Sterling Brown's attorney speaks out after 400 pages of documents released hours before game
MILWAUKEE -- The attorney representing Sterling Brown said he questions the timing of documents released in a civil rights lawsuit just hours before a Milwaukee Bucks' game. Brown is suing the city and the Milwaukee Police Department after a Taser was used on him during an arrest in January.
The Bucks begin their regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 17, and on Sunday, Oct. 14, Mark Thomsen, Brown's attorney, said they will be prepared for trial if the city has no desire to resolve this case.
"I think it reflects my city's indifference towards African-Americans," said Thomsen.
Thomsen spoke with FOX6 News Sunday about the nearly 400 pages of documents released Friday afternoon, hours before his client was scheduled to play.
"If my city is serious about apologizing, addressing race relations, then they have to be sensitive of how they release documents," said Thomsen.
Brown's complaint claims he was unlawfully arrested, with a Taser used, because of his race, after he was double parked in a handicapped parking space at the Walgreens near 27th and National in January.
"As we've said from day one, principally, the city has to admit legally that this was an unlawful, race-based stop," said Thomsen.
New surveillance video shows it took only a few minutes for six squad cars to surround Brown at the Walgreens. The files also include statements from a sergeant on scene who thought Brown was armed with a gun because "there were used firearm targets on the back floorboard of his vehicle." He said Brown's "unusual antics" were to delay its discovery. The files also include statement's from Brown's date that night, who described the first officer on scene.
Brown's date: "It was like he was already on edge about something. I don't know."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett have publicly apologized for the incident.
"We continue to try and find the solution here. Obviously I remain unhappy with the way the whole situation went down," said Barrett.
The city's argument in public contradicts the one they're making in court. The city's 51-page response to the lawsuit blames Brown for the incident. Thomsen said this is about more than just Brown.
"His desire is to, how do I make the relationships between the African-American, minority communities and the police better?" said Thomsen.
Brown is also suing for monetary damages, but Thomsen said their biggest goal is change. He said they'll be requesting the files used by the ACLU in their stop and frisk lawsuit -- a case that was settled in June.
So far, 11 officers have been disciplined or retrained. Three officers were suspended. One officer was fired for violating the department's social media policy.