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ACLU calls for censure of Higgins for alleged threat

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 17:55:01-04

The Louisianan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to censure Congressman Clay Higgins for a Facebook post.

In the post, Higgins posted photos of armed protesters who appear to be black, and unarmed protesters who appear to be of various races, along with statements including “One way ticket fellas…Have your affairs in order…I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand.” To read our story and see a screenshot of the post, which has since been removed by Facebook, click here.

The following is a statement from ACLU of Louisiana executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert.

“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. 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. Protesting injustice is a fundamental right and a cherished tradition that’s been used by Americans of every generation to move our country forward and push for positive change. The people of Lafayette have a right to make their voices heard without fear of intimidation or arrest. The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to stand with all those demanding justice and an end to police violence against people of color.”

The press release from the group states: "The ACLU of Louisiana supports the demands of the Lafayette Parish NAACP, including ending Qualified Immunity for police officers; creating a citizen law enforcement oversight committee; establishing substantive and meaningful police reform; hosting weekly Lafayette Police Community Relations Committee meetings until a plan is developed; and creating a minority affairs task force."

The local NAACP chapter has also spoken out about Higgins alleged threats. They released a statement on Tuesday.

“We are very concerned with Representative Clay Higgins’ threatening post, it is extremely inappropriate for a sitting member of Congress to incite violence against Blacks, to target peaceful protestors, and to abuse his power to encourage racism,” says Lafayette Parish NAACP President Marja Broussard. “The NAACP promotes and participates in lawful, peaceful protests and under the Constitution, citizens have both the right to exercise freedom of speech and to bear arms. We will not tolerate discrimination against minorities who also choose to exercise these freedoms which we are all entitled to, equally.”

Louisiana State NAACP President Michael McClanahan also called Higgins' censure and an investigation into his comments.

“We are very concerned with Rep. Clay Higgins rhetoric about shooting persons who lawfully come into Louisiana, and who bear arms while here. It is a threat that the NAACP Louisiana State Conference takes seriously, and we will use all legal avenues to ensure that he is not unilaterally the judge, jury and executioner of persons exercising their constitutional rights. Rep. Higgins took an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and the laws of this state. It appears he wasn't listening or wasn't in class.” “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,” said ACLU of Louisiana executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert. “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. Protesting injustice is a fundamental right and a cherished tradition that’s been used by Americans of every generation to move our country forward and push for positive change. The people of Lafayette have a right to make their voices heard without fear of intimidation or arrest. The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to stand with all those demanding justice and an end to police violence against people of color.”