The FBI obtained a search warrant in March to examine the emails of former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke following an incident with a flight passenger, according to records released this week.
The search warrant came in response to an affidavit and accusations from passenger Dan Black, who said he was accosted by six deputies and two police dogs upon arrival in Milwaukee.
The affidavit describes a Jan. 15, 2017 incident between Clarke and Black, when the two were aboard an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Milwaukee.
“Sitting on the tarmac at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Jan. 15, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. sent a text message to one of his captains after a brief verbal exchange with a passenger,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported at the time.
The report quoted Clarke’s text message to Capt. Mark Witek: “Question for him [Black] is why he said anything to me. Why didn’t he just keep his mouth shut?” According to the correspondence, which was released to the paper by Black’s attorney, Clarke then instructed Witek to follow Black “to baggage and out the door.”
The alleged harassment provoked a federal investigation, with the FBI applying for a warrant last March to search Clarke’s gmail account for any correspondence between Clarke and Witek, including anything that would indicate Clarke’s “state of mind” at the time of the incident.
As the Washington Examiner reported, the FBI also cited as evidence a post from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Facebook page that presented a photo of Black on top of a message reading, “CHEER UP SNOWFLAKE… IF SHERIFF CLARKE WERE TO REALLY HARASS YOU, YOU WOULDN’T BE AROUND TO WHINE ABOUT IT.”
The Department of Justice closed its investigation of Clarke last May due to lack of evidence.