Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sykes says jail deaths story would explode...

...should Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke be appointed to a major position by President-elect Donald Trump, perhaps as Homeland Security Secretary.

As others have pointed out, conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes said on his 620 WTMJ-AM program mid-morning today that Clarke could not get away at a confirmation hearing with declining to provide information about the jail deaths - - four in recent months - - as the Sheriff has to date with local media and even with the families of the deceased.

David Clarke by Gage Skidmore.jpg
The Washington Post only yesterday tossed potential Clarke nomination reviewers some red meat, so, in a sense, the story which Sykes said would explode is already burning brightly:
After all, Trump’s candidacy attracted other cartoonish law enforcement figures like Clarke, such as Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the latter now blessedly entering retirement thanks to the voters of Maricopa County. Arpaio was like a walking bingo card from the fever swamps, a birther and immigration hard-liner who faced criminal contempt charges for defying federal court orders to halt discriminatory policing practices aimed at Latinos. Cases involving Arpaio and his office cost taxpayers more than $142 million as of 2015, with some of those cases involving the arrest of journalists who had written about the sheriff and deaths in his jails. 
He has that last bit, among other things, in common with Clarke. 
The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that four people, including a newborn baby, have died in Clarke’s Milwaukee County Jail since April, prompting a visit from a court-appointed medical monitor. During that same period, Clarke was making regular appearances on Fox News, where he was becoming a star by denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement and defending police officers, and delivering a crowd-pleasing speech at the Republican National Convention, in which he celebrated the news that a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray had been acquitted.
I also see a major story about the jail deaths posted today on The Daily Beast website.

Sykes and Clarke have been allies, but not apparently right now with Sykes still #NeverTrump and Clarke perhaps in line for a Trump appointment after campaigning hard for Trump on the stump and often on Fox News.

Stonewalling about four deaths on one's watch - - including a new born child and a death by severe dehydration ruled officially a homicide because jail staffers shut off the water in a victim's cell  - - while seeking a job that comes with the highest levels of media scrutiny and administrative responsibilities imaginable looks like a losing job search strategy to me.

Granted, Trump is going out of his way to reward people who supported him when his candidacy was not taken seriously - - and Clarke meets that test - - so Trump may give Clarke the position or find one that does not require Senate confirmation or which comes without such visibility and power.

We'll see, and soon.


Anonymous said...

The Sheriff has only a few duties, and keeping inmates alive is surely one of them. Why this hasn't been an issue until now is mind boggling.

Sue said...

Clarke, like Scott Walker, won't realize that he has to answer questions until he gets out of Wisconsin. Then, like Scott Walker, his surprise at such an intrusion by the press will embarrass us all.
Plus, I assume confirmation hearings will be a lovefest only on the Republican side. Hopefully a Democrat or two will be allowed to ask a question.