Former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke was temporarily blocked from his Twitter account this week after posting a series of violent and threatening tweets against liberals and the news media.
Clarke, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump and a regular commentator for Fox News Network, shared the tweets in response to a recent report highlighting a March 2017 search warrant of his emails, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The ex-sheriff was under investigation for possible civil rights violations after a dust-up with a fellow air passenger early last year, but prosecutors ultimately decided not pursue charges.
The posts in question featured threats against the media and liberals, prompting several complaints from concerned users who felt the messages violated the platform’s terms of service.
” … BREAKING NEWS! When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is go right at them,” Clarke tweeted Dec. 30. “Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD. Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA’S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood. #neverbackdown.”
In a follow-up tweet, he bragged about getting under leftists’ skin and even threatened to knock them around a bit.
“Nothing like getting under the skin of lefties like I did today,” Clarke wrote. “I fight to win. …You come at me libs, [you’d] better bring a hard hat, some aspirin and your veggie wrap because it’s going to be a long day and I’m going to smack you around until you crawl back to your mom’s basement.”
Amid the complaints, Twitter initially declined to take action against Clarke, stating that it “couldn’t identify” any offensive material violating its policies against abusive behavior. The social media giant had reversed its course by Monday, however, placing the Trump stumper on “read-only’ mode until he deleted the problematic tweets, CNN.com reported.
Twitter policy explicitly prohibits users from making “make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people,” which is likely what prompted Clarke’s shut-out. His account was active again on Tuesday morning.
“I know I’m winning,” Clarke later tweeted about the Twitter lockout. “Some snowflake lib made a complaint to Twitter because of my earlier tweet about Black kids being exploited by lefty failed policies at Ballou High School. I said in my tweet, that this CRAP is criminal. Twitter said no violation of rules. Diaper change time.”
This isn’t the first time the social media giant has landed in hot water over its handling of similarly offensive tweets and accounts. In 2016, it suspended the accounts of numerous prominent members of the white nationalist and alt-right movements, including organizer Richard Spencer, in an effort to crack down on hate speech and other abusive behavior. Its reasons for suspending Spencer’s account actually had nothing to do with his racist tweets, however, but rather his use of multiple, overlapping accounts.
Spencer’s account was reactivated just weeks later.
As for Clarke, the controversial sheriff stepped down from his post back in 2017 and later joined Trump SuperPAC America First Action. Chided by human rights groups, Clarke has come under fire in the past for his comments about Democrats and the Black Lives Matter movement.