In response to the execution-style murder of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth, who was shot multiple times at a gas station in Cypress, Texas, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. strongly criticized what he called the “black lies matter” movement and stressed that President Barack Obama himself had “started this war on police.”
On Fox’s “Justice With Judge Jeanine” on Aug. 29, the host asked Sheriff Clarke, “Is it open season on law enforcement in this country?”
Sheriff Clarke said, “Judge, I am too pissed off tonight to be diplomatic about what’s going on and I’m not going to stick my head in the sand about it.”
“I said last December that war had been declared on the American police officer led by some high profile people, one of them coming out of the White House, and one coming out of the United States Department of Justice,” said Clarke.
“And it’s open season right now,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. Anytime a law enforcement officer is killed, a little bit of every police officer in America dies along with them.”
Later in the interview, Judge Jeanine asked, “Finally, sheriff, the national rhetoric that’s going on. You say that people need to push back and we need, when we see things on Facebook and social media. You know, the truth is, people can say and do what they want. This is America. But, without leadership, there isn’t going to be any different reaction. More people seem to be emboldened by this kind of thing.”
Sheriff Clarke said, “Right, and that’s why I said that the president of the United States started this war on police.”
“Look, and I know what you mean, judge, by that, but it’s not absolute,” said the sheriff. “You can’t say anything you want in the United States of America: you cannot threaten people’s lives, you can’t call for the killing of people like we’re seeing from some of these things.”
“That is not First Amendment protected,” said Clarke. “That is filth, that is slime, and there are some law enforcement implications that can be dealt with at the Department of Justice and with state attorney’s offices across the United States.”
“I love the First Amendment,” he continued. “I love freedom of speech. You are not free to threaten my life or anybody else’s.”
Deputy Darren Goforth was killed on Friday, Aug. 28, while he was pumping gas into his car at a gas station. The killer walked up from behind and shot Goforth multiple times in the back.
Shannon J. Miles, 30, was arrested on Aug. 29 and charged with capital murder in the death of Goforth. Several Texas law enforcement officials have called the murder a “cold-blooded assassination.”