Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke, Trump Supporter, Joins Homeland Security

Cameron Gross
May 18, 2017

Prior to his appointment, Clarke vowed to turn his department into a deportation-oriented agency where hundreds of officers would be trained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the goal of detaining undocumented workers. David Clarke may actually be the scariest.

The assistant secretary position does not require Senate confirmation. "The appointment of Sheriff Clarke to a position meant to build partnership and engagement is not a decision made by someone interested in partnership or engagement".

In July 2014, Clarke and his department were the subject of a federal lawsuit that said they sought to frame a sober woman for DUI after a police deputy T-boned her auto and almost killed her. But there is no other way to describe David Clarke, who today announced that he was named assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

He went on to say he'd talk to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to "figure out a strategy to create this better liaison between the Department of Homeland Security and our state and local partners". Clarke himself was previously rumored to be under consideration for either the top DHS job or as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"Sheriff Clarke has never shown himself to be particularly interested in working well with others", said Larry Dupuis, the ACLU's legal director in Wisconsin.

Clarke, who spoke at the Republican National Convention last summer, is an outspoken critic of anti-police brutality movements like Black Lives Matter and frequently takes to social media to bolster his tough guy image. He has predicted that Black Lives Matter will "join forces with ISIS", and on multiple occasions described the group as a terror organization.

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Clarke would also be leaving office with several pending lawsuits against him, including one filed by Thomas' relatives.

A former city of Milwaukee police commander, Clarke, a Democrat, has been county sheriff since 2002 and was reelected to his fourth term in that job in 2014.

Lately, Clarke has made the news in conjunction with the story of Terrill Thomas, a mentally ill inmate in Clarke's jail who died after staff "disciplined" Thomas by shutting off water to his cell for seven days.

Clarke has also faced pushback from local activists and officials critical of his plan to enroll his sheriff's department in a controversial immigration enforcement partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

"If Sheriff Clarke were to really mess with you, you wouldn't be around to whine about it", read a post by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Other reports by BadHub

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