Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a thin-skinned conservative provocateur who likes to dress up as a cowboy, is close to landing a job in the Trump administration, Politico reports. The controversial lawman is in line for an appointment to serve as assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Partnership and Engagement.
In that role, Clarke would serve as DHS’s liaison between state and local police forces, and while the prospect of him working for the federal government will make some want to puke, at least it would mean he’s no longer in charge of a jail where four people died last year.
Among those to lose their lives in the Milwaukee County jail since last April were a newborn baby and Terrill Thomas, who died of “profound dehydration.” Earlier this week prosecutors began an inquest into Thomas’s April 2016 death. After two days in the jail’s special-needs unit, the 38-year-old, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was placed in solitary confinement. Jail employees turned off the water to his cell when he arrived.
Over the course of the next week, Thomas slowly deteriorated and could be heard begging for water, inmates said. On his eighth day in solitary, he was found dead in his cell. Thomas’s family has sued in federal court alleging that he was “subjected to a form of torture” When the AP asked Clarke for comment on that suit, he replied with a statement noting the crimes Thomas was alleged to have committed before his arrest.
Clarke, who spoke at the RNC last summer, is an exuberant Trump supporter who first rose to prominence thanks to Fox News. The network used him, wrote Representative Gwen Moore, the congresswoman from Clarke’s district, because it needed “a black sheriff to give voice to the dog-whistle narratives its anchors dare not vocalize themselves.”
And he always delivered. Clarke hates Black Lives Matter, has cozied up to Alex Jones, and has little patience for those who protest the president. He also loves to bash President Obama on Twitter. Is it any wonder that Trump’s trying to find him a job in D.C.?