Responding to a user complaint, Twitter temporarily blocked former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke from posting tweets on Jan. 2.
The company reinstated his tweeting privileges after he deleted three posts that encouraged violence against the media. Violent threats are not allowed on the site.
One of the objectionable tweets read: “When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is to go right at them. Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD. Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA"S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood #neverbackdown."
The tweet contained a graphic of a wrestler with Trump’s head holding another wrestler labeled "CNN" while a third wrestler with Clarke's head kicked the "CNN" wrestler in the face.
Clarke appeared unchastened by the punishment. Instead he posted a message about Twitter’s reaction to a previous tweet he’d made.
"I know I'm winning. Some snowflake lib made a complaint to Twitter because of my earlier tweet about black kids being exploited by lefty failed policies at Ballou High School. I said in my tweet, this CRAP is criminal. Twitter said no violation of rules. Diaper change time."
Clarke abruptly resigned as Milwaukee County sheriff last August amid an investigation into the death of a man who died of thirst in the county jail. He was the nation’s most notorious lawman. On fringe-right media, he was a popular guest for sharing racist, nationalist views in colorfully vulgar language that had great appeal for Donald Trump supporters.
Despite Clarke's abrupt departure, he'll receive pension payments of more than $100,000 annually from Milwaukee County and city, according to investigative journalist Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Bice reported that Clarke made $132,290 a year during his final years in office, while simultaneously earning large fees on the right-wing speaking circuit, including on Fox News. His speaking engagements are expected to continue in his new job.
During his time in office, Clarke was a lightning rod for controversy. He frequently collided verbally with Wisconsin officials and flouted his duties for attention. When his office’s budget was cut, he went on the air and urged Milwaukee County citizens to arm themselves and become vigilantes to aid his deputies, who primarily police state highways and county parks.
He ran on the Democratic ticket, even though he supported right-wing ideology and candidates, including Donald Trump. He was a featured speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Although he expected to be rewarded with a job in Homeland Security following Trump’s election, Clarke was given a position with America First Action, a PAC whose goal is to elect Republican candidates who support the Trump administration.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with information about Clarke's pension arrangement.]