MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee police officer fired after a Taser was used on Sterling Brown, Milwaukee Bucks guard in January is fighting to get his job back, and he’s received support from a rising UFC star, who credits Erik Andrade for his success.
Andrade was fired for violating department policy with several social media posts after Brown’s arrest, when Brown was found double parked in a handicapped space at a Walgreens store.
“The purpose of firing him is I can’t use him as a witness in court,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales Tuesday, Dec. 18, before the Fire and Police Commission, which is hearing Andrade’s appeal of his firing.
Chief Morales and officials with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said due to the social media posts “we would not use Officer Andrade in future prosecutions.” They said his posts go against one of the most important aspects of his job — being credible in court.
Jordan Griffin, a rising UFC star, testified in support of Andrade.
“Erik — I never had to ask him for anything,” said Griffin.
A tearful Griffin testified that without help from Andrade, a childhood friend, he would likely have never made it to the UFC.
“I wouldn’t have so many great opportunities if it hadn’t been for the few times Erik Andrade actually, you know, went out of his way to help me out,” said Griffin.
Other friends said Andrade is a good officer and person — traits city officials argued are irrelevant. Lawyers said the damage from the social media posts cannot be undone.
“It exhibits an appearance, a strong appearance of racial bias. Whether true or untrue, it creates the appearance that is created by these postings,” said Kent Lovern with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.
The hearing continues Wednesday, and then it’ll be up to the FPC to decide whether Andrade’s firing should be upheld, he should be suspended or he should be reinstated.