A Milwaukee police officer who was involved in the controversial arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown was fired from the department, according to remarks made by Milwaukee police chief Alfonso Morales on Thursday.
The officer, however, was not fired for the “racially-based use of excessive force” that he was accused of by Brown’s attorney, but for violating the department’s social media policy. Speaking at Marquette University, Morales said the officer was “not involved in the initial part” of the investigation into the arrest of Brown, but “it was more of the social media,” according to Journal Sentinel reporter Ashley Lutheran. Morales added that while the officer wasn’t accused of lying during the investigation, he faced a “credibility issue” on par with former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, known for pleading the Fifth Amendment during the O.J. Simpson murder trial after being asked if he ever used the N-word or planted evidence in any case.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Erik Andrade was the officer who was under internal investigation for violating the social media policy, which states officers can use social media sites “to the degree that their speech is not disruptive to the mission of the department” but not in “any manner which brings or is likely to bring discredit upon the department.”
Andrade was one of at least 11 officers who stopped, immobilized with a stun gun and arrested Brown following a parking violation back in January. When Brown filed suit against the department and the city of Milwaukee in June, it came to light that Andrade made a handful of questionable posts on his personal Facebook page.
The morning after the arrest, Andrade posted, “Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol#FearTheDeer.” Months later, he shared a post comparing Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant’s hair to an ice cream cone with black sprinkles on it, and made his own post joking about hoping “JR Smith double parks in Walgreens handicap Parkin spots when he’s in Milwaukee” after the Cleveland Cavaliers guard made a boneheaded play at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Brown filed a federal lawsuit on June 19 claiming unlawful arrest and excessive force after the Jan. 26 arrest. He is seeking an undetermined amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages.
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