WASHINGTON - Former Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown, whose tasing by police in 2018 led to a settlement with the city of Milwaukee and policy changes in the police department, will attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address next week as a guest of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore as part of an effort from the Milwaukee congresswoman to draw attention to recent police violence.
"In light of the ongoing police brutality crisis in our country that just claimed the life of Tyre Nichols, I am inviting an individual who had the unfortunate experience of encountering this epidemic firsthand in Milwaukee," Moore said in an announcement Thursday, referencing a man who died this month after being beaten by police in Memphis.
"The State of the Union is an opportunity to not only hear the President's priorities and agenda, but for members of Congress to send a message," Moore said. "It is clear that we need to act on this crisis."
Brown, who played for the Bucks from 2017 until 2020, was tased by police in January 2018 after what reportedly began as a parking violation at a local Walgreens. Body camera footage from the incident showed then-22-year-old Brown remained calm and polite before officers took him to the ground and arrested him. He was not charged.
The encounter prompted an internal investigation that ended with several officers suspended and others retrained.
The city of Milwaukee in 2021 settled a police misconduct lawsuit brought by Brown for $750,000. The settlement also required the Milwaukee Police Department to change its standard operating procedures, including changes to fair and impartial policing policy and training and career development programs. The department was also required to look into how it interacts with citizens, conducts field interviews, its search and seizure policy, arrest authority, personnel investigations and use of force policy and body cameras use.
Moore in her announcement recalled Dontre Hamilton, who was shot by Milwaukee police in 2014, and Ernest Lacy, who was killed in 1981.
Community activists and lawmakers in recent weeks have renewed calls for police reform after the death of Nichols, who was beaten by multiple police officers in Memphis earlier this month. Five officers have since been charged in connection to Nichols' death.
"For years, I have worked to advance legislation to advance policing reform through expanding de-escalation training, which would help create a relationship of trust between police officers and our citizens and prevent tragedies," Moore said.
She added: "I am thankful to have Sterling Brown as an advocate for policing reform and look forward to lifting up his lived experience during the State of the Union."
Alison Dirr of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed reporting.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Former Bucks player Sterling Brown to attend State of the Union
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