- Views & Opinions
State Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, is calling for the immediate removal of David Clarke from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office.
Crowley, chair of the Milwaukee legislative delegation, sent the following letter to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:
The duty bestowed upon law-enforcement officers is to protect and serve. Unfortunately, that is not what the Sheriff of Milwaukee County is most concerned with. Today I call on you to remove Sheriff David Clarke from office for his willful neglect of duties, repeated inappropriate and incendiary comments, his promotions of violence, and use of intimidation against innocent civilians.
Since April of 2016, four people, including a newborn baby, have died at the Milwaukee County Jail under the supervision of Sheriff Clarke. The Jail is woefully understaffed due to a high rate of jail staff turnover, as well as a lack of adequate training and supervision. In November, a court-ordered monitor of the jail reported that the previous three deaths all came from mistakes in medical care and/or poor monitoring of vulnerable inmates. Yet still in public, Sheriff Clarke has remained remarkably silent regarding the deaths and staffing concerns. Instead, behind closed doors, he took to verbally threatening the Milwaukee County Chief Medical Examiner over the information that he had made public regarding these deaths.
Those are not the only inappropriate comments that Sheriff Clarke has made recently. He has used the official website and Facebook page of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office to personally attack and intimidate his opponents and accusers. He has used racial slurs such as calling an African-American commentator a “jigaboo.” Further, he has repeatedly threatened or insinuated violence, recently claiming that if people “messed with him” they would get “knocked out.”
This last statement was made in response to a new complaint filed against Clarke by a Milwaukee resident who claims he was unlawfully detained, interrogated, and escorted out of Mitchell Airport because he shook his head at the Sheriff while on a flight home. After the incident, the Sheriff took to Facebook to taunt and intimidate the individual. He posted a picture of the individual with the statement “Cheer up snowflake. If Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it”.
The comments and actions of the Sheriff are completely unacceptable for any public official and constitute a cause for removal from office. I call on you to remove David Clarke from his position as Milwaukee County Sheriff immediately. The people deserve a Sheriff who is committed to protect and serve, not one committed to threaten and intimidate. The time for action is now.
Representative David Crowley