Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins, a former SWAT cop who’s big on gun rights, threatened to shoot protesters in a wildly deranged Facebook post that accompanied a picture of armed Black men.
“Look, fair warning. If this shows up, we’ll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being, We, the people of Louisiana,” Higgins’ post began. The Republican congressman, elected in 2016, went on to say, “I wouldn’t even spill my beer. I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand. Because some of we, like me…We, are SWAT. Nothing personal. We just eliminate the threat.”
The accompanying picture, taken during a rally in Louisville to protest Breonna Taylor’s killing earlier this year, shows three heavily armed Black men from the Not Fucking Around Coalition, an all-Black militia.
Facebook removed the post for violence and incitement, a company spokesperson told The Acadiana Advocate on Tuesday. In a follow-up post responding to the removal, Higgins posted a picture of an American eagle, whined that his liberty was under attack, and suggested we’re in a war.
“Welcome to the front lines, Ladies and Gentlemen. I suggest you get your mind right,” Higgins wrote. “I’ll advise when it’s time to gear up, mount up, and roll out.”
Higgins, a right-wing former member of the Opelousas Police Department’s SWAT team, resigned from the department in 2007 rather than face a demotion and suspension for unnecessarily slapping a man in custody and lying about it, a 2017 investigation by IND Monthly found.
Higgins later rose to prominence as a police spokesperson for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, frequently appearing on a local television station’s “Crime Stoppers” segments. After Higgins was heavily criticized for a video he filmed saying alleged criminals would be “hunted” and “trapped,” he resigned from the job, saying he’d “rather die than sacrifice my principles.”
Since his election to Congress, Higgins has frequently touted his hard-line interpretation of the Second Amendment. “Every American that can legally possess and own a weapon, and carry in whatever manner, should have that protection in every state across the nation,” Higgins said in a 2017 statement following a vote on a bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.
It’s unclear why Higgins even posted this, considering the NAFC is nowhere near Louisiana. On the other hand, dozens of heavily armed members of the far-right Louisiana Cajun Militia did show up to a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Lafayette on Tuesday night, the Advocate reported. Though interactions between the militia and protesters were peaceful, according to reports, one member told a reporter that his group wasn’t “gonna let [Black Lives Matter] protesters go around burning flags and intimidating.”
Higgins hasn’t said yet whether those armed men constituted a “real threat.”
Cover: In this June 2, 2016, file photo, Clay Higgins, a former captain for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office, and candidate for Congress, poses for a photograph in Lafayette, La. (AP Photo/Kevin McGill, File)