About a week after Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke visited the Fox News set in New York to appear on the shows “Outnumbered” and “Fox and Friends,” and before he set sail on a National Review cruise, a court-appointed medical monitor visited the jail Clarke is charged with running. From Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 ― as Clarke was calling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “Mrs. Bill Clinton” on the Kelly File, writing a blog post defending his use of that term, and tweeting that the “renowned” U.S. justice system doesn’t need reform ― Dr. Ronald Shanksy was interviewing staffers at Clarke’s Milwaukee County Jail.
Four people, including a newborn baby, have died at the Milwaukee County Jail since April. One man, a 38-year-old with mental health issues, died of “profound dehydration.” For a facility with a population cap of 960 that previously averaged a couple of deaths per year, the string of deaths is concerning. During his visit, Shanksy said he was alarmed by the “extremely large number of vacancies” at the facility, particularly for medical positions.
“Questions certainly can be raised about the occurrence of these four recent deaths and the relationship to officer shortages ... as well as the health care staffing vacancies and the adequacy of oversight of staff.”
Now Clarke may be overseeing a much larger operation. Clarke was in New York City once again this week to meet with President-elect Donald Trump. He’s reportedly in the running to take over the Department of Homeland Security, and said he would accept a Trump cabinet position if asked.
Clarke’s national profile rose a few years ago when he began making regular appearances on Fox News in late 2014 to talk about policing after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police killing of Michael Brown. Since then, he’s made a name for himself by providing a voice for those who want to believe there’s nothing wrong with our criminal justice system and to ignore America’s historic racial inequalities.
Clarke, who grew up in a white neighborhood and attended a mostly white private high school, has said African Americans sell drugs “because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt.” He calls Black Lives Matter “Black Lies Matter” and compared them to the KKK. He once claimed that “police brutality ended in the 1960s.” Clarke made an appearance in July at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where RNC delegates gave him a standing ovation as he proclaimed “Blue Lives Matter” and celebrated the acquittal of a Baltimore officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
More recently, just ahead of the election, Clarke said it was “pitchforks and torches time” and that it was time to run politicians out of Washington.