3 Democratic state lawmakers call for resignation, removal of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

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MILWAUKEE — Three Democratic state lawmakers are calling for the resignation of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

State Senator Chris Larson, Representative Jonathon Brostoff and Representative Christine Sinicki issued a joint statement Wednesday, December 14th — urging the resignation or removal of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Senator Chris Larson

Senator Chris Larson

Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Christine Sinicki

“As public servants of Milwaukee County, we understand the importance of ensuring that our neighbors are treated with dignity and respect. With four families grieving over the unnecessary loss of their loved ones in the past six months, it has become clear that our county’s sheriff’s (office) has been grossly mismanaged. It is our duty and moral obligation to echo the sentiments of our constituents and fellow representatives by calling for the immediate resignation of Sheriff David Clarke. Under Clarke’s watch, the downtown jail facility has experienced a dangerous lack of supervision leading to improper intake screening for substance abuse and mental illness, which has contributed to recent, tragic deaths,” the lawmakers said in the joint statement.

The lawmakers, in the statement, then outlined the four deaths in six months at the jail as follows:

Shadé Swayzer, 30, gave birth while in custody. Corrections officers ignored Swayzer’s plea for help after her water broke. She went into labor on July 14, giving birth at 4 a.m. Her baby was pronounced dead later that morning, due to the lack of proper response by staff.

Shade Swayzer

Shade Swayzer

Terrill Thomas, 38, was found dead in his cell on April 24. His death was ruled a homicide caused by dehydration. Thomas suffered from bipolar disorder and was awaiting a psychiatric examination at the time of his death. He was, according to family members, in the throes of a mental breakdown at the time of his arrest. His death occurred nine days after corrections officers reportedly shut off the water from his cell and ignored pleas by Terrill and other inmates for water.

Terrill Thomas

Terrill Thomas

Kristina A. Fiebrink, 38, was found dead in her cell on August 28. A call from family members for an independent investigation into her death is still unfulfilled.

Kristina Fiebrink

Kristina Fiebrink

Michael Madden, 29, died October 27. The Milwaukee Medical Examiner report alleged he died from hitting his head. His injury may have been treatable if corrections and medical staff properly screened Madden for substance abuse and monitored him more closely.

Michael Madden

Michael Madden

Milwaukee County Jail

Milwaukee County Jail

The lawmakers said this in the statement:

“Each of these deaths were both tragic and preventable. These deaths are tied directly to Sheriff Clarke’s lack of supervision of his (office). Appallingly, no officer has been disciplined, no policy has been changed, and the public has not been given adequate information. Moreover, inquiries to discover the truth behind these tragic deaths have resulted in resistance and hostility from Sheriff Clarke. When our county’s chief medical examiner, Brian Peterson, released basic information about an inmate’s death, Sheriff Clarke responded by threatening him. Without a change in course, we need not wonder if another death will occur under Clarke. The only question is when.

Sheriff Clarke has shown a longstanding pattern of irresponsible behavior. As far back as 2006, Sheriff Clarke was forcing members of his department to participate in Evangelical Christian conversion sessions – his actions were declared unconstitutional by a federal court. Over the years, Clarke’s actions have resulted in wasting nearly a half of a million dollars in legal fees, paid for by Milwaukee County taxpayers. Most recently, he has proven his complete disregard for civil behavior by publicly calling for ‘pitchforks and torches,’ leaving our neighbors to wonder why the Sheriff has willfully neglected to investigate wrongful deaths in his custody, yet still finds time to send incendiary tweets?

The people of Milwaukee County deserve answers. The families and friends of Michael Madden, Terrill Thomas, and Kristine Fiebrink deserve answers. Shadé Swayzer deserves to know that no other mother will lose their newborn baby under Clarke’s gross mismanagement.

Sheriff Clarke continues to ignore the concerns of the neighbors he is sworn to serve and protect. If he continues to refuse to step aside so someone else can fill the void of leadership, Governor Walker must utilize his authority under Wisconsin State Statute 17.09 (5) and remove Sheriff Clarke – a dangerous menace – from our community.”

Senator Chris Larson represents the 7th Senate District, which includes: Milwaukee, St. Francis, Cudahy, South Milwaukee, Oak Creek and Franklin.

Representative Jonathan Brostoff represents the 19th Assembly District which includes: Milwaukee’s River West, East Side, Downtown, and Bay View neighborhoods.

Representative Christine Sinicki represents the 20th Assembly District which includes: Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, St. Francis, and Cudahy.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke issued this statement through his spokeswoman:

“The sheriff said he is thoroughly bored with this Democrat Party fake news because he helped Donald Trump get elected POTUS. He said they must have heard him speak at last night’s Trump victory rally and it touched a nerve. #MAGA.”


  • Opinion8d

    I think the people get to decide -since they are the one’s that elected him. Why do you try to recall him? The deaths, while tragic, are more of a result of people expecting law enforcement to be a catch all for the worlds problems.

    • specialladyt

      When you’re in custody, the jail & law enforcement are fully, 100% responsible for the wellbeing of their prisoners.

      Sociopaths flock together. Yep.

  • Reasonless

    Considering that they call themselves state lawmakers, you would think that they’d be smart enough to know that it isn’t Clarke that holds the responsibility of jail house medical.
    Chris Abele is the one that contracts the medical for the jail.
    But we all know that these fools would never go up against one of their own kind.
    And Fox 6, who knowingly hates cops, and especially David Clarke, will just run with this fact-less story in hopes of getting people to hate Clarke.
    This is absolutely pathetic reporting.

  • Liberal Hypocrisy

    If you mention the name Chris Larson, I stop listening. I do believe he spent a night or two in the county jail. Can you say sticky fingers Larson. He is literally a criminal. Yepper he’s a thief.

  • ANDY G

    Same old, same old. Democrats pointing the finger and doing nothing, it must be nice just sitting around doing nothing and getting payed, but as reasonless has pointed out you are all too dumb to even know where to point.

      • Neil

        Sorry Lisa, he’s a conservative. He runs as a Democrat in a Democrat county and he is overwhelmingly re-elected because he is effective in a otherwise completely dysfunctional county!!!

      • Lisa

        No kidding Neil. I am fully aware that he’s a Conservative running as a Democrat. Clearly that was my point. Are you kidding me? It’s not what makes him effective…It’s what makes him a fake.

  • Denise

    If it wasn’t for Clarke they would be 1000 times worse. They should kiss the ground he walks on. But again, liberal minds after they lose an election become unhinged and unable to cope. Their dear leader has been purged and they don’t have direction for the first time in their lives. They should be drained along with the swamp water.

    • Justine

      Make no mistakes about it. Clarke (and yourself) are sadly and arrogantly wrong. The community has been wanting him out for a long time. It has NOTHING to do with this election. It has everything to do with his negligence. He is a raging Republican who is a fake and runs as a Democrat. Doesn’t that tell you something right there?

  • Reasonless

    Please do some research and educate yourself before you make such a mindless post.
    These self proclaimed lawmakers are uneducated thugs that enjoy getting people like you all riled up over a problem in order to stroke their own ego.
    Yes; we need to address the above mentioned deaths in the form of an investigation, which is most likely being conducted as we post.
    The problem with this entire article is the fact that they want Clarke to resign because of these deaths that are really the possible result of the medical staff.
    Again, I will inform you that Clark has no say so over the contracted medical staff,
    Your liberal yes-man Chris Abele has the responsibility of the medical contract for the jail.
    Clarke could go ahead and resign, but the problem that you’re belly aching about will still exist because of Abele.
    Do some homework and look into it my friend.

  • Steve

    Well I would have to say that it is most probably true that these liberals are just being liberals. They cannot fire him and the only way to remove him is by criminally charging him. And even then it would be hard to remove him. His job is to House these deginerates, the jail is not a medical facility, it is not a mental institution. The reason they shut off the water to the lunatics cell, was probably because he stuffed toilet paper and sheets in the toilet and kept flooding his cell. The pregnant female had probably used her pregnancy before as a crutch, she probably cried wolf so many times until the jailers couldn’t tell if she was actually needing help. The drug head was stoned, fell and hit his head, what drug screening could they have done? None that’s what! As far as the homicide, what inmate in the dayroom was going to rat out the killer or killers? The wages of sin is death, they chose the life and died by it!

  • LL

    First thing to notice is they are all white. Now if it was the other way around they would be called racist bigots.  Next thing to notice is that there wasn’t a problem with the sheriff until he publicly supported Trump every way he could.  I do believe they are trying to retaliate against the sheriff due to his political views and they are abusing their power to get revenge for their lying corrupt ass of a candidate who LOST BADLY.  I think it is time for an investigation of these three so called state lawmakers for abuse of power while in office to get revenge against the sheriff for supporting loud and clearly for Trump.  While these swine are being investigated a petition should be put out to start recall elections against these hate filled, shameful excuse of state lawmakers trying to intimidate, threaten and bully Sheriff Clark because of his political views. 

    • Justine

      Wow, you are so off base on literally everything you mentioned in this post. Just give up…Nothing made sense.

  • Midwest Blizzard

    Time to get rid of Clarke and replace him with someone capable of doing the job. He has been nothing but an embarrasment to Milwaukee.

  • fred friday

    Nutcases, drug addicts and thieves. I know, you’re wondering if I’m talking about the lawmakers or the inmates.

  • deletedagain

    All of these lawmakers should resign because of their incompetence. For years they have done nothing to stop drunk drivers. (A minor change coming January first) The.number of criminals with guns keeps growing while law makers try to take guns from honest people.. These same people sit on their hands but but while idling around their office they look for some PC BS to make a noise about.

    • Justine

      Haha..Here we go again.. NOBODY IS TRYING TO TAKE GUNS AWAY FROM INNOCENT PEOPLE. and yes, I just shouted that..Figure it out already!!!

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