david clarke
Press Release
May 17, 2017
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
One Wisconsin Now

David Clarke’s Greatest Outrages & Lowlights

‘Clarke Is Incompetent, Bombastic & Hates Showing Up for Work: He’s the Perfect Trump Appointee’ — One Wisconsin Now

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he’s leaving the job he never shows up to in Wisconsin in order to join Donald Trump in Washington D.C. While Clarke may be familiar to some from his incomprehensible Fox News appearances, he has a lengthy and embarrassing record of extremism, bombast and incompetence as Milwaukee’s sheriff.

“David Clarke is incompetent, bombastic and hates showing up for work. He’s the perfect Trump appointee,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “David Clarke is the human embodiment of the insane email chain your racist uncle forwards you.”

Among the lowlights of Clarke’s tenure, Ross cited just a small sampling of the jaw-dropping conduct of the man ostensibly in charge of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office:

Multiple deaths at Milwaukee County Jail:
There have been four fatal incidents at the Milwaukee County Jail that Clarke oversees in recent times, including the death of a newborn. According to a notice of claim, jail staff ignored pleas for help from a 30-year-old woman who was nine months pregnant and being held for a probation violation in the Milwaukee County Jail. The woman gave birth while being held and the newborn died. Three other individuals have died while in custody at the Clarke run jail. There was also the case of a 38-year-old man who died of dehydration after being tortured to death under Clarke’s custody by being denied water for seven days. The manner of death was ruled homicide and local authorities are investigating the death as a criminal matter.

Absence after a mass shooting at a Sikh temple:
Clarke was nowhere to be found when one of the worst tragedies in state history struck in Milwaukee County, when a mass shooting occurred at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Clarke was notable in his still unexplained absence in which six innocent worshippers were killed and four wounded by a white supremacist madman. When One Wisconsin Now requested records of his whereabouts, Clarke provided a calendar which was almost completely redacted.

Had a Plane Passenger Detained for Shaking His Head at Clarke, Said He Would Physically Attack Anyone Else Who Did It in Future:
Clarke had a passenger on a commercial plane detained by Milwaukee County law enforcement because the man shook his head at him. Not content with that abuse of power, Clarke further declared he would “knock out” anyone else who shook their heads at Clarke.

Marriage equality meltdown:
Clarke took to social media to post, “Next is rage, then revolt,” in response to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. Not content to stop there, Clarke in a media interview pondered, “… who would have thought that in the 21st century homosexuality would come out of the closet and churches would be forced to go into the closet?” and opined, “If we don’t resist, we can see what is happening before our eyes …” It was also reported that in his radio show he advocated for, “pitchforks and torches” and that, “If you call yourself an American, then you have to start a revolution in this country after what happened last week at the United States Supreme Court.” Clarke also took to social media with the call for “pitchforks and torches”.

Use of public tax dollars to promote vigilantism:
Clarke advised Milwaukee County residents that 9-1-1 was not their best option and instead encouraged them to pursue vigilante style justice. In taxpayer-financed radio ads, Clarke urged citizens to arm themselves and shoot people whom they felt threatened by, calling 9-1-1 only after potentially shooting and killing someone.

Shout out from the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff:
Clarke was praised at a press conference by Richard Mack, Executive Director of the right-wing Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) at the ranch of extremist rancher Cliven Bundy during his standoff with the federal government. While at the Bundy ranch Clarke’s friend Mack, who according to the Southern Poverty Law Center has ties to right-wing militia groups, advocated for using women as human shields to generate sympathy.

Revolting racism:
Clarke declared that, “… blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle — because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt.”

Support for “nullification” of firearms regulations and other laws:
Clarke is supported by and was named “Sheriff of the Year” in 2013 by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), an organization that encourages local sheriffs to ignore federal laws, like firearm regulations, that they believe are at odds with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Childish insults of opponents:
Clarke lashed out at the Milwaukee County Executive and accused him of targeting the Sheriff’s office for budget reductions because of, “penis envy.”

More information and research on David Clarke is available by contacting One Wisconsin Now via email at own@onewisconsinnow.org.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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