The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission upheld the firing of a Milwaukee police officer on Wednesday over a social media post the officer made after the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown earlier this year, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Officer Erik Andrade was fired in September for violating the department’s social media policy after he posted what many viewed as mocking and racist Facebook posts about Brown and other NBA players following Brown’s arrest. That ruling was upheld after a two-day hearing on Wednesday. The posts, the department said, also compromised Andrade’s ability to testify in other cases.
“Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol #FearTheDeer,” Andrade posted the morning after Brown’s arrest.
Brown was swarmed by several officers around 2 a.m. in January in a Walgreens parking lot over a simple parking violation in the near-empty lot. Brown, who did not appear to act aggressive in body camera footage of the arrest, was first confronted by an officer before at least five other police vehicles arrived on the scene. Soon after, Brown was forcefully taken to the ground, tased and arrested.
The Milwaukee police department later apologized for the incident, and Brown has since filed a lawsuit against the department claiming wrongful arrest and excessive force. He was not charged in the incident, though he was cited for a parking violation.
Andrade also posted a meme mocking Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, comparing his hair to an ice cream cone. He also wrote a Facebook post after Game 1 of the NBA Finals that said, “I hope JR Smith double parks in Walgreens handicap Parkin spots when he’s in Milwaukee!”
The Facebook posts were first uncovered after they were submitted by Brown’s attorney as a part of his civil suit, which they claim “is an admission that he and other Defendant officers are allowed to engage in unlawful attacks and arrests of African Americans without justification and then relish such events without any fear of real discipline,” according to the Journal Sentinel.
Brown, who is in his second year in the league, has averaged 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Bucks this season, averaging 13.5 minutes per game. The 23-year-old was selected in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who then traded him to Milwaukee.
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