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Milwaukee Police Chief finally breaks silence on Sterling Brown lawsuit

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 12:31:30-04

For the first time since a federal lawsuit was filed against the Milwaukee Police Department by Sterling Brown, the police chief responded with something more than a "no comment."

But he did not go much further than that. 

Chief Alfonso Morales was at the Fire and Police Commission Board meeting Thursday night.

When asked if he would address the subject, Morales said, "I don't know what they are going to ask me."

He was supposed to talk about how MPD handled the Brown tasing and arrest, but Morales said that changed after the lawsuit was filed. There were revelations in the federal lawsuit that an officer involved in Brown's arrest may have made racially charged comments on social media.

"We are just postponing the delivery of the audit," said La Keisha Butler, executive director of the Fire and Police Commission. "We're not canceling it. This is just to allow the chief to do the investigation."

That new investigation focuses on Officer Erik Andrade. He is accused of writing Facebook posts that gloat about Brown's arrest. Brown's attorney said some posts were laced with racist rhetoric.

Morales was asked if he condemned the comments and actions made by Andrade. 

"Well we have a social media policy and members are expected to act according to the policy so," said Morales.

That policy includes not using speech that "ridicule, malign, disparage, or otherwise express bias against any race..." Morales said he is still investigating the incident, but would not go further.

"As stated, per the lawsuit that is going on and the direction of the Fire and Police Commission, I wish I could comment," said Morales. "We were prepared to comment, but now we are held back."

Andrade is no longer on the streets, but the chief would not answer any question about what discipline he is facing.