Former Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke speaks in Albany

May 09, 2018 06:22 PM

ALBANY - A former county sheriff from Wisconsin spoke inside the Capital Center in Albany on Wednesday. A protest took place outside.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. Some people weren't happy that he was in Albany.

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The big concern was what was being said by a former sheriff they feel does not have the values a leader should have.

Clarke served as Milwaukee's sheriff from 2002 until his resignation in 2017. During that time, he came under fire for controversial remarks about race and gun control.

His supervision of the treatment of inmates was also questioned -- after multiple people died while incarcerated -- including at least one infant. It has been reported that it was common for deputies to shackle pregnant women while they gave birth.

"Everything that Sheriff Clark stands for goes against goes against what New Yorkers have been fighting hard to do. We want to undo mass incarceration. We want to make sure kids stay in school and not end up in jail. So getting advice from a person who has failed black and brown youth too long is not what law enforcement should be listening to. They should be listening to community, they should be listening to us and they should have taken back this invitation and done what was right," explained Jasmine Gripper with the Alliance for Quality Education.

A petition circulated calling for the Chief's Association to rescind their offer to have Clarke as the keynote speaker. They had hundreds of signatures as of Tuesday, including political leaders in the Capital Region.

Late Tuesday night, Clarke tweeted he was in town and would in fact, be speaking. Press was not allowed inside.


WNYT Staff

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