By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Earlier this week, new footage from four body cameras worn during the incident involving NBA player Sterling Brown and police was leaked. The videos were obtained and released by Brown’s lawyer.
Last month, Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) released the footage from the body camera of the initial officer involved in the incident from last Jan. In it, Brown is approached in a Walgreen’s parking lot about a parking violation and later taken to the ground and tasered.
These additional videos offer perspectives to what was happening to Brown as well as what officers were reporting to have happened.
Two officers sat in their vehicle and reported, “Somebody grabbed his left arm right away when he was pulling it out of his pocket and he just started fighting from right off, from right there.”
However, different footage showed Brown surrounded by a group of officers, who requested him to take his hands out of his pockets. Brown refused and said he couldn’t because his hands were full of stuff.
The officers approached Brown and took him down, where he was tasered.
In one of the videos, while Brown lied on the ground, an officer placed a foot on Brown’s ankle.
“Stepping on my ankle for what,” Brown is heard saying to an officer.
“So, you don’t kick us,” responded the officer.
Brown told the officer, “I ain’t [sic] got no reason to kick you.”
An additional officer placed his hands-on Brown’s lower back and shoulder, to ensure Brown’s head remained down on the lot. Photos later showed cuts and scrapes on Brown’s face.
The videos showed that several officers recognized Brown as a Milwaukee Buck’s player. One officer is heard telling Brown that he looks familiar and in a different perspective camera, several policemen remarked on who he is.
“Because he plays for the Bucks, if he makes a f—— complaint it’s going to be a f—— media firestorm,” one officer said.
An officer also remarked that if anything went wrong, the MPD’s actions would be seen as racist. The officers responded in various ways, with one claiming their actions were protective measures and another saying they would be on the news.
“See you on the news, and me,” an officer said, while another responded with a woohoo.
MPD Police Chief Alfonso Morales responded to the videos.
“They got the raw footage,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting any of that to come out.”
He admitted that he hadn’t seen the entirety of the footage as he focused more on Brown being tasered and that he is working on mending the relationship between residents and police.
Mayor Tom Barrett wrote a letter to the Fire and Police Commission and requested that when footage is released to the public it’d be an accurate account of what happened.
“Now is an opportune time to further improve transparency and keep Milwaukee on the leading edge of responsive and responsible policing,” he wrote.