Former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke is going to court on Monday over allegedly threatening Facebook posts.
It all started on Jan. 15, 2017, when 25-year old Daniel Black and Clarke both boarded a flight from Dallas to Milwaukee. The Dallas Cowboys were playing the Green Bay Packers, so instead of his usual cowboy hat, Clarke was wearing Dallas gear.
Black claims in his lawsuit that he didn’t immediately recognize Clarke, but when he asked Clarke if he was indeed the Milwaukee sheriff who has publicly supported Donald Trump, Clarke responded in the affirmative, and Black shook his head disapprovingly.
Black says his response was because Clarke supported a rival team, but Clarke didn’t see it that way. Instead, the controversial sheriff told airport authorities that he wanted Black questioned.
Clarke takes to Facebook
Black spoke out publicly about the incident after being questioned for nearly 15 minutes but was not arrested or cited. Once Black went on to file a lawsuit, Clarke took to Facebook.
According to NBC News, Clarke wrote that he “reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault” and said that the next time someone pulled the same “stunt on a plane they may get knocked out.”
He also later wrote, “Cheer up, snowflake … if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.”
It’s these posts that are moving the lawsuit forward, as Judge J.P. Stadtmueller dismissed Black’s claims that the questioning he went through at the airport was an unconstitutional search and seizure. Black also claimed that Clarke trampled his rights to free speech, though Stadtmueller dismissed that as well.
While Stadtmueller admitted that the posts could be “intentionally hyperbolic,” he did note that “the Court cannot say Clarke’s posts were so trivial that no jury could find them to be sufficiently threatening.”
Clarke is no stranger to controversy and was even recently blocked on Twitter for making violent posts. Even after leaving his position as sheriff, he’s continued to make the news stumping for Trump and his administration and speaking out against Black Lives Matter, among other issues.