MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee city attorney is recommending a revised offer to settle a lawsuit brought by Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who was taken to the ground, shocked with a Taser, and arrested during an encounter with police in 2018.
City Attorney Tearman Spencer is recommending a $750,000 payment and an admission that Brown’s constitutional rights were violated during the arrest that began with a parking violation outside a Walgreen’s store.
Brown rejected the Milwaukee City Council’s original offer of $400,000 made in 2019. Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, said at the time that any settlement without an admission of a civil rights violation would go nowhere. Thomsen said the admission was necessary for the city to heal.
Brown contends in his lawsuit that police used excessive force and targeted him because he is Black when they confronted him for parking illegally in a handicapped-accessible spot in January 2018. He was talking with officers while waiting for his citation when the situation escalated. Officers took him down and used a stun gun because he didn’t immediately remove his hands from his pockets, as ordered.
The latest offer also includes unspecified changes to the police department’s policies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
In a letter dated Nov. 4, Spencer recommended the new settlement proposal to the Common Council’s Committee on Judiciary and Legislation “because of the unpredictability of a trial, and the city’s risk for exposure to compensatory and punitive damages, as well as additional attorney fees and costs.”
The Bucks released a statement Monday, saying:
“We are pleased that Sterling’s lawsuit has been mutually resolved and that there’s been an important commitment by the City of Milwaukee and its Police Department to make changes to the MPD’s standard operating procedures. No one should ever have to go through the horrifying abuse and injustice that Sterling experienced. We commend Sterling for his courageous response to this terrible situation by repeatedly sharing his story and working tirelessly with countless local groups and organizations to help make change in our community. And we also commend the City’s leadership for its commitment to implement these important changes to better Milwaukee.”
Thomsen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.