MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man says a tough-talking, cowboy-hat wearing Wisconsin sheriff detained him after a flight because the man shook his head at the lawman, who has gained a national prominence for his outspoken support of Donald Trump.
Dan Black said in a complaint submitted through the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office website that his gesture of disapproval was about football, not politics. Black said he was disappointed that Sheriff David Clarke was wearing Dallas Cowboys gear the same day that team was playing the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.
But Clarke didn't view the interaction as harmless. He said in a Facebook post Wednesday that he "reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault."
The encounter happened during boarding for a flight from Dallas to Milwaukee hours before kickoff. The Packers went on to beat the Cowboys 34-31.
Black, 24, said in the complaint that Clarke wasn't wearing his trademark cowboy hat and Black asked him whether he was Milwaukee's sheriff. When Clarke said, "Yes," Black said he shook his head, then walked toward his seat. Clarke then asked him if he had a problem, Black said, and Black shook his head to say, "No."
Black said deputies questioned him for about 15 minutes after the plane landed before letting him go.
The status of Black's complaint was not immediately known.
Clarke's profile has been elevated by his outspoken support of the president-elect, and he's been mentioned as a possible candidate for a job in Trump's administration. He was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican convention and has called anti-Trump protesters "anarchists" who "must be quelled."
In his Facebook response to Black's complaint, Clarke warned: "Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out." He added he "does not have to wait for some goof to assault him."
Black, who said he was shaken by the experience, called Clarke "unhinged."
"Who in their right mind responds, 'I'm going to kick that guy's ass next time?'" Black said.