Daivd Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, has become a right-wing icon in recent years as a result of his frequent Fox News appearances, speeches at conservative events like the GOP convention in Cleveland and the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Nashville, and constant stream of incendiary tweets.
A man who died of dehydration at the Milwaukee County jail "was subjected to a form of torture" during 10 days in solitary confinement, his family alleges in a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed Thursday claims jail staff ignored 38-year-old Terrill Thomas' pleas for water last April and that inmates "overheard his cries for water for days."
Thomas was among four people who died at the Milwaukee County jail last year. A woman whose baby died at the jail after she gave birth is also suing.
The medical examiner who conducted Thomas' autopsy said he had suffered from "profound dehydration."
Clarke, always classy, responded to the lawsuit by referencing the man's criminal background:
His family has said Thomas was having a mental breakdown when police arrested him April 14 for shooting a man in front of his parents' house and later firing a gun inside a casino. Police took Thomas to a hospital to be examined because of he was being disruptive at the city jail and showing "signs of acute psychological disorders," the lawsuit states. The hospital cleared him for transport to the county jail.
"I have nearly 1000 inmates. I don't know all their names but is this the guy who was in custody for shooting up the Potawatomi Casino causing one man to be hit by gunfire while in possession of a firearm by a career convicted felon?" Clarke said. "The media never reports that in stories about him. If that is him, then at least I know who you are talking about."