Donald Trump’s transition team is reportedly considering Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff David Clarke and outgoing Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio as possible nominees to head up the Department of Homeland Security.
Clarke has made a name for himself as a Fox News pundit and avid supporter of the gun lobby, using his platform in the media to attack Black Lives Matter, which he describes as a lawless, “subversive” and potentially ISIS-linked group composed of “black slime” that must be “eradicated,” and to champion the cause of anti-government militants, whom he praises as patriots.
When white supremacists murdered six people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee County, Clarke faced criticism for being “AWOL.” In September, an inmate died of thirst in a jail run by Clarke. He reportedly begged for water “in the days before he died.”
He has also compared Beyonce to a Ku Klux Klan member, called for the Great Seal of the United States to feature a semi-automatic rifle, and repeatedly demanded a literal uprising against the government in protest of President Obama’s gun violence proposals, potential election rigging and marriage equality.
Today, Clarke tweeted that those protesting Trump’s election “must be quelled.”
Arpaio, who lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday but emerged as a frequent companion of Trump’s on the campaign trail, may have a tough road to being confirmed if he’s nominated, as he was recently charged with contempt of court after federal prosecutors said“he willfully defied a judge’s orders to stop targeting Latinos—including citizens and legal immigrants—in traffic stops and other law enforcement efforts.”
The racial profiling of Latinos is just one of the hallmarks of Arpaio’s long tenure as sheriff. As we’ve reported:
Arpaio brags about running a “concentration camp” for his detainees and has a record of withholding basic medical care from prisoners and flouting sanitary standards. His office has reportedly ignored over 400 sex-crime cases, targeted Latino residents and neighborhoods, stalked Latina women and retaliated against those who criticized Arpaio.
In one case, members of Arpaio’s department staged a hoax assassination attempt against the sheriff to enhance his popularity, framing an innocent man in the process. Arpaio hired people with records of domestic violence and child sex crimes to work in his armed “posse” guarding schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
The sheriff also tapped birther conspiracy theorists to form a “cold case posse” to investigate the truth behind President Obama’s birth certificate, and unsurprisingly concluded that it was a fake.