A report says three Milwaukee Police officers were suspended for varying lengths after the arrest (involving a Taser) of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
The Journal Sentinel says that the first police officer who confronted Brown on January 26 outside a Walgreens on Milwaukee's south side was suspended for two days.
The report says two supervising officers who came to the scene later received 15 and 10 day suspensions, while other officers were reprimanded.
Their names were not initially divulged. Chief of Police Alfonso Morales says retraining will be involved.
"I have to do things within the legal contractual boundaries that I have," said Morales about letting the public know the officers' names.
Representative Leon Young tsaid that the MPD said three people were disciplined, but did not confirm the lengths or nature of any discipline.
The Milwaukee Police Department has apologized for how officers acted inappropriately in the case of the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
"I'm sorry this incident escalated to this level," said MPD Chief Alfonso Morales.
"Members acted inappropriately, and those members were recently disciplined." There was no initial word on the identity of the officers involved or the nature of the discipline.
He promises to change the direction of the department and be honest about when MPS officers fail to serve citizens properly. These words came out in a news release in advance of a news conference about the release of the video Wednesday. Police did not take any questions during the news conference.
Read the full statement below.
Photo: Tom Durian
The Milwaukee Police Association shared this statement afterward, which we share in full as well:
Use of Force will never look pretty, but it is – unfortunately, a necessary component of policing. The cause or need for force is always dictated by the subject confronting the police officer. A subject must cooperate at the point of arrest/contact; when an argument of the righteousness to the interaction is of issue, the subject may exercise the right to file a complaint.
Inevitably every Use of Force will be scrutinized and often opinion gets in the way of fact. Unfortunately, society and local leaders only take issue when the situation is sensational, or the individual is of prominence. Our officers are routinely injured during Use of Force applications; rarely is there an outcry of support from civic leadership.
City leadership and the former chief [who never supported proper staffing] truly need to self-examine. Our force is so drastically understaffed that negative outcomes are inevitable!
Force is minimized significantly when situations are properly addressed immediately. However, because officers are frequently mandated to work alone they are at greater risk to be compelled to use higher levels of force. The city may be complicit in the death of subjects, or in the greater use of force in many situations that have occurred. This is due primarily, or solely, because a one-officer squad responded; and/or ill-equipped officers responded. This issue is not only a daily issue on the street but is also of great concern in our city jail – dangerous inability to properly staff the department represents one bad incident away from tragedy.
The city apparently is willing to accept risk absent of their own responsibility; while quick to pass blame and refuse to address the underlying concern.
The inconsistent hiring of replacement officers has caused a void that manifests in poor leadership and improperly mentored new officers.
Our officers are true professionals that do all possible with the finite resources afforded them. Help them perform at the levels you deserve and demand – set them up for success. Mandate of your elected official staffing levels that will support a safer city… levels that will remove the disadvantage that clouds daily performance.
Support our Cops – the safer they are, the greater level of safety they can provide.
Police constantly and repeatedly asked for Brown to identify himself, frustrating Brown as they confronted him in a Walgreens parking lot on the corner of South 26th Street and West National Avenue at 2 a.m. on January 26.
Steve also confirms details given to the Journal Sentinel that Brown was not combative and did not fight with officers before they arrested him that morning after he double-parked in handicapped spots at the Walgreens parking lot. He was cited for that parking violation.
"I'm going to let the video speak for itself," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett this week before the video's release.
"It was a disturbing video when I saw it. The police chief feels the same way."
According to Steve, officials within the City of Milwaukee have been preparing the community for the release of the video and what it shows.