Milwaukee residents react to police video showing arrest of Sterling Brown

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 19:40:00-04

It's not just Milwaukee city leaders reacting to what happened in the MPD body camera video showing the arrest of Bucks player Sterling Brown.  

Among the citizens they serve, this incident is the talk of the town, and the video sparks a range of emotions. 

"I thought it was unjust," said Bennie Teague. "It wasn't fair."

"Officers came at him in a disrespectful manner," said Johnnie Landers.

"I know officers are up against a lot of stressful situations, but it looks like the officer could have gotten a little more adapted to the surroundings before going off on Sterling Brown," said Laurie Senger. 

"I see this kind of thing happen all the time, and I'm a white man," said Fred Starling. "Police have their guns or tasers in their hand when they see a black guy, and when they see a white guy they're like 'let's give you a warning, let's talk about this.'"

All of these Milwaukee residents passed through the same corner of downtown Thursday. But they all come from different backgrounds and experiences.

"I have a bi-racial son and he gets treated differently than I do," Senger said.

"Often times, society wants to put all black people in the same category and we are all our own people," Landers said.

"We have to respect each other and those in authority," Teague said. "The officers are doing their jobs. Some of them are doing a great job, but unfortunately we have incidents like this, where it showcases the officers who are not. Honestly, it's tough. I think people want to trust the police, but you can't have incidents like this and expect the black community to trust police."

So, what would their advice be to Milwaukee's mayor and police chief on how to fix this?

"We've got to find a better way to communicate," Starling said. "Like really communicate with the communities and get everybody more drawn together. I feel like we're more separated now than when my mom was growing up in the 1960's. It's like we're going backwards, not forwards."

"Maybe all police officers need more training, or to go to school to learn how to approach and deal with people of different cultures," Landers said.

"We need everyone to look at the facts," Teague said. "We are only seeing what's being made public. We weren't there. We need to discuss it openly. They talk about transparency, but I'm not sure it's there."

Many agree transparency is an issue in this case, and that more police body camera video should be shared. They also wonder why it took four months to release it? 

However, there are also many people we spoke with who say police have a tough job where their own safety is often put in jeopardy, and they need more community support.