FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) From the death of Michael Brown to the Riots in Ferguson. Tension between minorities and police seems to be growing spawning movements like “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” While many groups have taken to the streets to protest what they call police brutality, Sheriff David Clarke from Milwaukee has gained national attention for his response.
“I started watching people who were gathered at these rallies under this hands up don’t shoot and I can’t breathe,” said Clarke. “The bastard child of that was the black lives matter movement.”
Activists associated with the “Black Lives Matter” movement calling for an end to unjust police killings. But Sheriff David Clarke doesn’t believe the movement is really about black lives matter or police use of force.
“This is an anarchist movement. And the purpose of this anarchist movement is to weaken the institution of policing because we are the ones who enforce the law,” he said.
Clarke said since the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, the integrity of police officers has been under attack.
“The law enforcement officers across the state were under siege for some very unsubstantiated, ugly, unfair claims,” he said. “We’re racist, we’re blood thirsty, we go around violating people constitutional rights.”
According to Clarke, As a result of the backlash, police are thinking twice before making stops.
“They’re hesitating if it’s worth it sticking their neck out in this self initiated policing, and criminals know that,” he said.
Clarke agrees that there are some problems with distrust between the black communities and police officers, but it’s not to the extent that people make it seem.
“There are [problems] I’m not denying it,” he said. “But I’m not going to over blow this thing and say the police can’t get along with their minority communities. It’s just simply not true.”
Clarke believes the government should instead focus on fixing the problems in low-income neighborhoods instead of blaming police. Poverty, unemployment and fail school systems are among the key problems these neighborhoods are facing.
“Since we haven’t been able to solve those problems, we look at police officers and say ‘do something about it,'” he said. “As a law enforcement officer I do not reduce poverty. I do not fix schools. I do not put people back to work. You know what I do well, enforce the law and make arrests for violations of the law.”