Sheriff Clarke responds to complaint he abused power: 'Next time...they may get knocked out'

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 20:16:27-05

"They may get knocked out."

That's what Sheriff David Clarke threatened of people who may approach him on a plane in the future. It comes after a Milwaukee man filed a complaint Tuesday alleging the Sheriff unlawfully detained him after a brief exchange on a flight from Dallas Sunday.

"I say 'oh, are you Sheriff Clarke?' and he says 'yeah.' And I was surprised that he's wearing Cowboys gear."

Dan Black said he shook his head at the sheriff.

"From behind me he asked if I have a problem, and I shake my head no. I don't want to say anything, I don't want to start a conflict," he said.

Milwaukee attorney Matthew Meyer said if that's what really happened, it's not grounds for knocking someone out. He said self-defense requires unlawful interference.

"What is that unlawful interference? And I just don't think there was one. So, therefore you can't claim self-defense when you go attack someone for shaking their head at you," he told TODAY'S TMJ4.

Sheriff Clarke's full statement, posted to Facebook Wednesday, reads as follows. 

Meyers tells TODAY'S TMJ4, even as a defense attorney, that scenario seems indefensible.

"If he punched this guy or knocked him out or anything along those lines, I simply don't think that it would be self-defense. I mean, I don't think that I could defend a case and argue self-defense in that situation myself," he said.

Meyer said "that's a very dangerous precedent and I think that's immature and irresponsible of him to come out and say that."

Black told TODAY'S TMJ4 Tuesday, if Clarke is really scared of people, he should step down. Unless or until that happens, he offers this advice.

"Don't talk to Sheriff Clarke, he needs to be in a safe space at all times."

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