A captain of a Louisiana sheriff’s department, who gained national acclaim for his tough talk against criminals, resigned when he was told that his public statements crossed the line by jeopardizing due process.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Captain Clay Higgins’ latest Crime Stoppers video, in which he taunted local gangs with a display of “superior fire,” gained more than 18 million views on YouTube.
“I will not kneel to violent street gangs. I will not kneel to murderers or the parents that raised them,” Higgins said in the video. “I will not kneel to a discredited, wanna-be black activist that doesn’t really have the best interest of his people in mind, who just wants to make a profit. I will not kneel to bureaucrats in Baton Rouge, Washington or anywhere else who have forgotten why they wear a badge and who have forgotten who they serve.”
Higgins’ video also gained the attention of the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which wanted his head on a platter.
Although the now-former captain said he admires and respects Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, he added that he can’t abide by his rules that Higgins tone down the rhetoric, according to local ABC affiliate KATC Chanel 3 News.
“I would die rather than sacrifice my principles,” Higgins says. “I would leave my wife without a husband, my children without a daddy, rather than kneel to the very forces of evil that I have so long stood against.”
Higgins’ Crime Stopper segments are told in his signature monotone, and he often comments upon the accused perpetrators, using strong and uncomplimentary language. He usually ends his segments by speaking directly to the fugitive or suspect, often promising them redemption if they will only turn themselves in. He often refers to religion in his segments, as the source of the promised redemption. He has reported many arrests as a result of the segments, and has reported the resolution of many crimes.
Higgins’ strong rhetoric has made him and his videos extremely popular online, each spawning thousands of comments and many thousands of shares. He has started his own business, selling merchandise featuring his more popular phrases, such as “Listen to your Uncle Clay” or “I’m talking to you now, son” to help fund a homeless shelter he is building in St. Landry Parish. Higgins also has been invited to speak at various events and before various organizations, and even was made Grand Marshal of Mardi Gras parades.
Following Higgins’ resignation Monday, Sheriff Guidroz issued a statement.
“As Sheriff, it is my duty and responsibility that the message going out to the public be professional, on point and truthful. The public needs to remember the department public information officer is a spokesperson for the sheriff and represents the sheriff’s words, thoughts and message. If Clay Higgins cannot agree with my words, thoughts and message, then he is correct in resigning his position.”
Watch the report via KATC.
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