Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke rushed to condemn the demonstrations following the fatal shooting of Keith Scott by police, Media Matters reported on Wednesday.
“We saw a primitive behavior on display, at best primitive behavior,” Clarke told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto. “At worst, you saw subhuman behavior as people just reacted to circumstances, rioting, looting, it’s not a socially acceptable response to people’s frustration and what they may not know.”
Scott was shot and killed on Tuesday following an encounter with Charlotte police officers who were seeking another person with outstanding warrants.
WSOC-TV reported that Officer Brentley Vinson, who committed the shooting, was not wearing a body camera when he killed Scott. Officials did say, however, that dashcam footage confirms their allegation that Scott approached officers with a gun in his hand. Scott’s relatives have argued that he was actually holding a book while waiting for his children’s school bus.
Neither Clarke nor Cavuto mentioned that North Carolina is an open-carry state. However, Clarke — who argued last year that “there is no police brutality” in the US — said that he was “disturbed” that while 12 officers were injured during the unrest in the city on Wednesday night, that no demonstrators were listed as “casualties.”
“You cannot put law enforcement officers in harm’s way if you’re not going to allow them to use all reasonable force to defend themselves and protect life and property,” he said. “Not minimum force, not minimum force, not deescalation, all reasonable force.”
Clarke’s appearance came a day after The Influence reported that Terrill Thomas, a prisoner in Milwaukee County Jail — which is under his supervision — died after being denied water for six days. Clarke has not commented on Thomas’ death, which has been ruled a homicide.
Watch footage from the interview, as posted by Media Matters on Wednesday, below.