Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke takes job with Homeland Security

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 18, 2017

"For the County I love and am privileged to serve, I am genuinely excited about the prospect of a Sheriff I can work with to find evidence-based solutions that will improve public safety and safely reduce our jail population, and who actually cares about addressing the indefensible racial disparities that everyone in Milwaukee should have as their first priority".

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California called Clarke's appointment "a disgrace".

Former DHS official Juliette Kayyem said that she held Clarke's position in the Obama administration said on Twitter, "I am floored". However, in a tweet shortly after his announcement, DHS appeared to distance itself from Clarke.

Clarke also said the position would be in the "office of Partnership and Programs" at the DHS.

Homeland Security did not confirm his statement, saying it's up to Secretary John F. Kelly to make those appointments. He was one of few African-American speakers to endorse Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Clarke's announcement comes just two weeks after an inquest into Thomas' death recommended criminal charges against as many as seven staffers.

Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents police chiefs from the country's largest cities, said Sheriff Clarke's ideas "don't match exactly with the chiefs in the major cities".

The arch-reactionary sheriff earned the adoration of police officers across the US for his "Blue Lives Matter" speech at last year's Republican National Convention, where he invoked Martin Luther King, Jr. while advocating for the granting of unlimited impunity to the police.

Three other people died at the jail in the following months, which Clarke dismissed as "fake news".

In the radio interview, Sheriff Clarke said his experience on the local level will allow him to relay the concerns of law enforcement to the federal government.

"I will be a liaison with state and local government with the private sector", Clarke added.

"One of the things I've heard in speaking to several of those entities is they feel they're being ignored, and part of it is because this is a massive bureaucracy", he said. "The process for naming a replacement does not begin until a formal resignation letter is received", said Tom Evenson, Gov. Scott Walker's Office.

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