Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Open Letter To Sheriff David Clarke: Grow Up!

Sheriff Clarke’s actions are bullyish, and it’s time he recognize who’s really throwing a tantrum over his latest controversy

To: Sheriff David Clarke

The badge you wear, the position you currently hold, is one of honor. Members of the law enforcement community deserve our utmost respect, for they put their lives on the line every day to ensure that our communities are safe places to reside in. Those who serve in leadership roles within law enforcement, who give officers the direction and inspiration to serve day-in and day-out, similarly deserve to be recognized for their valor.

Sadly, you dishonor your position with your petty actions and narcissistic attitudes, utilizing aspects of your office to further your own selfish needs. I can think of a plethora of examples – one particular incident comes to mind when you blatantly suggested that Republicans should use terrorist events in Paris to further their political aims – but your latest action exemplifies exactly why you are unfit to serve as sheriff any longer, much less hold any position within the law enforcement for fear of further abusing your position of power.

If media reports are to be believed, you used intimidation tactics against a citizen of Milwaukee County following a recent plane ride the two of you shared. Sheriff deputies, acting under your orders, allegedly detained and questioned this individual and escorted him out of the airport following an “altercation” the two of you had on the plane.

That “altercation,” according to reports, was simply the man shaking his head when he discovered he was on the plane on you.

Did that warrant harassment? Most would argue it did not.

But let’s presume that these events were imaginary. Let’s presume this man made up the story – a generous presumption indeed, since you haven’t yet denied it having occurred. Even if we allow that presumption to be granted, it’s not just these actions that warrant concern. Your actions IN THE AFTERMATH of this alleged incident are equally reprehensible.

Following news reports of what this man has claimed, your office released the following statement: “Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out,” adding, “The sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.”

This apparently wasn’t enough for you, however, because the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page later put out a meme deriding the man as a “snowflake” and saying he was throwing a tantrum.

But there is clearly a misunderstanding here – it is you who is throwing a tantrum. It is you who is insisting that this man be continually harassed.

It is frightening to what extent you are willing to go to in order to make yourself seem relevant in this situation, to make yourself seem “the victor” when it comes to how you come out of this. More disturbing, your vindictive pursuit of intimidation is putting on full display the true nature of your character, which is indisputably that of a bully.

In closing, Sheriff Clarke, I have a simple message for you. You, sir, are the snowflake. You are the one demanding special attention to yourself. You are the one behaving like a fool, and you are the one who is in the wrong.

The solution to all of this is to own your mistake, to accept responsibility for your actions. Apologize at once, and show that you’re capable of displaying a pinch of humility, and with that some semblance of humanity.

As a former resident of Milwaukee, I am still proud of the city and the surrounding communities that make up the county as a whole. Your actions, however, are embarrassing. Do yourself a favor, and do Milwaukee County a tremendous amount of service, and GROW UP already. Better yet, RESIGN.

Your behavior would not be tolerable in a third grade classroom. And it’s far past time that you recognize just how childish you’ve been.


Chris Walker

1 comment:

  1. Why are you being so lazy, Chris? Your entire screed against Clarke is predicated on qualifiers: "If media reports are to be believed" (always a dicey proposition), "according to reports" and the like. Do so follow up and get some original information, as in make some 'phone calls, talk to the detained individual.

    You have a pulpit, use it honestly.