MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee police officer fired after the arrest of Sterling Brown has made a bid to get his job back.
Shortly after a Taser was used on Sterling Brown during his January arrest after he was found double parked in a handicapped space at a Walgreens store, Milwaukee Police Officer Erik Andrade took to social media -- supposedly mocking the incident and others. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the appeal to his firing was heard, but the argument against him was a tough one.
The appeal hearing lasted more than eight hours regarding Andrade's social media posts that made a lasting impression.
The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners conducted a hearing on the discipline that was imposed on Andrade. When Brown was arrested , Andrade created, shared and commented on social media posts that were perceived to be offensive.
"Would you characterize it as negative or positive attention?" asked one board member.
"Negative attention," said an officer.
From making light of his meeting with Brown, implying he hopes other players have similar experiences -- and also bragging about overtime and use of force -- Police Chief Alfonso Morales said Andrade violated core values and policy with the posts.
"He was going to get disciplined, but he brought discredit to the department." Morales said.
A longtime friend of Andrade defended the former officer's character.
"Would you consider him a racist?" asked a board member.
"Not at all," answered the friend.
Morales said he does not believe Andrade is a bad person. However, his credibility will now be in question -- which in turn affects his ability to do his job.
"To be able to testify -- we come across several types of investigations on a daily basis -- and a person who loses the ability to testify in court... I cannot risk having a high-profile case where that person is a key witness and person to testify in court and ruin that case," Morales said.
Tuesday's hearing was just the first phase of this appeals process. The board will go into a closed session and reconvene most likely on Wednesday to announce its decision. If further testimony is needed, that will happen.