Clay Higgins, the charismatic Sheriff’s captain who put St. Landry Parish Crime Stoppers on the international map with his viral videos, has resigned from the Sheriff’s Office.
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 he 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 said he loves Sheriff Bobby Guidroz. He admires him and respects him, but he can’t abide by his current orders.
“I would die rather than sacrifice my principles,” Higgins says. “I would leave my wife without a husband, my children without a daddy, rather than kneel to the very forces of evil that I have so long stood against.”
His announcement comes on the heels of some controversy surrounding the most recent videoHiggins made about fugitives – which was not on behalf of Crime Stoppers. With the help of State Police, Higgins put together a 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.
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.
Higgins’ Crime Stopper segments are told in his signature monotone, and he often comments upon the accused perpetrators, using strong and uncomplimentary language. He usually ends his segments by speaking directly to the fugitive or suspect, often promising them redemption if they will only turn themselves in. He often refers to religion in his segments, as the source of the promised redemption. He has reported many arrests as a result of the segments, and has reported the resolution of many crimes.
Higgins’ strong rhetoric has made him and his videos extremely popular online, each spawning thousands of comments and many thousands of shares. He has started his own business, selling merchandise featuring his more popular phrases, such as “Listen to your Uncle Clay” or “I’m talking to you now, son” to help fund a homeless shelter he is building in St. Landry Parish. Higgins also has been invited to speak at various events and before various organizations, and even was made Grand Marshal of Mardi Gras parades.
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.
Today was Higgins’ first public appearance since Guidroz made those comments.
As for Higgins’ future, he says he has options and will remain a constable.