Milwaukee offers $400,000 settlement to Sterling Brown, whose lawyer wants city to admit guilt

Cassandra Negley
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 06:  Sterling Brown #23 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum on April 06, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Sterling Brown filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last year that the city of Milwaukee is trying to settle. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee city Common Council voted in favor of a $400,000 settlement to Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown, though a deal has not yet been finalized.

Brown, 24, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city after he was tackled, tased and stepped on by a police officer over a parking violation. The city attorney’s office filed a resolution in May seeking the $400,000 settlement despite Brown’s attorneys not agreeing to the offer.

Brown wants admission of wrongdoing, attorney says

The settlement was passed by the Judiciary and Legislation Committee, 4-1, and the Common Council, 12-2, with one abstention Wednesday, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The resolution was filed by city attorney Mark Langley, who said it would cover all damages, attorney fees and other costs.

Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, appeared “irked” at the initial offer in May and said after the council vote it was unlikely the settlement would be agreed to as-is, per the Journal Sentinel.

“I fully anticipate that any settlement that doesn’t include an admission that they violated Mr. Brown’s civil rights will go nowhere. We can’t heal the city without that.”

The city gave Brown 14 days to accept or deny the offer, per

Brown case could go to court

Brown’s attorney’s displeasure at the initial word of a settlement number and his statement about an admission indicates the case could go to court.

Thomsen said earlier this year officers have admitted to violating Brown’s civil rights in depositions for the lawsuit. Police body camera show officers were confrontational with Brown from the very beginning.

Brown was arrested Jan. 26, 2018, outside a Milwaukee Walgreens where he was illegally parked across two handicap spots. Officers took Brown down, used a Taser on him for not immediately taking his hands out of his pockets and called at least five additional cars for backup.

Officers became worried about their actions only after realizing Brown played for the Bucks and banded together. One officer was fired for multiple Facebook posts mocking the incident.

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