It is far easier for newspaper reporters, cable news hosts and politicians to write and talk about crime from the safety and security of their offices, studios and cocoon of Secret Service protection than for the men and women who get up every day and put on the blue and the badge to patrol American cities.
So, it comes as no surprise that New York’s liberal Daily News the largest law enforcement union in New York City was enraged when the city’s largest police officers’ union chose a black conservative as its Man of the Year.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke ignored the reaction of the liberal paper and said he was “humbled and honored to receive the award.”
“I accept this award on behalf of every law enforcement officer who serves and protects their community with integrity, honor, courage and commitment throughout the United States.”
The Daily News called Clarke “one of the nation’s most divisive law enforcement figures,” no easy accomplishment in the atmosphere of hostility toward law enforcement fostered during the Obama administration.
The 24-year veteran of law enforcement who started as a patrol cop as he earned a degree in Criminal Justice, and moved up the ranks as a homicide detective, has been Sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002.
Clarke, who has endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, has been critical not only of Black Lives Matter, referring to it as “Black Lies Matter,” but also of President Obama’s first Attorney General, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and Beyoncé’s after her pro-Black Panthers anti-law enforcement half-time performance of at the Super Bowl.
And it is just that fearless support for law enforcement at a time when the president has openly criticized police in highly publicized incidents like the Henry Gates arrest in the first months of Obama’s first term, and others in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, that has made him a hero to officers throughout the country.
“Sheriff Clarke is a passionate and vocal defender of police officers, at a time when our job is more difficult and dangerous than ever before,” association President Patrick Lynch said.
Lynch went on to say that “elected leaders in both parties at all levels of government” should follow his example.