Milwaukee attorney defends police in arrest of Bucks' Sterling Brown

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's city attorney says officers did nothing wrong when they used a stun gun on Bucks guard Sterling Brown during his arrest over a parking violation in January -- a direct contradiction to the police chief and mayor, who condemned the officers' actions.

City attorney Grant Langley's assertion comes in response to a lawsuit Brown filed in June alleging that officers targeted him because he is black and that their use of force was unwarranted. Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Brown and in May announced that 11 of the officers involved in the rookie's arrest were disciplined or retrained.

But Langley said in a court filing in federal court Friday night that Brown was at least partially to blame for what happened on Jan. 26 during his encounter with police outside a Walgreens at around 2 a.m.

"The injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff, if any, were caused in whole or in part by their own acts or omissions," the court filing reads.

The Journal Sentinel reported that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was surprised by Langley's response, saying Saturday that he wasn't briefed on it before it was filed.

"I think it's counterproductive for anybody to turn up the heat with rhetoric like this," Barrett said. "I'm trying to bring respect throughout the entire community, and I'm going to continue to do that."

The Milwaukee Police Department did not respond to a request for an interview with the chief, the newspaper reported. Brown's attorney, Mark Thomsen, said he wouldn't comment until Monday.

Brown had been talking with officers while waiting for a citation for illegally parking in a disabled spot outside the Walgreens when officers took him down because he didn't immediately remove his hands from his pockets as ordered. Brown had been cooperative with officers and never appeared to threaten police before or during his arrest, according to police body camera videos. He was never charged for the parking violation.