In Heated Interview, Sheriff Blames Black Lives Matter For Police Shootings

Invited on air to discuss a gunman’s shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, a controversial Wisconsin sheriff spent over ten minutes railing against Black Lives Matter as a “hateful ideology.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke repeatedly asserted during the tense Sunday night interview with CNN’s Don Lemon that shooter Gavin Long, who was black, was motivated by the anti-police brutality movement.

“My message has been clear from day one two years ago. This anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called Black Lives Matter has fueled this rage against the American police officer. I predicted this two years ago,” Clarke said.

“Do you know that this was because of that?” Lemon asked.

“Yes, I do,” Clarke replied.

There has been no evidence so far that Long, a former Marine, was affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

Lemon repeatedly urged Clarke to “keep the vibe down” and strike a note of “civility” during the contentious back and forth, but Clarke maintained that the CNN host was siding with those who have condemned racialized violence against black Americans.

Lemon said Clarke’s premise was “wrong” when he asked whether Lemon thought that all American law enforcement officers were racist.

“This whole anti-police rhetoric is based on a lie,” Clarke replied. “There is no data, and you know this, there is no data, there is no research that proves any of that nonsense. None.”

“You have to be more specific about what data and what nonsense you’re talking about,” Lemon said.

“That law enforcement officers treat black males different than white males in policing in these urban centers,” Clarke said.

“There is data that supports that,” Lemon shot back.

“There is not data,” Clark insisted.

Studies commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and Washington Post, among others, have confirmed that drivers of color are stopped more often than white drivers and that black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to be killed by police.

Clarke equated Black Lives Matter with “the KKK” and said that the group taught “vitriol in the name of virtue.”

“This has fueled and fanned the flames of this anger toward the American police officer,” he said. “There’s only one group in America—one, Don—that truly cares about the lives of black people in the urban ghetto, and it’s the American police officer, who goes out there on a daily basis, to put their lives on the line to protect who? Black people.”

Lemon cut the interview off soon after.

Clarke is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday for an evening devoted to the theme “Make America Safe Again.”

He is known for making inflammatory comments about race, such as his assertion that African Americans deal drugs because they are “lazy” and “morally bankrupt.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: