On January 26, 2018 at about 2:00 AM, Sterling Brown was tased and arrested for what officers described as Brown getting up into an officer’s face and a scuffle with at least four other police officers. It was determined that the charges were false due to body cam footage taken from the arresting officer. The incident arose from the fact that Brown parked his car across two handicapped spaces and he did not have a handicapped placard or handicapped license plate. The car was parked illegally. While watching the body cam footage, there did not appear to be any other civilian cars in the parking lot, only those of the Milwaukee Police and that of Mr. Brown.
FOX News reports, “Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized Wednesday for how his department handled the January arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown — including the officers’ use of a stun gun. Morales says officers ‘acted inappropriately,’ and that those officers recently had been disciplined.”
The reason that I am writing this piece about Sterling Brown is because I myself am a former police officer and feel that after viewing the body-cam footage, the arrest was excessive and a stun gun was not necessary based on video evidence. I am sure my assessment will upset many people but it is not my intention to do so, but to offer constructive criticism to law enforcement as a whole.
Working as a law enforcement officer can be very grueling, after all, I know first-hand because I was a police officer for over ten years. I was almost killed in the line of duty in the 1980’s. I know the stress and how working the street can affect an individual. It can make many police officers crass, callus, and cold. Many become insensitive and may take their frustrations out on family as well as the public. This is not a good place to be. If recognized by supervisors, those officers need to be pulled off patrol and sent to counseling so that they can get theirselves together.
Today, everyone seems to be a critic and have an opinion, even if they have not walked in the officer’s shoes. Officers are faced with the possibility of death every day they put on the uniform. Unfortunately, officers who have become abusive over the course of their tour of duty need to be relieved of duty. Other officers need to take a stand for what is just and honorable to do the right thing by reporting abuse when it is observed. Abuse of power or abuse of arrest authority can no longer be tolerated.
The majority of officers always do the right thing. The majority are good and dedicated to taking a stand for people who cannot help themselves. But there are a small few that are abusive. There is no honor in abuse. What should have happened with Mr. Brown is that he should have received a parking ticket for illegal parking in a handicapped zone. But instead, it appeared that Mr. Brown was abused by the law enforcement officers making the arrest, all over an illegally parked car.
My advice for all law enforcement officers are to treat everyone with respect. Even if you must make an arrest, treat people in an honorable way and do not abuse anyone. Only use necessary force to gain control of the arrest. Certainly, defend yourself if being assaulted, but based on that body-cam footage, Mr. Brown was not the aggressor. Police departments must have a zero tolerance for abusive behavior by their officers. Although I am not a psychologist, a prudent person would think that those who display abusive behavior must have an anger problem and they must be dealt with to protect the public from defective officers abusing their powers.
Source: FOX NEWS, May 23, 2018.
The above are the opinions of The Lantern & Shield Times LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © May 23, 2018.