US city police apologises for NBA player’s arrest

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Washington, May 24 (IANS) The police in US city of Milwaukee have apologized to NBA player Sterling Brown for his January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include use of a stun gun, saying some members of the force had been disciplined.

The incident occurred in the early morning of January 26, when a policeman arrested Brown, 23, for parking his car in a space designated for the disabled in the parking lot of a local pharmacy, CNN reported.

“The department conducted an investigation into the incident which revealed members of the Milwaukee force acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined,” Milwaukee Police chief Alfonso Morales said on Wednesday at a news conference.

“I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” he said, adding that the officers involved in the incident were disciplined for acting “inappropriately”, without specifying what the disciplinary measures were.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett had also condemned the use of force in the incident, saying that he felt “offended” by what he saw in the video and that “Brown deserves an apology and I am very sorry the Milwaukee police treated him in the fashion he was treated”.

Brown, a Milwaukee Bucks rookie, responded by saying that the incident was “an attempt at police intimidation” and said it “shouldn’t happen to anybody”.

“What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force,” he said.

Brown further noted that “situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community,” adding “the common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power and the lack of accountability for officers involved”.

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Brown’s team, the Milwaukee Bucks, labelled the incident “shameful and inexcusable”.

In the footage, an officer was seen confronting Brown while asking for reinforcements. At one point, a group of policemen charged at the NBA player as one of the officers stunned Brown with a taser before handcuffing him.

The police previously said that Brown became confrontational, prompting the officers to tase and arrest him. He was not charged with a crime as a result of the incident, which prompted an internal affairs investigation, the report said.

–IANS

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