A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy was fired after it was revealed that he was a member of the Proud Boys, a far-right “Western chauvinist” group that often engages in political violence, including recently on the streets of Portland, Oregon.
Brian Green, a patrol deputy at the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, was fired on Thursday after an internal investigation found that he had violated the department’s social media policy, which prohibits any sort of behavior that would “negatively affect the public perception” of the agency, The Advocate reported.
Controversy had been swirling since last week, when Facebook screenshots surfaced showing Green’s affiliation with the Proud Boys. According to Nola.com, a since-deleted Facebook video showed Green pledging allegiance to the group.
“I’m Brian Green and I’m a proud western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world,” Green said. The former sheriff’s deputy was also an administrator on the Proud Boy’s Louisiana Vetting Page.
The Proud Boys, who were created by former VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes, are on of the few far-right groups still strongly active after a year in which the broader movement has been battered by lawsuits, deplatforming, and infighting. The group has repeatedly denied that they are part of the so-called “alt-right” and claim instead that they are simply a men’s club that believes “The West is the Best.”
But this naturally glosses over the far-right political violence that many Proud Boys have engaged in over the last year. For instance, Jason Kessler, the disgraced organizer of last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, had previously pledged allegiance to the Proud Boys.
The Proud Boys have also been a staple at the far-right “Patriot Prayer” rallies in Portland, Oregon. While the most recent gathering, on August 4, passed without violence, a widely circulated video from a rally on June 30 showed a Proud Boy flooring a counter-protester with a single punch.
This isn’t the first time a law enforcement officer has been fired for their association with the Proud Boys either. In July, a deputy from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State was fired after she was photographed wearing a sweatshirt affiliated with the Proud Boys.
However, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Gerald Turlich stopped short of calling the Proud Boys a hate group in announcing Green’s firing. Instead, he said that the “values are contradictory to the values and the vision of the [sheriff’s office]” and that “law enforcement in general has an obligation to treat all people equally, fairly and impartially.”