Federal civil rights trial: Testimony begins Monday in plane spat lawsuit involving former Sheriff Clarke

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MILWAUKEE — Testimony is expected to begin Monday, Jan. 22 in the federal civil rights case filed against former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Seven jurors will be picked from a group of 13.

A federal judge dismissed most claims against former Sheriff Clarke that were levied by Dan Black, a man detained at an airport after he shook his head at the sheriff during a flight.

But the judge agreed to allow Black to pursue his lawsuit’s claim that centers on a Facebook post Clarke made calling Black a “snowflake.” Black says the post was a retaliatory threat intended to deter free speech.

Judge J.P. Stadtmueller’s ruling says Clarke’s directive for deputies to detain Black wasn’t an unconstitutional search and seizure because Black spoke to deputies voluntarily. The judge also dismissed a due-process violation claim, saying Clarke’s “actions reflect poor judgment.”

Dan Black Snapchat video

Clarke ordered Black detained and questioned at Milwaukee’s airport last year.