After Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett blasted Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke for “fighting crime” on cable television, Clarke responded by threatening physical violence.
Crooks and Liars has the context for Barrett’s criticism:
There is a growing concern among Wisconsin Democrats that Sheriff David Clarke is being groomed to run against US Senator Tammy Baldwin in 2018. Apparently, they felt it was time to send a clear message to Clarke regarding their feelings about this.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week, Barrett criticized Clarke for trying to use his force as, essentially, immigration enforcement agents.
“I want my police officers to go after dangerous people,” Barrett said, and not make them spend hours in a detention center because “a 25-year old guy who moved to Milwaukee when he was eight years old from Mexico” has a busted headlight.
Then Barrett went for the jugular:
BARRETT: I’ve had this job for nearly 13 years. I have never once, never once seen Sheriff Clarke at a crime scene.
I think he’s got a great gig going right now. He’s fighting crime one conservative cable TV show at a time. He’s made a great name for himself, I think, as the darling of the conservative cable network. I think he can make a ton of money doing that.”
Clarke responded on Facebook. First, he referenced a time Barrett got beaten severely while trying to protect a grandmother and her 1-year-old. Then Clarke made his threat.
"The last time Tom Barrett showed up at a crime scene he got his ass kicked by a drunk, tire-iron-wielding man who beat him within inches of his life. The milquetoast mayor trying to play cop foolishly thought he could simply talk the man who beat him senseless into backing down. Bet he won’t try that again!
Whoever told Barrett it was a good idea to come out of hiding and take shots at me gave him some bad advice. I will give Tom Mr. Peepers' Barrett this much credit however - he would know what a crime scene looks like because Milwaukee is full of them. If you had to call for help, who would you rather see show up, me or timid Tom? Time to crawl back into your hole Tom, unless you want some more of this because I have some.”
Despite his tough talk, Crooks and Liars notes a time that Clarke completely botched his handling of a crime scene when he tried to help a drunk driver with a suspended license get unstuck from a snow bank and back on the road.
By the way, Clarke's threat against the mayor has not kept him from friendly appearances on Fox.
Watch Barrett enrage Clarke below, in a March 15 2017 interview, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Without bias, this was a childish display by Clarke, and he’s becoming known for his childish displays. If he wants to be an effective Sheriff for Milwaukee, it might serve him better to act like an adult. It also might serve the people of Milwaukee better. I would also recommend that he publicly answer for the four people who died at the Milwaukee County Jail in 2016, including Terril Thomas, whose family has filed a major civil lawsuit for wrongful death against Clarke.
Really, Sheriff? Then, perhaps you should be doing something about that, instead of appearing on Fox wearing your uniform or a funny hat . . .
I expect to hear a humble and public apology from Clarke, and I expect to hear that he is being suspended as soon as possible for this. If this does not happen, we must wonder about whether Clarke or the Right truly believe in any ethical standards in society.
If the Montgomery County Sheriff were to threaten the Mayor of Montgomery as Clarke did, that Sheriff would be out on his ass.