Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate
Says Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. has said Black Lives Matter "is a terrorist movement, a hate group and calls it, Black LIES Matter."

Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 in a fund-raising email

Pro-Sheriff David Clarke group says Clarke called Black Lives Matter hate group, terrorist movement

Nate Hamilton, the brother of Dontre Hamilton, who was killed by a Milwaukee police officer, talks with Milwaukee police during a Black Lives Matter rally in July 2016. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Mike De Sisti)

A committee aiming to persuade the "people’s sheriff" to run for the U.S. Senate is raising money by highlighting the African-American’s inflammatory statements about Black Lives Matter.

It’s no secret that Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., a Donald Trump supporter and nationally known conservative, has harshly criticized the group.

Yet, we wondered if he has gone as far as the Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate draft committee says he has.  

As reported by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, the committee sent a fundraising email on April 5, 2017 that suggested several reasons why Clarke would make a good senator -- starting with this one:

"Milwaukee’s conservative black Sheriff CORRECTLY says ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ is a terrorist movement, a hate group, and calls it ‘Black LIES Matter.’"

The committee also makes the statement on its website.

Let’s look at each of the three parts.

The committee

Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate is not a committee authorized by Clarke, but is registered with the Federal Election Commission as an official draft campaign.

It has attacked first-term U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, for being a lesbian as part of its effort to get Clarke to run against her in 2018. Clarke has not ruled out a run, but hasn’t expressed strong interest, either, while a number of Republicans have.   

For her part, Baldwin has said Clarke is "being groomed" to challenge her, and has raised campaign funds herself off his possible candidacy.

While a favorite of the right, Clarke has drawn criticism for his racial remarks as well as for his performance as sheriff as he increasingly spends time on national television and traveling the country on speaking engagements. He has also said virtually nothing about four inmate deaths in the jail he manages that are under investigation.

Now to the statement about what Clarke said.

‘Hate group’

Black Lives Matter formed after a Florida jury in 2013 found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teen. Describing its aim as rebuilding "the black liberation movement," the group has participated around the country in demonstrations, including some around Milwaukee, about police killings of black people.

Clarke called Black Lives Matter a "hate group" in a July 2016 opinion column he wrote for and has made any number of similar references such as these:

  • "I wish the Southern Poverty Law Center would add them (Black Lives Matter) to the list of hate groups in America … this hateful ideology of Black Lives Matter." -- Fox News’ "America’s News HQ," July 31, 2016

  • "Black Lives Matter are purveyors of hate. It is a hateful, violent ideology." -- Fox News’ "Hannity" show, July 17, 2016

Black ‘Lies’ Matter

Clarke has used "Lies" instead of "Lives" in referencing the group many times, including in his memoir, released in February 2017, and on CNN and Fox in 2015.

In the Fox interview, he elaborated on why, saying:

"The whole thing is built on a lie, the whole premise is built on a lie. But it’s a conglomeration of misfits. You have Occupy movement, you have organized labor in on it now, you have criminals, you have black racialists, you have cop haters and anarchists have now formed together this faux movement, if you will."

‘Terrorist movement’

Clarke hasn’t used a terrorism reference nearly as often, but he does so twice in his book:

  • Black Lives Matter does not "care about black lives. They care about their own radical ideology of terrorism: anarchy."

  • "In the five days surrounding the Dallas shooting -- which was the worst police massacre since 9/11, by the way -- there was even more Black LIES Matter-inspired violence (four attacks on police are listed)….Let me guess. You’d never heard of these incidents. That’s because the media protect and lie about this insidious terror organization."

Clarke also predicted on Twitter in 2015 that Black Lives Matter "will join forces with ISIS to being (sic) down our legal constituted republic."

And in a July 2016 column he wrote for The Hill, he said: "We have several forces internal and external attacking our rule of law: ISIS, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street – just the most recent iterations of the elements who brand themselves as unique but seek the same revolutionary aim: take down the West …"  

Our rating

The Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate draft committee says that Clarke said Black Lives Matter "is a terrorist movement, a hate group and calls it, Black LIES Matter."

Clarke has repeatedly used Lies instead of Lives in labeling the group, and has repeatedly called it a hate group. In his memoir, he calls the group a "terrorist organization."

We rate the statement True.

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Says Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. has said Black Lives Matter "is a terrorist movement, a hate group and calls it, Black LIES Matter."
In a fund-raising email
Wednesday, April 5, 2017