Milwaukee's mayor and police chief are bracing for trouble as bodycam video of police arresting and tasing an NBA player is expected to be released to the public, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, the Journal Sentinel reported.
"I definitely have concerns after watching that video," Mayor Tom Barrett said at a Monday news conference, adding that Police Chief Alfonso Morales reacted similarly, the paper said.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Two sources who've seen the video told the Journal Sentinel that the player in question — Bucks rookie guard Sterling Brown — didn't appear combative during the incident.
"This could be bad," one source who watched the video told the paper. The sources asked for anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the clip, the Journal Sentinel said.
What's the background?
Police doing a business check around 2 a.m. Jan. 26 saw a vehicle parked across two handicap spaces at a Walgreens, police told the Journal Sentinel.
Police initially stated that officers spoke with a 22-year-old man about the situation and "an electronic control device was deployed" during the encounter, the paper reported.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Brown was then arrested on a possible misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer, the Journal Sentinel said, adding that police decided to not refer Brown to prosecutors after an internal review that included viewing bodycam footage.
Sterling Brown (Image source: Wisconsin Department of Justice)
Police said at the time that Brown was cited for a parking violation, the paper reported.
Brown played in a game later that day and had bruises and marks on his face, the Journal Sentinel noted, adding that the rookie told reporters it was a "personal issue" and declined to discuss it.
What have police officials been up to since the incident?
Police officials have been preparing community leaders for the release of the bodycam clip by showing it to selected local officials, the paper reported, adding that Bucks officials have reportedly watched the video as well. A Bucks spokesman declined to discuss the matter Monday, the Journal Sentinel added.
The incident led to an internal investigation on the police response, including the role of supervisors, the paper said.
"There's going to be a video that's going to come out soon, in the next couple of weeks, involving the department, and I'm going to honest with you, we're going to need your support during the challenges," Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson said to those gathered at Abundant Faith Church of Integrity on Sunday for the city's Ceasefire Sabbath, WITI-TV reported.
Image source: WITI-TV video screenshot
Brunson, however, declined to discuss what the video he referred to involves, the station reported.
The police department's internal affairs investigation was still listed as open Monday, the Journal Sentinel reported, adding that officials haven't indicated if any officers involved in the Brown arrest and tasing are facing discipline.
A department spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to requests for more information, the paper added.
Milwaukee was hit by riots two years ago after a police officer fatally shot a black man
Milwaukee was hit by riots in August 2016 after a police officer fatally shot Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man.
Police later said a black officer shot Smith and that the officer became the target of online threats. Police said Smith was armed.
The reportedly racially charged rioting resulted in property destruction in the city, as officers in protective gear dealt with groups throwing rocks and other objects at police. Republican Gov. Scott Walker activated the National Guard.