A federal jury has rejected a claim that former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stifled a man’s free speech rights by using social media to intimidate him.
The case was sparked by an encounter between Clarke and Daniel Black on a flight the two were on. Black noticed Clarke on the plane and asked if he was the sheriff. After Clarke responded he was, Black shook his head and kept walking. Clarke then directed deputies to meet Black after the plane landed in Milwaukee, who then questioned him and escorted him from the airport.
After Black filed a complaint about the incident, Clarke made two posts on his official Facebook page, one of which referred to the man as a “snowflake.” Black’s lawsuit argued that the posts amounted to intimidation and would discourage him from ever filing a complaint again against a powerful government official – an argument the jury rejected.
Clarke resigned his position as Milwaukee County Sheriff last summer to take a job with a political action committee that supports President Donald Trump. He was not present during the trial.