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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Sheriff Clarke: "The Tom And Willie Show"

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Statement from Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.

Alderman Willie Hines and Mayor Tom Barrett were absolutely surprised that, as the top law enforcement officer in Milwaukee County, I would comment on the violent crime that continues to plague the city of Milwaukee.  Call it naiveté on my part, but I thought for sure we would hear from a city of Milwaukee elected official before the Thanksgiving holiday passed.  Monday came, and still, not a word.  This is the same M.O. used by city officials when these violent events occur.  See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil; wait it out, hoping no one brings attention to it.

I don’t work that way.  When there is a problem, it needs to be acknowledged first, and then remedies put in place to address it.  Barrett, Hines and others continue to be in denial about the violence problem.  Better to mask over it with crime statistics (that are proving to be questionable at best, and at worse, flat-out manufactured) and attack the person who has the wherewithal to tell the emperor he’s not wearing any clothes.  That is the lie I was referring to.  When you can’t go to a barbershop without fear of a hold-up man with a gun coming in to rob the place; and when you can’t run a grocery store without the risk of being shot and killed in a robbery, as happened several months ago to a Sikh store owner by criminals who robbed him previously, how can businesses thrive and employ people?  Answer that one Tom and Willie.

Willie Hines has been Common Council President for the City of Milwaukee for as long as Barrett has been Mayor.  Where is their plan to address the pathologies that are risk factors for crime and violence?  Their strategies have “lead” the city to become the fourth-highest in rates of poverty in the U.S., with a K-12 public school system that has some of the worst reading scores and graduation rates in the nation, a record number of boarded up homes in foreclosure and obscenely high unemployment rates.  With a record like that, I see why they would attack the sheriff to take attention away from their abysmal record.

I have offered plans to address these pathologies, but because they don’t include using other people’s money for failed social programs, and don’t include gun control or soft-on-crime initiatives for violent career criminals, Barrett and Hines are not interested.

I will not allow Barrett and Hines to run from their record of futility.  They must think that no one else notices.  And by the way, yes, I am blaming them.  I’ll stop when they stop sending me an exorbitant property tax bill every year.  I’m paying for this disaster.

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