The Black Milwaukee sheriff who referred to Black Lives Matter as a “terrorist organization” is reportedly being considered for a position at the Department of Homeland Security.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is in line to become the next assistant secretary at the DHS’ Office of Partnership and Engagement, according to Politico, citing three sources familiar with the Trump administration’s planning.
The OPE office is ultimately in charge of coordinating outreach to state, local and tribal officials, as well as law enforcement. The assistant secretary position does not require Senate confirmation.
Clarke has long been touted as a possible candidate for the role and met with President Donald Trump at Trump Tower late last year. Though things are looking to go in his favor, a senior White House official warned “it’s not a done deal yet.”
The contested sheriff, known for his public outbursts and disdain for the Black Lives Matter movement, has recently found himself in hot water over the number of inmate deaths at his Milwaukee County Jail. Revelations in the case of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration last April after jail staff cut off the water in his cell, have since prompted calls for Clarke’s resignation.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, former deputy inspector Kevin Nyklewicz, who was second in command at the jail, testified that Thomas was deprived of water and a mattress for seven days. Assistant District Attorney Kurt Bentley also told jurors that the man was mentally unstable and unable to ask for help before dying in his cell.
Thomas was one of four inmates who died at Clarke’s jail last year, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has refused to remove Clarke from his post.