After spending the past several days bracing the public and preparing for backlash, the Milwaukee Police Department late this afternoon released the body cam footage of Sterling Brown's arrest – which involved the Bucks player getting Tased by officers – at a Walgreen's parking lot on Jan. 26.
Released at the end of the news day, the video shows an officer confronting Brown about his car being parked across several spaces in front of a mostly deserted Walgreen's, verbally treating Brown as hostile from the beginning. At one point, he calls for backup and several police vehicles arrive, despite the original officer wearing the body cam noting that he "just wanted one (backup officer)."
Then, at around 8:00 in the video, Brown, surrounded by six officers, is loudly told to take his hands out of his pockets. He notes that his hands are full and, at that point, the officers tackle Brown to the pavement and eventually Tase him while he's pinned on the ground.
At no point in the video does Brown seem "combative," as some early reports indicated, and while he appears frustrated, he also appears calm, never a threat and never seeming to provoke the aggressive police reaction.
Head of the MKE Police Association, Mike Crivello, speaking to @JohnMercure on WTMJ in early Feb, was adamant that Sterling Brown was combative prior to being tased. — Greg Matzek (@gmatzek) May 24, 2018
Brown was initially charged with resisting arrest in response to a parking ticket, but those charges were soon dropped. Then, in the past 24 hours, the Milwaukee Police Department prepared to release the body cam video by first showing the clip to Mayor Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee Bucks and others in the community in order to prepare for the backlash.
In comments earlier this week, Barrett noted that he "definitely (has) concerns" after seeing the video, while Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson told a church gathering Sunday that "we're going to need your support during the challenges," presumed to arise after the video's public release.
In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, Milwaukee Police Department Chief Alfonso Morales noted that, after an investigation, "members acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined." Morales also says in the release, "I am sorry this incident escalated to this level."
Mayor Barrett later spoke to the media Wednesday, stating, "As a human being, I am offended by what I saw in the video."
Mayor Tom Barrett makes remarks after @MilwaukeePolice released body cam video showing the arrest of @Bucks player Sterling Brown, including the use of a stun gun. https://t.co/XfOmqX838n (Courtesy: WITI/WDBJ) https://t.co/nBXQJhOJuw — Fox News (@FoxNews) May 24, 2018
The Bucks and Brown also both released statements Wednesday afternoon in response to the body cam video, with the team calling the arrest "shameful and inexcusable."
Many others from the worlds of sports and news have voiced their outrage at the video on Twitter.
Sterling Brown in the Walgreens parking lot. John Henson at the jewelry store. These stories from Milwaukee are American stories, and there's a reason athletes in this country are protesting. #StandWithSterling — Dan Shafer (@DanRShafer) May 23, 2018
Just finished all 30 minutes, 30 seconds of Sterling Brown video. Sad. Just sad. Not one of those policemen tried to fix the situation. The main cop bragged repeatedly about it all being on tape. Insanity. Have they been fired or just "disciplined"? — Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 23, 2018
Just watched the bodycam footage from the Sterling Brown arrest, I hope he sues the Milwaukee PD and the officers involved. The initial SMART ASS cop escalated everything. Write him a citation and be on your way.. YOU put your hands on Mr Brown first, then wanna be a wise guy.. — Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) May 24, 2018
Just watched the Sterling Brown video.
The fact that it came out the day that the NFL announced penalties for protests during the national anthem over racial inequality and police brutality is something, man.
That, right there, is what NFL players are making a point about. — Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) May 23, 2018
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.