Sheriff David Clarke to stand trial for calling man a ‘snowflake’ on Facebook

On Friday, USA Today reported that former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke is set to stand trial on January 22 for allegedly referring to a critic on Facebook as a “snowflake.”

According to USA Today:

A federal judge Friday dismissed most of a civil-rights lawsuit against former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. over an incident at Milwaukee’s airport last year.

But a claim that Clarke retaliated on Facebook for Daniel Black’s exercise of his First Amendment right to shake his head at Clarke survives, and is now set for trial Jan. 22.

Black and Clarke were on the same flight Jan. 15, 2017, from Dallas to Milwaukee. Black saw Clarke wearing Dallas Cowboys gear and asked if he were David Clarke.

Clarke said he was, and Black shook his head and walked away to his seat in coach.

Black, the report said, was met by six deputies who escorted him from the airport after Clarke requested they take Black aside and question him.

Black later wrote about the encounter on social media and filed a complaint with the county.  Clarke responded by calling him a “snowflake.”

The USA Today report said Black later sued Clarke and the six deputies, claiming violations of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure, retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights by having him stopped at the airport and the subsequent mockery on Facebook, and his due process rights under the 14th Amendment. The suit also sought to have the county held liable for Clarke’s actions.

But U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller granted summary judgment to Clarke on the Fourth and one of the First amendment claims in a 27-page order issued Friday.  He also dismissed the 14th Amendment claim as “completely without merit” and dismissed the claim against the county and the six deputies.

The report added:

“While Clarke’s actions reflect poor judgment, they do not shock the conscience,” to a degree to support the due-process claim, Stadtmueller ruled.

He also found that Black’s 15-minute discussion with deputies was not a seizure since they never drew their guns, used friendly language and weren’t expecting to arrest or cite Black.

But the judge said a jury should decide whether Clarke’s reaction on Facebook was the kind of threat or intimidation that amounted to retaliation against Black. One post read, “Cheer up, snowflake … if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.”

“We are in scary times when a Facebook post or a Tweet can land us in court,” Cristina Laila said at the Gateway Pundit.

Exit question: If Sheriff Clarke can be tried for calling someone a snowflake, does that mean liberals who openly advocate murder on social media can be hauled into court?  Or are they now a protected class?



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