Sheriff Clarke’s Meltdown?
He threatens to eliminate a citizen, uses vicious racial slur against another.
The many outrageous statements of Sheriff David Clarke have been well-chronicled by the media, but even for Clarke, his latest outbursts are unprecedented.
Yesterday, he used his official Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page to threaten Dan Black, a Riverwest resident. Black had encountered Clarke on an American Airlines flight the two were traveling on from Dallas, and noticed Clarke wearing Dallas Cowboys gear. Black asked Clarke if he was the Sheriff, Clarke said yes, and Black says he shook his head. Black says Clarke then asked if Black “had a problem” and Black again shook his head.
“I intentionally did not say anything more to him because I did not want to make a scene or get in trouble as a Milwaukee man did in September when confronting Clarke on an airplane,” Black wrote. “I just moved on and took my seat.”
When the flight was over, Black claims six Milwaukee deputies and two dogs were waiting for him and he was detained and questioned for fifteen minutes before being released.
In response to Black going to the media, Clarke’s office released a statement saying “Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out.”
And on the County Sheriff Facebook page, Clarke put up a photo of Black with this warning: “IF SHERIFF CLARKE WERE TO REALLY HARASS YOU, YOU WOULDN’T BE AROUND TO WHINE ABOUT IT.”
You wouldn’t be around? Does this mean Black would be killed? Jailed? Obviously Clarke is leaving it to Black’s imagination, but the clear message is to threaten harm. This is a public safety official who, rather than doing his best to safeguard the citizens of the county he serves, is issuing the kind of threat you might expect from a criminal or a psychopath.
Earlier this week, Clarke put up an ugly tweet, again as Sheriff rather than as a private citizen, calling CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, who is African American, a “jigaboo.” The term is by now pretty arcane, but was long a contemptuous racial slur used against black people.
I am tired of this jigaboo telling black people who they should be, what they should do. He’s a lackey for Democrats https://t.co/XRI5bEPo0F
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) January 17, 2017
Clarke was responding to Hill’s comment that Steve Harvey was a “mediocre Negroe” for supporting and being “manipulated” by Republican President Donald Trump.
In response to Clarke’s jigaboo comment, Hill tweeted that “I’ve never called @SheriffClarke an Uncle Tom, porch monkey, coon, hambone, shine, or handkerchief head. It’s unseemly I tell ya!”
Clarke has refused to respond to press inquiries about his handling of Dan Black. Black has filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office and has said he intends to sue the sheriff.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele blasted Clarke for making a “juvenile” threat against Black. “Most cops, most deputies, most law enforcement officers don’t pull stunts like this,” Abele told Fox6. “I’ve already apologized to Dan Black on behalf of the county.”
Black’s attorney William F. Sulton has released this statement:
“Citizens should be able to complain about public officials without fear of retaliation. Sheriff Clarke’s statements are coldly calculated to intimidate Mr. Black with physical violence for engaging in Constitutionally protected activity. Law enforcement simply do not have license to beat up citizens for whatever perceived slight. Mr. Black will preemptively stop Sheriff Clarke’s attacks with the full force of the legal system. In addition to protecting Mr. Black’s rights, we will work to ensure that Mr. Black is safe from the dangers caused by Sheriff Clarke’s promotion of violence.”