Everyone who has ever crossed Danielle Shelton, a public defender running for Milwaukee County judge, is apparently a racist. At literally every step of her remarkably checkered past, she has tried to defend her own abhorrent conduct by claiming her accusers are part of an imagined racist plot against her.
In 1991, when Shelton was 26, she got into what she described as a “heated discussion” with a boyfriend on a sidewalk in Oconomowoc. The discussion was so heated that police were called. When they arrived, Shelton was so combative that she was arrested, spent a night in jail and charged with obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct and convicted on the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
Rather than taking responsibility for this, she “wears” it, as though she was the victim of racism.
“Two black people standing on the sidewalk, having a discussion (and) being there too long — that’s going to draw attention,” she told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I don’t think two white people standing on the sidewalk, having a discussion, would draw attention in Oconomowoc.”
Casting herself as a victim, she rather ridiculously assumes that a presumably white person called the police on her because she and her boyfriend were merely having a discussion...that she herself admits was heated. Is there any possibility that it was so heated that a concerned passerby worried that she was in physical danger?
Nope, they had to be racists acting on a racist grudge.
“You know it’s very easy to be criminalized as a black person in this community, in a lot of communities in America,” Shelton said. “It was definitely a learning experience...that I’m very open with. I tell people about it and, you know, I'm not ashamed of it. My children know about it, my family knows about it...law firms that I’ve worked for know about it.”
20 years later, she was cited for disorderly conduct again when she had a confrontation with a neighbor in Shorewood that led to her screaming that he was a pedophile. She had no evidence for this, and because of how crazily she was acting, the neighbor sought a restraining order against her.
Shelton admitted in court that she had called him a pedophile and admitted that she had no evidence for this, but the restraining order was denied because the neighbor couldn’t demonstrate that Shelton’s harassment constituted a pattern of behavior.
She did, however, still have to pay a $177 citation for disorderly conduct. She didn’t accept responsibility for this offense, either, though, and tried unsuccessfully to fight her ticket.
When she lost in court, she immediately accused the Shorewood Police Department of harassing her because of her race. Once again, she blamed imagined racism instead of accepting the consequences of her obviously out-of-control actions.
And once again, those allegations were unfounded, as an internal review did not find any merit to her wild claims.
Now that Shelton is running for judge, these unhinged incidents have raised serious concerns about her emotional fitness for office, while her penchant for making baseless allegations of racism call into question her ability to be impartial on the bench.
And what does she say about those raising those concerns? Why, they’re racist, of course.
In an email to her supporters, she wrote, “I’m being attacked for being a victim of targeted harassment and racism.”
She is now accusing her opponent, incumbent judge Andrew Jones, of running a racist campaign against her. Jones, of course, has never been accused of racism before in his life.
And his concerns about Shelton are well-founded since in addition to her dishonesty about being the victim of racism, she has also been dishonest about her military service.
On her official campaign website, she identifies herself as a “U.S. Army veteran.” As The Journal Sentinel notes, “federal regulations define a veteran as a person ‘who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.’”
Shelton did not. She served in the Army Reserves and was never called up to active duty.
When asked by The Journal Sentinel about this, Shelton said she didn’t think there was a difference between active duty military and the Reserves and that a former Army Reserve member could call herself a veteran. She said that maybe her website “wasn’t redundant enough” on the issue.
Nearly a week later, though, her website hasn’t been changed and still lists her as a “U.S. Army veteran” even though she has been made aware of the difference.
Maybe she could blame racism by The Journal Sentinel for this? Or maybe racism by the Army for not recognizing her as a veteran?
After all, making hysterical and false allegations of racism is what she has done every other time she has been called to account for her behavior. Why would this be any different?
One would hope that Milwaukee County will next week have enough sense to keep such a dishonest person away from the bench—if for no other reason than to hear Shelton call voters racist in her concession speech.