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2016 Republican National Convention
Speech by Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Jr.

July 18

David Clarke is the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He began his career in law enforcement with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). In 1992, he was promoted to lieutenant of detectives, and in 1996, he earned a promotion to captain of police and became part of the department’s command staff. As captain, Clarke was responsible for the department’s First Division, and in 1999, he became commanding officer of the MPD’s Intelligence Division.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to make something very clear: Blue Lives Matter!

I want to talk with you about something important, indeed, a concept that five law enforcement officers were murdered and nine more were wounded for earlier this month in Dallas, and for which three more were murdered yesterday in Baton Rouge: that is the importance of Making America Safe Again.

I believe that this noble mission is not just a requirement, but a prerequisite for achieving this campaign’s goal of Making America Great Again.

We simply cannot be great if we do not feel safe in our homes, on our streets, and in our communities.

I see this every day, at street level where many Americans increasingly have an uneasiness about the ability of their families to live safely in these troubling times. This transcends race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, and lifestyle.

If you don’t believe it, a recent Gallup poll confirms it: more than half of all Americans now worry a great deal about crime and violence, up consistently and dramatically from just a few years ago.

For African-Americans that number is 70 percent.

Sadly for a growing number of communities the sense of safety that many of us once took for granted has been shattered.

Americans don’t always feel safe no matter if they are working in a big city, living in a suburb or rural areas all around our great country.

I often tell residents of Milwaukee, and the cities and towns I visit that safety is a shared endeavor. It starts with the willing acceptance of people to play by society’s rules: a code we collectively agree upon that ensures stability, order, fairness, and respect.

It’s built on a foundation of trust in each other and in the people who administer and enforce society’s rules, which at its foundation is the rule of law.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote passionately about “the interrelatedness of all communities and states” and about our “inescapable network of mu-tu- ALITY, tying us in a single garment of destiny.”

He spoke of the basic morality of the rule of law, provided that it is applied equally to both the wealthy and the impoverished; both men and women, and yes, the majority and the minority.

What we witnessed in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and in Baton Rouge was a collapse of social order. So many of the actions of the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter transcend peaceful protest, and violates the code of conduct we rely on.

American law enforcement officers understand that race is and has been a heated issue in our country. Most appreciate the vital need for thoroughness and transparency in pursuit of the greater good in their actions, and in their investigations.

These are truths that are self-evident to me, and which I practice, and they are the truths that Donald Trump understands and supports.

Donald Trump is the steadfast leader our nation needs.

He has spoken passionately to me of his belief in our American system of justice, and he speaks to the values that are at the foundation of our social contract.

Throughout his campaign and over many years before he has consistently and constantly raised his voice not only in defense of the character of the American police officer, but the need for ALL people to feel they are being treated fairly and respectfully by law enforcement.

Donald Trump understands that what can make our nation safe again is a recommitment to a system of justice in which no government official, not even those who have fought their way to the marble and granite halls of Washington; no private citizen, not even Hillary Clinton; and no group of people, despite the fervor with which they press forward their grievances, can claim privilege above the law.

The tradition of the primacy of the rule of law in America is strong. It is in those simple facts and in our acts that we will move forward and toward Making America Safe Again. God Bless you, and may God continue to bless these United States of America.