Twitter temporarily blocked the account of former Milwaukee sheriff and prominent Donald Trump supporter David Clarke after posting graphic tweets encouraging violence against the media. Clarke's verified @SheriffClarke account was briefly locked and placed in read-only mode until he deleted the tweets including one in which he threatened to punch the "lying lib media" in the nose and "make them taste their own blood."
The controversial tweet featured a picture of a wrestler with Trump's face superimposed on it holding another wrestler with the CNN logo on it. A third wrestler bearing Clarke's picture was seen kicking the CNN wrestler.
"When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is go right at them. Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD," Clarke said in the tweet posted on Saturday. "Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA"S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood #neverbackdown."
His controversial posts came after several news outlets reported on the unsealing of a search warrant request to look into Clarke's personal emails. The earlier investigation involved Clarke allegedly illegally holding a man for interrogation.
The past investigation did not lead to criminal charges. However, Clarke slammed the media for reporting the story from earlier in 2016 as current news.
A Twitter user who reported the violent tweet was informed via email that Clarke's account was locked for violating the Twitter rules.
"Tweets that were not in violation may still be public," the email read. "Please note that if the account owner completes our instructions to unlock their account, and complies with our stated policies, the account may be restored."
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the email received was authentic, but did not offer any further details on the temporary block.
The wrestling post and two other offending tweets were later removed from @SheriffClarke's account on Tuesday.
However, it didn't take long for him to resume tweeting about the "lying lib media."
The incident comes as Twitter struggles to clamp down on online harassment, abusive and illegal behaviour on its platform. Late last year, the company cracked down on the Twitter accounts of Nazis and white supremacists and published a roadmap of upcoming changes to tackle abusive content.
It is also working on revamping its "broken" verification system following backlash for awarding white supremacists the coveted blue checkmarks.
According to Twitter's Rules, users "may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people."
Additionally, verified users may also lose their verified badge and status for "inciting or engaging in harassment of others" or "directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people."
At the time of publication, Clarke's account was still verified.