MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) heard hours of testimony and decided on Wednesday, Dec. 19 that the decision to fire former Milwaukee Police Officer Erik Andrade in the Sterling Brown arrest is sustained. Andrade will not get his job back.
Andrade was fired for violating department policy with several social media posts after the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks star Sterling Brown. Brown was arrested after he was found double parked in a handicapped space at a Walgreens store on Milwaukee south side last January.
A visibly emotional Andrade on Wednesday told the FPC that some of the posts were meant as jokes — and some were his views. He said the job takes a toll on a police officer. Andrade said he developed a dark sense of humor, but these posts are not who he is. In fact, many letters in Andrade’s employee file show his courage and outstanding work on the job.
Andrade told the FPC he is the only officer that recognized Brown — and he was not part of the tasing. He disagreed with the way the situation was handled — and said it is a disgrace to him and his familiy.
“The Lord knows my heard. Everything speaks for itself. The Facebook posts are one thing,” Andrade said. “It doesn’t judge who I am. It just goes to show where I was mentally at the time. Regardless of what happens, the Lord knows my heart. I meant well. I’ll serve somewhere else.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales testified for a second time on Wednesday, saying once the district attorney determined Andrade was no longer credible in court because of the Facebook posts, he made the decision to fire him. Morales said he personally likes Andrade. But knowing he can no longer use him as a credible officer on the streets forced him to make the decision.