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Hearing scheduled for Nov. 21 in Sterling Brown case

Brown’s attorney said the Bucks guard is hoping to resolve the lawsuit in ‘an amicable fashion’

The attorney for Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown told The Undefeated there is a telephone conference hearing scheduled with Eastern District of Wisconsin magistrate judge David E. Jones on Nov. 21, where a potential trial date can be set for Brown’s lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and the city.

Brown was arrested in the early morning of Jan. 26 at a Walgreens parking lot in Milwaukee. He claimed that officers used excessive force by pushing him to the ground and using a stun gun on him after he allegedly parked illegally across two handicapped-accessible parking spots in an empty parking lot. Brown’s attorney, Mark Thomsen, said he has not had recent talks with the city of Milwaukee. If there is no settlement soon, Thomsen said, his client will be ready to pursue all legal remedies and go to trial.

“Mr. Brown remains willing to work with the city to try to resolve this lawsuit in an amicable fashion,” Thomsen said to The Undefeated in a phone interview on Tuesday. “We had been hopeful given the mayor’s and the city council statements to the public that they wanted an early resolution. But today in this conversation, the city has not put any proposal on the table. …

“One of the first things we will be doing is having the city produce all documents they rely on for their claim that Mr. Brown was responsible for this incident.”

Thomsen filed a lawsuit on June 25 in federal court stating that his African-American client’s arrest by the Milwaukee Police Department was unlawful, used excessive force and violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The lawsuit was filed against the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee police chief Alfonso Morales and the eight officers involved. On Aug. 25, however, the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department took no blame, saying in a 51-page response that Brown was at fault.

Thomsen said the response was a surprise considering Morales had apologized to Brown after the bodycam video was revealed and three officers were suspended. Mayor Tom Barrett has also said, “No citizen should be treated this way,” and that he hoped the case will be settled.

“The city of Milwaukee is continuing to maintain a position that the incident was Mr. Brown’s fault,” Thomsen said. “And as his lawyer, that position is outrageous given the video that we saw where his rights were violated. And until the city admits they violated Mr. Brown’s constitutional rights, the case will not move forward toward settlement. …

“I’m surprised no one in the community has come forward to resolve this in a way that helps build relationships in a community and the minority communities. One of Mr. Brown’s goals out of this lawsuit is to move this struggle forward so what happened to him doesn’t happen to other young African-American men or, frankly, any citizen.”

On Nov. 8, Brown told The Undefeated he has been getting support from a lot of “notable” people throughout the NBA and is staying positive.

“The city of Milwaukee is still going to show me love,” Brown said. “You’re going to get your hate regardless, but nothing that affects me on a day-to-day basis. … I just focus on what has got me here, basketball and improving my game, staying focused on the team and how I can help myself and the team get better.”

Thomsen said Brown, who will not be on the conference call, would not make further comment when the city of Milwaukee moves forward.

In the meantime, Brown and his brother, former NBA guard Shannon Brown, have teamed up to launch a charity foundation called S.A.L.U.T.E., which stands for Sacrifice, Ambition, Loyalty, Unlimited, Truth and Education.

“Our foundation embodies things that should be instilled in the youth so they could lead successful lives,” said Sterling Brown, who is averaging 2.1 points and 1.4 assists this season. “We want them to do something for their lives to help them get out the ‘hood and unfortunate situations.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.