Sheriff Clarke Lauds ‘Very Presidential’ Statement On White Nationalist Rally

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, one of the nation’s most controversial law enforcement officials, on Saturday praised President Donald Trump for not taking “sides” in his response to violence at a white nationalist rally.

Clarke said he was “proud” of Trump’s statement, in which the President did not condemn white supremacy.

“Very Presidential,” Clarke tweeted. “Didn’t take sides like Obama in Ferguson riot.”

James Alex Fields, Jr. was charged on Saturday with second-degree murder and other counts after he rammed a car into a crowd of protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring dozens of people.

Trump on Saturday did not condemn white supremacy in his response to the violence. He instead called the clashes an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Protests broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

Clarke has run into legal trouble for his own tenure in law enforcement and the way he has run the prisons in Milwaukee County. In May, a jury recommended charges against seven jail officials after an inmate died of dehydration when the officials cut off his access to water. Another inmate sued Clarke in March for keeping her shackled during childbirth in 2013.

The Associated Press reported in March that four people died in the jail run by Clarke last year, including one newborn child.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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