Authorities have arrested four people in the shooting deaths of two Mississippi police officers over the weekend, but the sheriff of Milwaukee County — more than 900 miles away, in Wisconsin — says there’s a fifth culprit on the loose.
His alias: President Barack Obama.
Less than 24 hours after Officers Benjamin J. Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24, of the Hattiesburg Police Department were gunned down during a traffic stop, Milwakuee County Sheriff David A. Clarke linked the deaths to events in Ferguson, Mo., and said in a series of tweets that the president is to blame.
“Obama started this war on police intentionally,” Clarke wrote. “Right in line with his community agitating.”
Clarke, a conservative folk hero who has predicted that a second American revolution will be fought over gun rights, is a regular Fox News guest with 55,000 followers on Twitter. In 2013, he ran radio ads telling people to fight back against violent criminals instead of relying on 911, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
America’s 1st Freedom, an NRA publication, has called the outspoken Clarke “NRA’s Favorite Sheriff.” Earlier this year, he was presented with the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
In his latest tweets, Clarke accused the president of intentionally weakening police departments by using the Department of Justice. The goal, he said: “They want socialism.”
But, he added: “Weakening the institution of policing helps get them there” — there being line-of-duty deaths, as Clarke was responding to a tweet that said: “Congratulations, Democrats, you got what you wanted: DEAD COPS.”
On Monday, as The Post’s Mark Berman reported, the FBI released statistics showing that the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty doubled in 2014 from the year before.
There were 51 law enforcement officers killed in 2014, a significant increase over the 27 officers who were killed in 2013, the FBI said.While the number of officers killed significantly increased last year, that total is still lower than what the country has seen in recent decades. Between 1980 and 2014, there were an average of 64 law enforcement officers killed each year.
Clarke noted the newly released statistics in a tweet on Monday.
Clarke also took issue with this post on Clarke.
Here are some of Clarke’s related tweets from the weekend:
Clarke has been highly critical of the media’s coverage of shootings involving white officers killing black citizens. As Raw Story notes, he has criticized the NAACP for blaming police officers who shoot black men and said true blame rests with black, single-parent homes.
After his Twitter spree, the sheriff made an appearance on CNN, where he criticized the media for not pointing out the race of individuals who kill police officers.
“Yet every time a white officer kills a black man in the United States of America, the media is so quick to point out the race, but we don’t do it here,” he said. “We know for a fact — statistically anyway — 40 percent of officers killed in the line of duty are shot by black suspects.”
Clarke, who is African American himself, also discussed recent events in Baltimore and said any investigation into the city’s police department was done for political expediency.
“This investigation with the Baltimore PD is a fraud,” he said. “Just two months ago, Baltimore Police Department was held up by President Obama as a model police agency in terms of best practices and community-based approach to policing.”
Clarke added: “You can’t go in 60 days from being a model agency to now being an agency with a lot of red flags in terms of questionable patterns and practices.”
[This post has been updated.]