- The Fresno Police Division fired an officer after studying he was affiliated with the Proud Boys.
- Rick Fitzgerald instructed Insider that he was by no means interviewed as a part of the investigation.
- He mentioned he left the group in November however by no means noticed any “racism” when he first joined.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A California police division fired an officer from inside its ranks as a result of it was revealed he had been affiliated with the Proud Boys.
In an announcement, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama mentioned officer Rick Fitzgerald was fired on Friday after an inner affairs investigation was launched final month after they grew to become conscious of on-line pictures and movies that confirmed Fitzgerald rallying with the Proud Boys at a November pro-Trump demonstration that turned violent.
“Such ideology, habits, and affiliations don’t have any place in legislation enforcement and won’t be tolerated inside the ranks of the Fresno Police Division,” Balderrama said in the statement. “Public belief and accountability are paramount in our skill to pretty police this group.”
Fitzgerald instructed Insider he joined the group as a result of he agreed with their tenets.
“I checked out their tenets, and I mentioned, okay, properly, these guys are, you already know, pro-First modification, for the Second Modification. You recognize, they do not need drug wars. They need to uplift the entrepreneur, and so they need to uplift the housewife. I did not see something on there that was misogynistic. I did not see something that was anti-race.” he mentioned.
However Fitzgerald modified his tune after going to the November rally and left to kind his personal group, the Sons of ’76.
In keeping with its web site, Sons of ’76 is “a bunch of males who consider in uplifting and defending this brotherhood in addition to our households, communities, and nation.”
The Fresno Bee reported that Fitzgerald was positioned on administrative depart in March after a web based video surfaced of him with the Proud Boys.
The FPD opened an inner investigation into Fitzgerald, who instructed Insider he was imagined to be interviewed on April 12 however was fired earlier than talking to anybody.
“I did not get to speak to anyone, nothing. In order that they despatched me the packet as to their justification as to why they have been going to fireplace me, and it was like, there was nothing there. I imply, you may argue just like the protocol and stuff, however I imply when it comes to, like, the stuff they have been claiming, there was nothing to justify the instant termination,” he instructed Insider.
“Like there was no cause why I should not have had a minimum of due course of, however they weren’t interested by getting an announcement from me or something like that. To today, I’ve not given an announcement to them as a result of they’re simply not ,” Fitzgerald continued.
Insider was unable to corroborate Fitzgerald’s account of his firing. Messages to the Fresno Police Division weren’t returned. When contacted by CNN about Fitzgerald’s claims, the FPD mentioned authorized constraints prevented it from commenting additional.
In a video preserved by the Fresno Bee from Fitzgerald’s now-deleted YouTube channel, he mentioned: “I do not care if it is Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Patriot Prayer, Sons of ’76, become involved. We’re gonna be going through some darkish occasions with Biden and Kamala-lalla up there doing God is aware of what.”
In a publish titled “trench warfare” that was revealed in December on the Sons of ’76 web site, Fitzgerald talks about ongoing “battles” between “Tifa” — a reference to the Antifa — and the Proud Boys, drawing similarities between them and the ditch warfare utilized in World Warfare II.
He signed his publish utilizing the identify “Sheepdog.”
At one level, he writes: “I noticed an article on YouTube by Tim Pool. It principally eluded to the Proud Boys this weekend beating the hell out of Tifa. Now do not get me incorrect, I’ve no downside with anybody slapping these youngsters round and have handled them alone phrases,” earlier than including that he sees the struggle between the 2 teams as an limitless cycle with no winner.
He instructed Insider he wasn’t inciting violence with this publish, however as an alternative was expressing frustration he felt that Antifa was reportedly taking on cities like Portland, and he wished “atypical People” to have the ability to go about their day with out “being harassed by a bunch of youngsters in black.”
Fitzgerald mentioned he personally interacted with Antifa members when he performed in a band and was doxxed after locals discovered he was a cop. He mentioned he had 300 messages from individuals who wished to “kick my a–,” and nobody wished to take heed to his facet of the story. Insider has not been in a position to independently confirm his story.
“I am identical to, wow. I imply, I am a libertarian. I do not care what you guys do. Should you guys need to do no matter, I am good with that. However they do not care as a result of as soon as they discover out one thing about you, they run with that narrative after which fill within the blanks, after which they only begin attacking you,” he mentioned.