The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is calling for the public censure of Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins for a Facebook post the group says threatened violence against Black protesters.
The civil rights organization said the post in question featured photos of armed Black protesters alongside statements that included: “One way ticket fellas…Have your affairs in order…I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand.”
“Look, fair warning,” the now-deleted post continued, according to screenshots posted online. “If this shows up, we’ll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being, we, the people of Louisiana.”
Here’s Clay Higgins threatening to shoot on sight a Black militia rumored to be coming to LFT. And here’s the militia that showed up. Higgins appears to have deleted the post. pic.twitter.com/yfzg7iZJh4
— Christiaan Mader (@xnmader) September 2, 2020
ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms Hebert issued a stern rebuke in response to Higgins’ comments.
“Lafayette is a community that is grieving and rightfully demanding justice, and such calls for change should never be met by racist threats or intimidation,” Hebert said in a statement. “Representative Higgins’ racist and reprehensible threat to shoot protesters harkens back to the darkest days of racial terror in our country and should be publicly censured by the U.S. House of Representatives.”
“The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to stand with all those demanding justice and an end to police violence against people of color,” she added.
A spokesperson for Facebook told The Hill it removed Higgins’ post “for breaking our Violence and Incitement policies.”
McClatchy News reached out to Higgins’ office for comment and is awaiting response.
Calls for justice continued last week as protesters marched for Trayford Pellerin, the 31-year-old Black man fatally shot by police at a gas station in Lafayette on Aug. 21, KLFY reported. Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory defended officers’ decision to kill Pellerin, saying he was “threatening” and armed with a knife, according to The Daily Advertiser.
Pellerin is accused of trying to walk away from officers and into another store when he was shot and killed,police said. The results of an independent autopsy commissioned by his family showed he was shot 10 times, KTBS reported.
Higgins’ comments were seemingly in response to protests sparked by the police shooting. In a follow-up post, the congressman denied removing his initial post, which promised to “eliminate the threat” of armed demonstrators, according to KATC.
“No, I did not remove my post,” Higgins wrote, according to KATC. “America is being manipulated into a new era of government control. Your liberty is being threatened from within. Welcome to the front lines, Ladies and Gentlemen. I suggest you get your mind right. I’ll advise when it’s time to gear up, mount up, and roll out.”