Sheriff Clarke: ‘I’m trying to figure out why Al Sharpton isn’t in federal prison’

Outspoken conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke wondered aloud earlier this week why self-described civil rights leader Al Sharpton hasn’t gone to prison for what he considered obvious crimes.

“I’m trying to figure out why Al Sharpton isn’t in federal prison for tax evasion,” he said Thursday on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”

Clarke excoriated Sharpton for calling for a national police force in the wake of the shooting death of Walter Scott by a North Charleston, S.C., police officer.

“I find it interesting he has so much faith in the federal government, when in the 1960s, the FBI surveilled Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement and then went on a smear campaign to discredit him,” Clarke said. “Now, all of a sudden, he trusts the federal government.”

Clarke said it all came down to politics for Sharpton, a frequent White House visitor and adviser.

“I bet he wouldn’t make this recommendation if a Republican president was in the White House, and who had appointed a more conservative United States attorney general,” he added.

Local policing is both a civil liberties and a state’s rights issue, Clarke said.

“We have 50 different states in this country, and they’re all unique. That’s why I say it’s a state’s rights issue,” he said. “They know how to police their communities best. The guiding principle for all 50 states, and every law enforcement agency in the United States, is the United States Constitution.”

The video of Scott’s shooting death disgusted not just the black community but other police officers, too, Clarke said.

“From what saw, I was as horrified as anybody in the United States, but I want to make it very clear what we saw in Charleston, South Carolina, is not a macrocosm of the profession of policing,” he said. “It’s an outlier. It’s an anomaly, and that guy, as soon as the investigation is complete, will get what he deserves. But I’m going to continue to defend the honor, the integrity, the character of the American police officer, because 99.9 percent of our officers do not go out — and I’ve talked to officers all over the place over the last 48 hours after that video was released, and I didn’t find one officer that wasn’t disgusted by what they saw. That is not the character of the American police officer.”

The Scott family has warned Sharpton to stay clear of the funeral.

Shortly after his Fox News appearance, Clarke delivered a rousing address at the National Rifle Association convention in Nashville.

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