Milwaukee's Sheriff Clarke: 'Stop Trying to Fix the Police -- Fix the Ghetto'

By Zachary Leshin and Michael W. Chapman | September 1, 2015 | 3:09pm EDT

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. 



( -- Milwaukee County Sherriff David A. Clarke Jr. criticized the idea that President Barack Obama’s call for reforming the police is helping law enforcement and is instead weakening “the institution of policing,” adding that the solution is to “fix the ghetto” and stop trying to “fix the police.”

Sheriff Clarke made his remarks during an interview with Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade on Monday, who launched the discussion by talking about the execution-style killing of a deputy sheriff in Texas last Friday; the suspected killer, a 30-year-old black male, was arrested and charged with “capital murder” in that crime on Saturday. 

When asked for his reaction, Sheriff Clarke said the headline should be “Black Man Shoots White Defenseless Police Officer” because, he continued, “I get sick and tired when it’s the other way around, when an officer defends his life, they always point out that it’s a white officer shooting an unarmed black suspect.”

“Look, President Obama has breathed life into this ugly movement,” said Clarke. “And it is time now for good, law-abiding Americans to rise up, like they did in Houston around that Chevron station [where the deputy sheriff was murdered], an outpouring.”

“But it just can’t be symbolic,” said the sheriff. “We now have to counter this slime, this filth coming out of these cop-haters.”

When host Brian Kilmeade said that some observers say no, because President Obama “shed light on a problem,” Sheriff Clarke said,  “That is a lie. President Obama didn't shed light on anything. This is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the institution of policing.”

“If there's anything that needs to be straightened out in this country, it is the subculture that has risen out of the underclass in the American Ghetto,” said Clarke.  

“Fix the ghetto and then you'll see a lesser need for assertive police officers or policing in these areas, and then you'll see less confrontation,” he said.  

“Stop trying to fix the police -- fix the ghetto!” said Sheriff Clarke.

David A. Clarke Jr. (b. 1956) was elected as a Democrat to four-year terms as Milwaukee County Sheriff in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Clarke came to national prominence in 2013 following a series of public service announcements on the radio where he called upon law-abiding citizens to consider arming themselves for personal protection. 

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