scratched.
The footage released by the authorities shows a police officer asking Brown, who is standing outside a store, to show his license. The player is then taken to the ground by multiple officers and he groans as one of the officer tases him in the process.
Brown took to Twitter after the release of the clip and said: "My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody. What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.
"Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won't be heard and don't have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. 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. These people aren't able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to "serve and protect" the people.
"The common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims' families and communities.
"Black men shouldn't have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it's our reality and a real problem. There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this.
"There are no easy solutions to this problem, but there are strides that can be made to create change. I will do my part in helping to prevent similar incidents from happening to the minority community in the future.
"This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community," the player added.