U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana appeared to double down on a controversial Facebook message he posted on June 4 in which he called for America to kill not just terrorists found guilty of crimes, but all Islamic radical suspects.
In the Facebook post made apparently in response to the recent terrorist attack on the London Bridge, the first-term Republican congressman and former sheriff’s captain wrote:
“The free world … all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
A day later, Higgins appeared to defend the message in a Twitter post.
Higgins, whose 3rd Congressional District includes Lafayette in southwestern Louisiana, is a controversial figure in the state, known for his extreme attitude toward law enforcement. His supporters praise his tough stance and refer to him as the “Cajun John Wayne,” in part due to his viral Crime Stoppers videos. In July 2015, one such video was featured in a segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
In February 2016, Higgins resigned his position as a captain with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office shortly after making a video, unrelated to Crime Stoppers, in which he appeared to threaten the lives of suspected members of a street gang. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz accepted Higgins’ resignation.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana took issue with the tone of an advance copy of a script for the video, as well as some of the suspects’ family members who felt they were in danger, according to local TV station KATC.
“I will not kneel to violent street gangs,” he said on the steps of the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in his resignation announcement.
“I will not kneel to murderers or the parents that raised them,” he continued. “I will not kneel to a discredited, wannabe Black activist that doesn’t really have the best interest of his people in mind, who just wants to make a profit.”
Since joining Congress, Higgins has been one of President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters. He defended the president’s travel ban in January in a fiery speech on the House floor, while at the same time blaming former President Barack Obama for putting the country’s security at risk by failing to stand up to Islamic terrorism.
In response to the controversy surrounding the Facebook post, Higgins’ office released a statement from the congressman that featured no apology for his remarks.
“I call things the way I see them. The meaning of candid speech is frequently mischaracterized or misunderstood,” he said. “This is about prioritizing national security and protecting American lives.
“Every measure must be taken to eliminate radical Islamic terrorism and the threat it poses to the free world.”