Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime, and Politics for a Better America
by Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.
Published in February 2017
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
This book is written for conservatives with a circle jerk mindset who are excited at the idea that somewhere there is an African American law enforcement officer who agrees with them on everything. People with less plebeian tastes will likely prefer many of the other books that I have reviewed here on this blog.
The book is ghostwritten by Nancy French. Nancy French (who has a website you can find here: https://www.nancyfrench.com/) has ghostwriter books for all sorts of celebrities such as Sarah and Bristol Palin, some Christian guy who appeared on reality TV show The Bachelor, and Stacey Dash (who is an actress on CSI who gave a speech at CPAC in 2016). Cop Under Fire also hass a foreword written by Fox news daytime host Sean Hannity, who is the most generic milk toast conservative pundit imaginable. Finally, the author is Sheriff Clarke, a former Sheriff in Milwaukee who gave a speech at the RNC in support of Donald Trump.
Clarke starts by telling the reader about his early childhood experiences, and gives many analogies about his hardass Vietnam veteran father. Clarke credits his father with preventing him, despite living in a poor neighborhood, from turning to a life of crime and instead graduating college. Over time, Clarke decided to pursue a career in law enforcement, and slowly rose up the ranks. His experiences as a police officer gave him a strong law and order mentality, and turned him into a reluctant republican.
Eventually, he came to control all of the law enforcement officers in Milwaukee County. During his time at the helm of the force, several racially charged protest movements erupted, criticizing the force’s lack of attention and perceived brutality towards minorities. This allowed Clarke to assert his leadership skills, and help the police force deal with the PR crisis. He never backed down, and always protected his officers.
He also relays his tough attitude towards inmates and prison reform. Under his tenure, he streamlined the local prison. He also began improving inmate discipline by withdrawing more appealing food as punishment, and instead forcing inmates to eat nutraloaf. He also made controversial pro gun ownership educational videos where he urged his constituents to buy guns.
The rest of the book details Clarke’s political positions on a wide range of loosely law enforcement issues ranging from single motherhood, to the welfare state, to the death penalty, and several other issues. As I am writing this review, only days after I finished the book, I have already forgotten the specifics because of the banality of the presented arguments.
I was both pleasantly surprised and thoroughly disappointed. The quality of the writing was surprising considering the initial endorsement by Sean Hannity and the ghostwriting by Nancy French. However, the content was disappointing. I was hoping there would be a lot more specific examples of cases where Sheriff Clarke relayed his experiences as a police officer. Instead, I found a lot of very basic arguments which could have been made much better by the CATO Institute.
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