Following the deaths of four inmates at the Milwaukee County jail this year, Democratic lawmakers are calling for the sheriff to resign.
State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke seems more interested in building his national profile, instead of addressing serious problems at the jail after the deaths of four people there this year. Three of those were inmates and one was the newborn baby of a woman who delivered the child in a cell.
“Four people are dead and Sheriff Clarke is the name you see when you enter the jail,” Larson says. “He is the person who is ultimately responsible.”
The jail is already being audited and County Board members have called for an external review. Larson, a Milwaukee Democrat, says the public shouldn’t have to wait for new leadership though. “This is real, people have lost their lives, and for that somebody has to be held responsible.”
Larson, along with state Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) and Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee), released a statement Wednesday that calls for Clarke to resign. If he refuses to step down, they argue Governor Scott Walker should use his authority to “remove a dangerous menace from our community.”
Clarke, none for frequently clashing with critics, dismissed calls for his resignation. In a statement, he said it “means nothing coming from Christine Sinicki, a person who bounces checks and drives on a suspended driver’s license, and Christopher the thief Larson who was arrested for shoplifting. As for Brostoff, who the hell is that?”
Clarke closed his statement with the hashtag for “Make America Great Again,” a slogan of President-elect Donald Trump. The Sheriff was a strong advocate for Trump during the campaign and was rumored to be under consideration for a position in his administration.