Louisiana Republican Congressman Clay Higgins lashed out at Facebook after the social media site took down a post of him threatening to kill peaceful, unarmed Black protesters in the state.
Higgins, the U.S. representative for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district, has a long history of making offensive, racist comments, according to BBC News. But on Tuesday he caused further outrage when he posted a lengthy Facebook message about a protest held by a local Black Lives Matter group.
The Black Lives Matter protesters, however, gave the heavily armed white men some food as they watched the peaceful event.
Despite video of the event, in his post, Higgins included an old photo of a Breonna Taylor demonstration in Louisville, Kentucky, from July, implying that he would shoot the protesters if they threatened his city.
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
"If this shows up, we'll consider the armed presence a real threat. We being, We, the people of Louisiana, one way. ticket fellas. Have your affairs in order. Me? 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. If you show up like this, if we recognize threat," Higgins wrote.
"You won't walk away. That's not a challenge, fellas, its a promise. We don't want to see your worthless ass nor do we want to make your mothers cry. You're the ones threatening. If you show yourselves, aggressively natured and armed in my presence, in my neighborhood, where I work, anywhere close enough to put my family or my fellow citizens in danger. That is where your journey will end. fast. How fast? 1,450 FPS fast," he added.
Facebook confirmed that the post violated its policy on “violence and incitement” and was taken down.
Higgins confirmed that he didn't take the post down himself in his own Facebook post.
None of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators at Tuesday's protest were armed, even though Louisiana is an open-carry state. Higgins himself has made an entire career out of being a pro-gun advocate and is well-known for carrying a gun, according to his official government site.
People online noted the hypocrisy of Higgins' post, considering his stance on guns and his very public dispute with his ex-wife, who said he had abandoned his family and refused to pay child support.
The protests even made their way into the Lafayette Parish Council, where dozens of people chanted for justice, according to local news outlet KLFY.
“Say his name. Trayford Pellerin. Say his name. Trayford Pellerin. Say his name,” the protesters said.
Protester Morgan Prejean criticized a callous statement from Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory that said officers did everything they could before killing Pellerin. Video of the incident has sparked outrage nationwide.
“It should have been de-escalated. You mean to tell me all those cops between one person with a knife couldn’t disarm him? That’s embarrassing,” Prejean said.
Family members and Parish Council District 5 Representative AB Rubin criticized the local police for their actions before the shooting. Pellerin's cousin, Jai Pellerin called for Guillory to step down and said he did not understand how the community could be treated the way they are.
“Maybe I’m missing something because this isn’t what I signed up for. This isn’t what I signed up to protect this country for," Jai Pellerin, a veteran, told the city council meeting.