(Washington, D.C.) – A Fresno, California law enforcement officer, who was a former leader of the local Proud Boys, has been fired from his position after the national Lawyers’ Committee sent a letter to the Fresno police chief and other elected officials. The following is a statement from Arusha Gordon, associate director of the James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“We applaud the city of Fresno for taking decisive action and terminating the employment of officer Fitzgerald. The Proud Boys have a long history of racist, violent, and sexist rhetoric. We can’t seriously expect Black and Brown communities to trust a police department that employs officers that flagrantly hold the communities they are sworn to protect in such low regard. Today’s news is a promising first step in promoting accountability and addressing white supremacy in law enforcement.”
In addition to its work to remove white supremacists from law enforcement, the James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate is also representing the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington DC in a lawsuit against the Proud Boys for an attack by its members on the historic Black church in December 2020. Counsel is seeking information on the unidentified Proud Boys members who joined in violent campaign by attacking the Church.