Milwaukee sheriff at RNC: ‘Blue lives matter’
By NICK GASS 07/18/16
Donald Trump understands what it will take to make the United States safe again, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said in his speech Monday night before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Invoking Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 writing about the “the interrelatedness of all communities and states” and about our “inescapable network of mutuality, tying us in a single garment of destiny,” Clarke remarked that events in recent years in Ferguson, Missouri; in Baltimore; and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have shown a “collapse of social order.”
“He spoke of the basic morality of the rule of law, provided that it is applied equally to both the wealthy and the impoverished; both men and women, and yes, the majority and the minority,” Clarke said, according to his prepared remarks, beginning by declaring, “Blue Lives Matter!”
Clarke also departed from his prepared remarks to celebrate Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice’s acquittal of all charges in the case of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. Clarke called the legal inquiry into Rice’s conduct the work of a “malicious” prosecutor.
Many of the actions of the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements “transcend peaceful protest and “violates the code of conduct we rely on,” Clarke said. “I call it anarchy.”
“These are truths that are self-evident to me, and which I practice, and they are the truths that Donald Trump understands and supports. Donald Trump is the steadfast leader our nation needs,” Clarke said.
Trump, Clarke said, “has spoken passionately to me of his belief in our American system of justice, and he speaks to the values that are at the foundation of our social contract.”
“Throughout his campaign and over many years before he has consistently and constantly raised his voice not only in defense of the character of the American police officer, but the need for all people to feel they are being treated fairly and respectfully by law enforcement,” Clarke continued.
Clarke has made a name for himself in the media, with frequent appearances and outspoken criticism of President Barack Obama and Democratic policies.
Responding to a POLITICO story previewing Obama’s address in Dallas memorializing five slain police officers, Clarke wrote on Twitter that the president “poured salt on an open wound.”
Clarke accused both Obama and Hillary Clinton of fueling “misplaced anger” by African-Americans at law enforcement officers earlier this month after the Dallas shooting.
Hitting the presumptive Democratic nominee again on Monday, Clarke said that Trump “understands that what can make our nation safe again is a recommitment to a system of justice in which no government official, not even those who have fought their way to the marble and granite halls of Washington; no private citizen, not even Hillary Clinton; and no group of people, despite the fervor with which they press forward their grievances, can claim privilege above the law.”