News & Politics

'Taser! Taser! Taser!': New Video Shows Violent Police Takedown of Black Milwaukee Bucks Player

Sterling Brown said the incident was "wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody."

Photo Credit: Milwaukee Police Video

Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown was tased and brought to the ground by police in a video released by police Wednesday, which Mayor Tom Barrett said was “disconcerting” and “disturbing.”

In the video, a group of at least five police officers surrounded Brown, who was reportedly parked illegally across two handicapped spots, according to the Washington Post. But according to Brown, "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." 

The incident occurred in January, and Brown ended up playing in a game later that day while still healing from the bruises and scratches he received, the Post said.

The cops can be heard yelling orders at Brown, including that he take his hands out of his pockets. While standing still, Brown says "no" to one of their orders, at which point the cops begin grabbing him. Though the video camera is partially blocked, Brown appears to be taken to the ground, at which point a cop yells "Taser! Taser! Taser!"

The Taser is discharged, and Brown can be heard groaning. (While Tasers are typically viewed as a "safe" alternative to firearms, they were tied to dozens of deaths in 2015, according to one estimate, and they post serious risks.)

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said with regard to the incident that department "members acted inappropriately and those members were disciplined." He added: "I am sorry this incident escalated to this level."

In a statement, the Bucks supported their teammate:

The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.

Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment. 

Brown echoed in his own statement the fact that his case is part of a larger pattern that has been called out by the Black Lives Matter movement:

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.

You can watch the video below (Warning: It may be disturbing to some viewers):

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.