Andrew Johnson, writing at The Corner, provides the video of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s interview on Fox News, during which he expresses his displeasure with Eric Holder’s remarks in Ferguson.
Attorney general Eric Holder and Missouri Democratic leaders need to apologize to the law-enforcement community for impugning officers’ motives in light of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., according to one prominent county sheriff.
Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke, who gained notoriety last year for encouraging gun ownership within his Wisconsin community, said Holder, Governor Jay Nixon, and Senator Claire McCaskill made the situation in Ferguson worse with their “irresponsible, inflammatory” comments about the city’s police force and its supposed problem with race relations. Clarke argued on Fox News on Friday that the trio was “insinuating that our law-enforcement officers across the United States engage in some nefarious or systematic and cultural attempts to violate people’s civil rights.”
“I thought that was a slap in the face to every law-enforcement officer in America who puts on the badge and the uniform everyday to go out and risk their lives in service to their community,” he said.
This response wasn’t the first of its kind, nor do I expect it to be the last. In fact, one of the first questions I asked after seeing both the media and White House response to Ferguson was, Am I the only one who finds this rather insulting to the nation’s first responders in general?
The general tenor coming from the AG’s visit – abetted by far too much of the mainstream media coverage – carries two distinct layers of implications which should be offensive to those who answer the call and enter public service as police officers. One is that there is some sort of filter in place which makes sure that white cops are incapable of controlling their inherent racism and desire to stomp on minorities. The second is that all cops – of any color – are somehow carried away with a desire for power and dominance rather than justice and protection, the moment you place some tactical equipment in their hands.
For more on this perspective, be sure to check out Victor Davis Hanson’s comments today.
[D]emagogic politicians use these tragedies for political advantage — usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.
Sheriff Clarke is offended, and the rest of our law enforcement officers should be as well. Here’s the full video.