Tag Archives: milwaukee county sheriff

State rep. wants Clarke removed from sheriff’s office

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.

Sincerely,

Representative David Crowley

Also see: Sheriff David Clarke has cost taxpayers over $400,000 for lawsuits

 

2-year-olds involved in fatal shootings twice in one week

A Milwaukee mother of three was shot and killed by her 2-year-old son yesterday morning while driving on U.S. 41/Highway 175 near Miller Park.

Antonio Price said investigators told him that his sister Patrice Price was driving with her two sons, ages 1 and 2, in the backseat when she was shot. Price said investigators told him the older boy fired the gun.

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office, the child shot his mother in the back with a 40-caliber firearm that slid out from under the driver’s seat.

Price said his sister was a great mother and always gave him good advice.

The woman’s father, Andre Price, said his daughter was driving her boyfriend’s car when she was shot. He said his daughter was a hardworking mother of three.

Price says he has not been allowed to see his daughter and that he wants to hold her one last time.

Twice in one week

The shooting occurred just a week after a 2-year-old Indianapolis boy took a gun from his mother’s purse on the kitchen counter when she wasn’t watching, then shot and killed himself with it.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers found the child with a single gunshot wound when they arrived at the home around 9 p.m. on April 21. The child died at a children’s hospital.

Police said the mother and child were the only people at home when the shooting happened.

Accidental gun deaths involving children have become a major problem in the U.S.

Last year, about 265 children under 18 shot someone by accident, and 83 of those shootings were fatal, according to research compiled by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Forty-one of those deaths involved the shooters themselves, and most of the shootings involved toddlers or teens playing with the weapons.

Nearly 1.7 million children live in households where guns are stored either loaded or not locked away, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The center  publishes a 0-100 score rating each state’s strictness of firearm laws, with 100 being the strictest. Wisconsin’s score is 25, compared with a score of 2 for Kansas and 93.5 for California.

Wisconsin gun safety

Wisconsin state Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, introduced four bills early this year related to firearm safety, including a bill that would have required a gun owner to store firearms in a locked container or have a locking device engaged if there is a child living in the residence or if a child is present in the home.

All four bills were sent to the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, where Republican leaders, who are heavily subsidized by the National Rifle Association, refused to allow a hearing on them.

Judge orders Milwaukee County Sheriff to turn over records to immigrant rights group

Judge David Borowski on June 3 ordered Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. to provide un-redacted information about people his department turned over to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

The order was made in an open records lawsuit filed by Voces de la Frontera.

And, according to the immigrant rights group, Clarke must respond to the order within 48 hours.

Borowoski, according to Voces, cited Wisconsin’s long history of government in the sunshine, with blue-sky laws that favor citizens’ ability to review the actions of government officials.

Voces de la Frontera filed an open records request with the sheriff’s office in February. The group was seeking copies of forms I-247s from ICE asking local jails to hold people otherwise set for release for possible deportation. Voces said the program, Secure Communities, was ended by the Department of Homeland Security’s security last fall.

The sheriff’s office did not turn over the forms promptly. And, when Voces challenged the department, it received records with critical information redacted. Voces said that information would have shown whether the sheriff was complying with new enforcement policies.

“So many people get detained and placed in deportation and no one knows about it,” said Antonio Ávila, a Voces de la Frontera member. “Now we will know who these people are, we will be able to contact them to support them and their families, and to help them fight their deportation. As an immigrant I feel safer now.”

“This is a victory for the people of Wisconsin and immigrant families in particular,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera. “For too long, Sheriff Clarke has shown a glaring disregard for the rights and dignity of immigrant families in our community. He will no longer be able to carry out what have been up to now secret deportations without community oversight and accountability. This information is part of our civil rights organizing to hold Sheriff Clarke accountable to the rights of immigrants, identify and reach out to individuals impacted by these laws to bring their story to light and fight their deportation, and go to court if necessary.”

She continued,  “This type of community oversight should expand to other counties in Wisconsin. We believe that Immigration should not be entangled with local law enforcement because it violates people’s civil rights and discourages immigrants from reporting crimes,” continued Neumann-Ortiz. “Even so, we know there will be further changes under these new national enforcement priorities, and immigrant community organizations need to have a voice at the table when local law enforcement meets with ICE about these changes.”

Time for Milwaukee’s cowboy sheriff to mozy

If you’re a progressive LGBT voter or ally looking for a candidate to enthusiastically support in the Democratic primary for Milwaukee County sheriff, you’re out of luck.

Incumbent Dave Clarke and his challenger, MPD Lt. Chris Moews, both say they support basic civil rights for LGBT people. But neither makes a strong case for that position, and during our interviews it was obvious that neither has given our community much thought beyond how to leverage it for votes. Moews, however, proved more conversant about our issues.

Clarke and Moews both describe themselves as men of faith and oppose a woman’s freedom to decide when and under what circumstances she bears a child. But Clarke has taken his religious faith into the workplace in inappropriate ways (one such foray resulted in a lawsuit), while Moews seems to understand that his personal beliefs have no place in administering a public office.

So, looking at this race strictly along the lines of progressive ideology and LGBT equality, we’d give only an edge to Moews. Looking at the race more broadly, however, we feel it’s important to support him.

Why? Despite that cowboy hat he’s so fond of wearing, Clarke has the intelligence, academic background and professional experience to lead a law-enforcement agency. But he clearly lacks the temperament and political skills of an effective leader.

Clarke has an embarrassing record of berating and retaliating against those under his command who dare to disagree with him. He’s arrogant and abrasive, going so far as to ignore court- and arbitrator-ordered actions.

An unsuccessful mayoral candidate in the past, Clarke seems to focus his efforts as sheriff on gimmicks designed to benefit him politically rather than on smart policies to serve the public. Despite running on the Democratic ticket, he has fueled the party’s resentment by aligning himself with the Tea Party movement. Milwaukee County Democrats made the unusual move of endorsing Moews in the Sept. 14 primary.

Moews appears to be everything that Clarke isn’t – a team player who’s respected and admired by his colleagues. Moews’ quiet circumspection is a welcome contrast to Clarke’s shrill bravado.

Moews has an impressively diverse resume that includes the kind of street experience most needed by a law-enforcement commander. But most importantly he understands that success as sheriff depends on the ability to motivate and inspire, and that’s a memo that Clarke obviously hasn’t received.