MILWAUKEE -- Sitting among a group of incarcerated individuals, Bucks guard Sterling Brown shared his personal testimony about the events that led to his ongoing civil rights lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee on Tuesday.
He said his decision to reject the city's $400,000 settlement offer after alleging police officers used excessive force when they tased him after being cited for a parking violation in January 2018 wasn't about the money.
"Right now it's a long process, it's still ongoing," Brown said during a roundtable discussion at Racine Correctional Institution, where the Bucks hosted a game in collaboration with the Represent Justice Campaign.
"They tried to throw a few dollar amounts at me just to get me to shut up, and I really couldn't take it because I'm not doing it for myself anymore, I'm doing it for everybody else around," he said.
"I've got plenty of people going through the same thing in Chicago and back at home. So I know it's happening in Milwaukee, so I'm pretty much being that voice for those who don't have the platform that I have to make this national news, to make this [discussed] around the country," he continued. "So, that's pretty much my current situation."
Brown alleges, in the Jan. 26, 2018, incident outside a Walgreens store, that Milwaukee officers targeted him because he is black when they used a stun gun because he didn't immediately remove his hands from his pockets, as ordered, while waiting for a parking citation. He first filed the lawsuit in June 2018 after body-camera footage was released showing a Milwaukee police officer stepping on his ankle during the arrest while others mocked his potential civil rights complaint.
In October, his attorneys asked a federal judge to reject the $400,000 settlement offer.
Following Wednesday's practice, Brown reiterated his stance that this move is about more than a financial gain to him.
"They tried to get me to settle for it. I feel like it was just a slap in the face, and I can't go into too many details, but there's other things that we're trying to push," Brown told ESPN. "The money is not the biggest concern. It's not a priority for me. It's the other things involved, so we're going to keep fighting."
His father, Chris Brown, was a veteran Chicago-area police officer with 30 years of experience in Maywood, Illinois, so the 24-year-old says he has no disdain for law enforcement as a whole. However, the Bucks' Play for Justice at the correctional facility event did align with his views stemming from the lawsuit, he said.
"I'm kind of split in the decision, because I grew up around some of them. My dad was one of them, so I've got respect for the guys behind the badge because of what they're trying to do," said Brown, who is averaging 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Bucks. "I saw how they've helped a lot of people in the neighborhood, so I've got a lot of respect for those individuals, but as far as the badge, it's kind of hard to find that respect because I know the history behind it.
"I know what it was started for, I know what it came up on and I know what they do," he added. "It's kind of split for me, but I don't have no problem or I don't feel uncomfortable being around them or no other man.
"So, it's just figuring out how we can continue to make strides."