Saturday, May 2, 2015

Call 911, honey, and I'll put on the popcorn.

Steve M brings to our attention the case of Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, who
declared the charges brought against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray “George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again” and said “these cops are political prisoners,” offered up as human sacrifices, thrown like red meat to an angry mob” on Friday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
The name sounded familiar, and, sure enough, I had run across him before, in January 2013. And because he is such a piece of work, and also a possible mayoral candidate, I thought I'd run this post again.

"Mickey Clarke". Image from Milwaukee County First.
Sometimes you run across a character so compelling that you just don't want to let him go, as in the case of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, via ThinkProgress:
I’m Sheriff David Clarke, and I want to talk to you about something personal…your safety. It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game, but are you ready?

With officers laid-off and furloughed, simply calling 9-1-1 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?
I must say I kind of like the idea of my safety as a spectator sport. Could I get a beer? Who did the national anthem? Were there special days when everybody got a free towel? Alas, no more, according to Sheriff Clarke, an African American Rush Limbaugh Democrat, if you know what I mean, and no, neither do I:
He said he could either whine about budget cuts that forced him to lay off 48 deputies last year or he could get creative.
My first thought was, no law enforcement officer wants his entire population sleeping with guns under the bed: this is a stunt to make a case for higher taxes. But tax issues don't seem to be the reasons for the cut:
With his 2012 budget, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele proposed to cut more than $14 million and 240 positions from thesheriff’s office -- cuts larger than for any other county department.

His rationale?

When it comes to crime fighting, Abele essentially said, the sheriff’s office doesn’t do much.

"By statute and by practice, the sheriff plays only a limited role as a traditional law enforcement agency," Abele said in his budget remarks to the County Board on Sept. 29, 2011.

"For example, in 2009 the sheriff reported only 12 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,000 for the City of Milwaukee and 3,200 for West Allis, and even 242 for the UWM Police Department."


The sheriff’s department, covering the entire county, reported far fewer crimes to the FBI than the campus police at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee?
Politifact rates this only half true, as the sheriff's department actually reported 19 crimes in 2009, not to mention making well over a thousand arrests for offenses that were not crimes, mainly OWI and disorderly conduct. But then Politifact would rate it half true if you said the sun rises in the east, since this is not the case at the North and South Poles, at least if you were a Democrat.
Uncredited photo via the sheriff's admirers at
Sheriff Clarke is truly devoted to guns, with a passion that sometimes gets him into trouble, as in last summer, when he up and purchased 565 Glock pistols for what I am pretty sure is fewer than 400 officers, for $75,000. County supervisor John Weishan criticized the move:
“This excessive buy indicates total mismanagement of taxpayer dollars on the part of Sheriff Clarke,” said Supervisor Weishan. “A responsible leader would have purchased smaller amounts of weapons at reasonable intervals during the past several years.”
Clarke responded as follows:
“Apparently this partisan hack has pulled his head out of his ass once again to say something stupid. The next time little boy Weishan says something intelligent or accurate will be the first. This is the same idiot who recently diminished the danger of law enforcement work several weeks before one of my officers lost his life in the line of duty. He would do Milwaukee County good by crawling back into his hole.” 
I must say diminishing the danger of law enforcement work sounds like a good thing to me. In any event, reporter Chris Liebenthal goes on to note that the tragic death of Deputy Sergio Aleman would not have been prevented by any number of Glocks, since he was killed in a traffic accident. Liebenthal earned himself an anonymous comment:
This is the most poorly written article I have ever read. By all means, if you actually believe the garbage you are posting, run for sheriff yourself. This article does not even dignify a response, but I found it necessary to let the writer know how little intelligence he really has. Please save yourself the embarrassment by finding a new profession as this writing gig is clearly not working for you.
Hmm. You think the one who talks about diminishing danger and the one who talks about dignifying responses could be related in some way? And could they both be related to Donald Trump?

Oh, and the reason for the mouse ears in the picture: As you know, under the national asset forfeiture program, property seized by federal authorities in connection with drug and other crimes is shared out to state and local law enforcement agencies, Clarke's office having received upwards of $800,000 since 2008, to compensate victims and deter crime. Some of Clarke's charges in the program are $11,400 in workout equipment for his command staff, $8,200 for nine flat-screen televisions for the same officers, and $24,900 for 50 employees to be trained in Disney's Approach to Business Excellence with Disney Destinations, LLC, to improve the department's "customer service". I trust they'll start referring to the deputies, prison guards, etc. as "cast members".
Image from the Disney Parks Blog.


  1. I had been worried that there would be a zany law enforcement (sic) officer sized hole in my worldview should Sheriff Arpaio ever vacate the stage--and yet this person seems promising. As a person who should be watched.

    1. What I was thinking. He doesn't seem to do as much direct harm as Arpaio, but he's got ambitions that way: