Lawsuit alleges officer involved in Sterling Brown arrest joked about what happened on social media
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Part of Sterling Brown's lawsuit takes aim at how officers behaved after the incident, including one officer who appeared to joke about what happened on social media.
The suit claims that one of the officers who arrested Brown posted about it a few hours later, writing that it was nice to meet Sterling Brown with a 'Lol' added.
In another one, he seemingly brags about the use of force.
"Had a great time working replacement the other day -- 5+ OT and a use of force. Lol." Sterling Brown's Attorney Mark Thomsen says Milwaukee Police Officer Erik Andrade posted that after the January incident.
Months later, another post from Andrade said he hoped that NBA Player JR Smith "Double parks in Walgreens handicap parking spots when he's in Milwaukee."
"If there's really discipline going on, how can you gloat about this? How can you use the Walgreens as a sign of punishment," said Mark Thomsen, Sterling Brown's Attorney.
Thomsen says he also found racist posts on Andrade's Facebook. They appear to directly violate MPD's social media policy which prohibits "forms of speech that ridicule, malign, disparage, or otherwise expresses bias against any race, any religion, or any protected class of individuals."
"Just like officers sometimes heave poorly when they're being videotaped. Sometimes the same thing happens on social media. They should be aware that anyone can read that post," said Robert Willis, Retired Police Trainer.
Willis has trained officers for 30 years. He says social media is now included in many department's codes of conduct. MPD policy says officers have the right to free speech on social media but posting about their jobs is not protected.
"You don't have the right to criticize your department, say things that bring disrepute upon your department. That is not a 1st amendment right," said Willis.
MPD policy is that "Members shall not represent themselves as a member of the department in any manner which brings or is likely to bring discredit upon the department."
Brown's attorney said people who saw Andrade's posts on Facebook shared them with him and Brown.