As I have noted before, a lot of the “cops” who appear on Faux News and other right wing media – themselves have criminal histories.
David Clarke has been accused of covering up a deputy’s misdeeds while Joe Arpaio has been called ‘unrepentantly lawless’. Meet the prominent officers who want the businessman in the Oval Office
As chairman of Donald Trump’s “Florida law enforcement coalition” and one of the Trump campaign’s official pilots, Vincent Caldara is doubly devoted to the Republican presidential nominee and his pledge to crack down on criminality.
A former police officer in New York and Miami, Caldara told supporters at a recent gathering in Florida that he had been flying vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence “from coast to coast to make sure we get the law and order message out to every single person that will be voting on November 8th”.
Caldara is simultaneously fighting claims that he is a lawbreaker himself.
The 55-year-old pilot is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, after he allegedly drove a vehicle at another person repeatedly in Pompano Beach in July last year. According to court records, the victim, whose name is withheld, was treated in hospital for leg and back injuries. Caldara has pleaded not guilty.
In a separate case, Caldara is accused of severely injuring a woman in June 2014 by recklessly driving into her with his Harley Davidson motorcycle in Fort Lauderdale. The woman is suing Caldara and seeking a jury trial. According to court records, officials have been unable to find Caldara to serve him with a summons.
Caldara and spokespeople for Trump’s campaign did not respond to several requests for comment.
The accusations of wrongdoing against Caldara are only the latest in an eclectic series of claims leveled at law enforcement figures who have publicly endorsed Trump’s campaign for the White House.
Amid a spike in crime in some US cities, Trump on Friday received the endorsement of the national Fraternal Order of Police union, whose president, Chuck Canterbury, said: “Our members believe he will make America safe again”.
But dark spots on the records of some of Trump’s most prominent police backers challenge the credibility of his claim to be the “law and order candidate”. In July, a coalition of dozens of police chiefs and prosecutors pleaded with the Republican nominee to abandon his draconian ideas and embrace contemporary policing theory and criminal justice reform.
Here, the Guardian reviews some of the allegations made against a half-dozen lawmen who have lent their support to Trump’s presidential campaign:
Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, has been Trump’s most visible ally among serving police. Although a registered Democrat, Clarke, 60, accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of “embracing criminality” after mothers of African Americans killed by police appeared onstage at the Democratic National Convention.
But Clarke has been accused of violating rules and regulations himself since being elected in 2002. After one of his deputies broke a woman’s neck by crashing his vehicle into her car, Clarke was alleged to have overseen an attempted cover-up that involved framing the woman for drunk driving.
The victim, Tanya Weyker, sued Clarke, several deputies and county authorities in state and federal court in 2014 for compensation and civil rights violations. She said Clarke and his officers continued pursuing charges against her for months even after they knew video evidence showed the officer was at fault.
“Clarke was personally involved in the conspiracy to continue with the baseless prosecution of [Weyker],” the federal lawsuit said, “or, at the very least, was deliberately and recklessly indifferent to his subordinates’ unconstitutional actions and related misconduct.” Clarke and the officers denied the allegations.
An attorney for Weyker, Drew DeVinney, said Weyker settled her state lawsuit for the state-capped maximum $250,000 in compensation, and then settled the federal lawsuit for more than $95,000 for civil rights violations and attorneys’ fees.
Clarke has also come under criticism from within his own ranks. In 2010, deputy Richard Graber, a senior official in the Milwaukee deputies’ union, alleged that Clarke aggressively confronted him, called him a “sick fuck” and threatened to “come after him” for questioning an order that deputies must work mandatory overtime after the high-profile death of a local child.
“Clarke’s profanity-ridden rant included yelling, pointing, and calling Graber ‘waste,’ an ‘organizational terrorist,’ a ‘fucker,’ and a ‘cancer to the agency’,” according to an appeals court filing. Clarke denied most of Graber’s account of their confrontation. A federal appeals court said Clarke’s behavior amounted to an “adverse employment action” but rejected an allegation from Graber that the mistreatment was because of his union activity.
Inspector Edward Bailey, a spokesman for Clarke, declined to comment. “This county office does not involve itself in the current presidential race in any capacity,” he said in an email.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, enthusiastically supports Trump’s anti-immigration stance and campaign pledge to build a wall along the US border with Mexico. Babeu is also running as a Republican for a seat in the US House of Representatives and has made border security a key plank of his campaign.
Babeu promises voters on his website that he will tackle the “hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring across our southern borders”, warning that at present, “possible terrorists with military training, deliberate plans and lots of money can cross the border”.
In 2012, Jose Orozco, a Mexican man and ex-boyfriend of Babeu who worked for the sheriff’s election campaign, alleged that he was threatened with deportation by an aide to Babeu when he refused to sign an agreement not to publicly disclose the relationship. Orozco’s attorney said she was told Orozco’s US visa had expired, making him undocumented. Babeu denied Orozco’s allegations. An inquiry by the Arizona attorney general concluded that he committed no criminal violation.
Babeu has also faced allegations made public by his sisterthat as headmaster and executive director of a boarding school for troubled teenagers in Massachusetts, he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. Babeu, who led the controversial DeSisto School in West Stockbridge between 1999 and 2001, responded by publishing his sister’s mental health history.
The former student, Joshua Geyer, has not disputed that he had a relationship with Babeu, but insisted that it was not “inappropriate”. This week, a spokesman for Babeu sent the Guardian a letter purportedly from Geyer that said he and Babeu had no sexual relationship at all. Asked twice whether Babeu himself denied that the relationship took place, the spokesman did not respond.
State authorities pursued DeSisto for operating illegally without a state license. Over the years, the school became notorious for its severe punishment system, and was investigated repeatedly for allegations of abuse and mistreatment of students. It has since closed.
The Babeu spokesman, Barrett Marson, said in an email: “Paul was in charge of the business operations at the school. He never had any control over student discipline or instruction. He was in charge of ensuring there was food and bathroom supplies and things like that. But Paul was never investigated nor had any knowledge of any alleged abuse at the school while he was employed there.”…More Here…