Clay Higgins, the charismatic Sheriff's captain who put St. Landry Parish (LA) Crime Stoppers on the international map with his viral videos, has resigned from the Sheriff's Office after a disagreement with the sheriff over the tone of his videos.
Higgins made the announcement Monday morning on the steps of the St. Landry Parish Courthouse. He says he was not forced to resign, but he felt the need to turn in his badge, which the sheriff accepted.
"I will not kneel to violent street gangs. I will not kneel to murderers or the parents that raised them. 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," says Higgins. "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 recently put together a controversial video about seven suspects who have been on the run since last fall, accused members of the Gremlins Gang and under indictment on conspiracy charges, KATC TV reports.
Along with Higgins, appearing in the video were members of various law enforcement agencies in the area, including State Police, and leaders in the black community of St. Landry Parish.
However, the ACLU took issue with an advance copy of Higgins' script for the segment, and several people identifying themselves as family members of the accused gang members said they felt their relatives were in danger because of the segment.
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz was quoted in the Daily World after the Gremlins video aired, saying Crime Stoppers had gotten away from its original message, and he didn't like calling out suspects and criticizing people. Guidroz promised to "reign" the segment back in to where he felt it needed to be.
Sheriff Guidroz said in a statement, “My orders to Higgins was to, ‘tone down’ his unprofessional comments on our weekly Crime Stoppers messages and had nothing to do with the Gremlins video that appeared on the networks. I agree with the Gremlins video. I repeatedly told him to stop saying things like, ‘you have no brain cells, or making comments that were totally disrespectful and demeaning.
"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."