Popular conservative and law enforcement activist Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke recently appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon to discuss the recent killings of police officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At one point, the interview got pretty tense, and Clarke’s strong talking points forced Lemon to take a commercial break and end the interview.
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During the interview, Lemon mentioned that he had spoken to law enforcement officials in Baton Rouge about their message for the community and the country as a whole.
Lemon: “Their message is peace and coming together in the country. What’s your message?”
Clarke: “You don’t believe that for one minute, do you?”
Lemon: “Uh, that’s what they said to me … Yeah, I believe them.”
Clarke: “Any protests over the deaths of these cops today in Baton Rouge?”
Lemon: “I don’t know.”
Clarke: “Any riots or protests over the officers in Dallas, Texas?”
Lemon: “What are you asking?”
Then things got a little more tense.
Clarke: “It’s a pretty simple question. My message has been clear from day one, two years ago. This anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called Black Lives Matter has fueled this rage against the American police officer. I predicted this two years ago.”
Lemon: “OK, Sheriff, with all due respect, do you know that this was because of that? As a law enforcement officer?”
Clarke: “Yes, I do. I’ve been watching this for two years. I predicted this. This anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that our now playing themselves out on the American police officer. I wanna know, with all of the black-on-black violence in the United States of America — By the way, when the tragedies happened in Louisiana and Minnesota, do you know that 21 black people were murdered across the United States? Was there any reporting on that?”
Lemon tried to calm the sheriff and change the topic. However, Clarke wasn’t going to relent his point and ultimately said that Black Lives Matter wasn’t a group that was trying to improve racial equality, but was rather an anti-police hate group.
That’s when a dumbstruck Lemon abruptly cut to commercial and ended the interview by patronizingly saying, “Thank you sheriff, we know it’s a very tough time for you.”
Clarke is due to speak at the Republican National Convention this week. In the past, Clarke’s speeches at venues such as the NRA Annual meetings have resonated strongly with conservatives. It is thought by many pundits that Clarke will likely become a politician at the national level at some point in the future.