Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett mocked Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. as an absentee sheriff focused on his conservative television career instead of public safety.Clarke offered a surprisingly tame response to Barrett's comments.
"I think he's got a great gig going right now. He's fightin' crime one conservative cable TV show at a time," Barrett said Wednesday during an interview with Wisconsin Eye and the Journal Sentinel. "He's made a great name for himself, I think, as the darling of the conservative cable network. I think he can make a ton of money doing that."
Well, he was at first, anyway.
On Friday, perhaps after celebrating with a few green beers, Clarke took to the official Facebook page of the Sheriff's Office to have his tantrum:
Comment from Sheriff Clarke in response to Barrett’s recent remarks about the sheriff:The incident with Barrett that Clarke is referring to is the one in which Barrett came upon a man that was threatening his ex-girlfriend's mother, who was shielding his own son from him. Barrett intervened immediately and even broke his hand punching the drunken bully in the face.
“The last time Tom Barrett showed up at a crime scene he got his ass kicked by a drunk, tire-iron-wielding man who beat him within inches of his life. The milquetoast mayor trying to play cop foolishly thought he could simply talk the man who beat him senseless into backing down. Bet he won't try that again!
Timid Tom should leave policing to the professionals like me, and stick to coming up with a plan to reduce the violence, carjackings, random shootings that leave children dead, and the burglary ring currently plaguing the north side of Milwaukee. After that, he can come up with an action plan to reduce Milwaukee's growing poverty, failing schools, infant mortality rate and joblessness.
All of these urban pathologies have occurred under his watch. Former Mayor John Norquist handed him a pretty good city. Barrett has Milwaukee circling the drain with no end in sight. The only plan he has is to ask for more money, blame guns, and blame Gov. Walker and the GOP in Madison. Whoever told Barrett it was a good idea to come out of hiding and take shots at me gave him some bad advice. I will give Tom "Mr. Peepers" Barrett this much credit however - he would know what a crime scene looks like because Milwaukee is full of them. If you had to call for help, who would you rather see show up, me or timid Tom? Time to crawl back into your hole Tom, unless you want some more of this because I have some.”
Barrett's office replied that Clarke was hitting a new low:
Patrick Curley, chief of staff to Barrett, said the sheriff had crossed a line with his Facebook post.Clarke would have been much better to keep his big mouth shut.
“To dismiss and to minimize the actions the mayor took to protect the lives of a woman and child is unconscionable and a sad and true reflection of the sheriff himself," Curley said. "David Clarke can find no new lows, no new depths to sink to.”
Clarke, who rarely goes even to the bathroom with a small platoon of deputies to act as bodyguards and babysitters, doesn't know what to do when he comes across a crime scene.
In 2008, Clarke found a drunk driver stuck in a snow bank. Instead of arresting the guy, Clarke proceeded to try to help the drunk driver get unstuck. It wasn't until a deputy showed up that any real law enforcement took place:
Clarke, the first cop at the scene, instantly moved into helper mode. First, he tried to push and then pull Allen's vehicle out of the snow bank. But even with the help of another motorist, Clarke couldn't get Allen and his Ford Taurus back on the road.Clarke then refused to do his duty by writing a report on the incident. Furthermore, he went on to discipline the deputy for making him look bad because he didn't know what to do with a drunk driver.
That's when the second officer arrived.
Deputy Sandra Santoro did what any good cop should have done from the start.
Santoro ran a check on the driver and found that his license was suspended. She then sized up Allen, noticing his eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that he reeked of alcohol. Visible inside his car were two empty beer bottles, one empty beer can and an open beer can, still three-quarters full.
"I'm not gonna lie to you," Allen told Santoro, according to her police report. "I was drinking. I had a few beers. I knew I was busted when you guys came.
"I almost got away with it."
As it turned out, Allen's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. The 43-year-old driver later pleaded no contest to drunken driving, agreeing to pay a $764 fine.
Before Clarke gets on any more squawk shows, maybe he should go back and take some remedial law enforcement classes. Then maybe, just maybe, spend some time in Milwaukee doing his job.
On second thought, it would be better overall just to vote him out next year. Then he can going on ranting to his heart's content.