Sterling Brown case leaves us with many unanswered questions
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - May 24, 2018
I join my colleagues and most individuals who have viewed the bodycam video of the arrest of Sterling Brown in noting how disturbing it is. Any use of force incident caught on camera is disturbing to average people.
I wish the entire episode could have been avoided and I believe it could have been had cooler heads prevailed.
That said, I’m disappointed that Mr. Brown has apparently decided to file a lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee over this matter. It is highly ironic that a multi-millionaire player on a team that has been given hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to build a Taj Mahal new arena is taking this action. And the team itself is also cooperating and supporting Mr. Brown in this endeavor – suing a city that is flat broke.
As I’ve said before I am pleased those officers were patrolling the area because it has had serious crime problems for years, including drugs and prostitution, overdoses, armed robberies, car thefts and more. I’ve been asking MPD for increased presence at that location because Walgreens has been hit by numerous armed robberies over the years.
The way Mr. Brown’s vehicle was parked could easily have been perceived by cops as a getaway car.
I further join my colleagues and wholeheartedly agree we need to be transparent. And in the interest of transparency I have a few questions:
1. With so many officers on scene, why did it become necessary to tase Mr. Brown?
2. We hear that officers were suspended in connection with this incident, and I’d like to know what matters of law or procedure the officers violated?
3. When an officer issues a lawful order (in this case ‘take your hands out of your pockets’) what recourse does an officer have when the subject doesn’t comply?
I’m not a police officer so I’m honestly asking that question as a civilian.
4. This may be a touchy subject but – once again in the interest of transparency – what role, if any, did this mystery woman who was in the passenger seat of Mr. Brown’s vehicle play in this whole episode?
What steps, if any, has MPD taken to downplay her role or even remove her presence from videos?
In addition, what role, if any, did the woman’s presence at the scene play in prolonging this incident? After all, most people are viewing this incident as a parking violation – but was it considered more than that?
5. With eight or 10 officers present at the scene there MUST be additional bodycam video available. If there is more video available what does it show and why hasn’t it been shown to the public?
6. What steps, if any, were taken to delay the release of this video until after the Bucks’ appearance in the NBA playoffs?
7. Again – in the interest of transparency and full disclosure – what negotiations, if any, may have gone on between the Bucks and MPD regarding this entire matter?
As I’ve said, there are still many questions that need answers and I am hoping we can get some of those answers sooner rather than later.
More about the Sterling Brown Incident
- City Attorney Shifts Blame to Sterling Brown - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Aug 29th, 2018
- Joint Statement on the Sterling Brown case - Milwaukee Common Council - Aug 29th, 2018
- Op Ed: Jim Crow and Urban America - Dr. Robert S. Smith - Jun 25th, 2018
- Brown Files Suit Against Milwaukee Police - Ximena Conde - Jun 19th, 2018
- Chief Won’t Name Cops Who Tased Brown - Ximena Conde - May 25th, 2018
- Sterling Brown incident authenticates predictions from years past - Ald. Tony Zielinski - May 25th, 2018
- Mahlon Mitchell Statement on the Release of Body Cam Footage Involving Sterling Brown - Mahlon Mitchell - May 24th, 2018
- Supervisor Moore Omokunde Statement on Sterling Brown Video - Sup. Supreme Moore Omokunde - May 24th, 2018
- City Hall: Police Reform Needed, Say Council Members - Jeramey Jannene - May 24th, 2018
- Rep. Bowen: Statement on release of bodycam footage of Sterling Brown - State Rep. David Bowen - May 24th, 2018
- Sterling Brown case leaves us with many unanswered questions - Ald. Bob Donovan - May 24th, 2018
- Supervisor Nicholson Statement on Sterling Brown Incident - Sup. Marcelia Nicholson - May 24th, 2018
- Gov. Scott Walker Quick to Weigh in on NFL Player Protests, Silent on Release of Footage Showing Authorities Assaulting Milwaukee Buck Sterling Brown - One Wisconsin Now - May 24th, 2018
- Murphy’s Law: Police Video Gets National Attention - Bruce Murphy - May 24th, 2018
- Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) calls for accountability for officers involved in the Sterling Brown video - Black Leaders Organizing for Communities - May 23rd, 2018
- Bucks Organization Statement on Sterling Brown - Milwaukee Bucks - May 23rd, 2018
Recent Press Releases by Ald. Bob Donovan
"The vacant lot will provide a good location for the food trucks and this particular issue now, in my mind, is solved."
News release from Alderman Bob Donovan