Sheriff David Clarke: ‘Some Fear’ of Police Is Good for ‘The Black Underclass’

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AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

On April 14, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke described the recklessness and criminality of “the black underclass” and said, “some fear” of the police was good for these individuals.

Clarke was speaking to, and was responding to questions about the deterioration of the black community and the growing chasm between many in the black community and police.

Clarke said, “The black community is in tatters.” He cited the absence of fathers, the inculcated dependency on welfare, and myriad other reasons for this situation but made clear that it is not the black community as a whole that is violent, but “the black underclass.”

He described these individuals a part of a “sub-culture” and lamented the fact that “they have no fear of anything.”

Clarke described what he has seen in Milwaukee:

The criminal element doesn’t have any fear that if they drive around and see a house and light it up that they are going to get caught. If three felons are driving around with weapons they don’t have any fear that they might get pulled over and searched. They need to have some fear.

Clarke said changing this is a difficult thing to do with the limited police manpower in Milwaukee. He said officers are busy running from one incident to the next and don’t have time “to even try to establish a relationship with a neighborhood.” At the same time, Clarke alluded to the difficulty of finding more police because of the growing fear associated with being a cop and getting shot.

Clarke raised the ire of gun control proponents in January 2013 when he asked Milwaukee County citizens to familiarize themselves with a firearm they could use to defend their lives during the time that passes between calling 911 and police arrival. Since that time, he has made a name for himself as a bulwark for the right to keep and bear arms.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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