Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who frequently stumped for President-elect Donald J. Trump on the campaign trail, defended himself against allegations he abused his power Thursday, insisting he “reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.”
The statement was in response to a complaint filed Tuesday by Dan Black, who said the sheriff interrogated him and treated him “like a criminal” at the Mitchell International Airport after Black shook his head at Clarke.
“I see him. He’s a Milwaukee official. He’s flying back to Milwaukee on the big game day. He’s wearing Cowboys gear. I’m surprised I’m the only one who noticed or said anything to him,” Black said.
According to Black, the sheriff recruited several deputies and two K-9 dogs at the airport to sort him to a waiting area and out of the airport.
Thursday, Clarke insisted Black was in the wrong, penning a Facebook post defending himself against the complaint. “Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out. The Sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault,” Clarke wrote in a statement.
Milwaukee County Executive Director of Communications Melissa Baldauff said she was aware of the complaint, which will be forwarded to the ethics board for review.
“Civility, decency and respect, that’s the bare minimum,” she said later adding, “It is upsetting that the sheriff would be using his taxpayer-funded social media account to make a preemptive threat of violence against a private citizen.”