Sheriff Clarke responds to violent Thanksgiving weekend in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke responded on Tuesday, November 27th to the string of violent incidents that took place during Thanksgiving weekend in the city of Milwaukee. This comes just one day after Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn responded to two incidents where his officers fired at suspects. 

Sheriff Clarke didn't mince words, calling the weekend violence, "a grim reminder of how dangerous the City of Milwaukee continues to be." The sheriff said city leaders who have attacked him in the past for being vocal about crime in the city can't hide from the facts. 

The sheriff also cited a recent fight at Bay View High School during which 30 students were arrested, as an example of out of control he thinks Milwaukee has become.

During Thanksgiving weekend, police responded to seven shootings and one stabbing. The violence resulted in four fatalities and five injuries.

Milwaukee Common Council Willie Hines weighed in on Tuesday, speaking with FOX6 News. Hines says Sheriff Clarke could help make Milwaukee better.

"We would welcome a plan, rather than just pontificating or writing, throwing out information that does absolutely no good, and crime fighting initiatives. We would welcome a plan that he has to reduce crime," Hines said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's office also reacted to Sheriff's Clarke's words, issuing a statement reading in part: "If David had something concrete to offer, I`m sure the Mayor and the Police Chief would be more than willing to work with him. David needs to learn that the life span of a juicy press release is much shorter than the commitment needed to tackle serious, violent crime."

Sheriff Clarke also criticized social programs, saying "all the millions of dollars spent on social programs, advertised as 'best practices' with the promises of ending crime, poverty, high unemployment, school failure, drug use and dysfunctional families, have us in the same, if not worse place than we were before these misguided initiatives."

Reverend Tony Vento with SHALOM Ministries in Milwaukee deals with people struggling with these issues.

"I think the officials, the sheriff, city officials, people of leadership and responsibility in the city need to come together and I think, I know they need to work really desperately with faith-based community," Vento said.

Read Sheriff Clarke's entire statement

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