A California police department fired an officer who was a former Proud Boy. He says it's unfair and he never saw any 'kind of racism' while he was affiliated with them.
Members of the Proud Boys gather in support of President Donald Trump and protest the 2020 presidential election result near Freedom Square on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Fresno Police fired an officer after learning he was linked to the Proud Boys.
Rick Fitzgerald told Insider that he was never interviewed as part of the investigation.
He said he left the group in November but saw no "racism" when he first joined.
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A California police agency dismissed an officer from their ranks after it became known that he was linked to the Proud Boys.
In a statement, Fresno police chief Paco Balderrama said officer Rick Fitzgerald was fired on Friday after an internal affairs investigation was opened last month when he became aware of online pictures and videos showing how Fitzgerald gathered with the Proud Boys at a pro-Trump demonstration in November that became violent.
"Such ideologies, behaviors and affiliations have no place in law enforcement and are not tolerated in the ranks of the Fresno Police Department," Balderrama said in the statement. "Public trust and accountability are of paramount importance to our ability to fairly monitor this community."
Fitzgerald told Insider that he joined the group because he agreed with its principles.
"I looked at their policy and said, okay, well, these people are, you know, pro-first change for second change. They know they don't want drug wars. They want to raise the entrepreneur and they want to raise the housewife "I didn't see anything there that was misogynistic. I didn't see anything that was against the race," he said.
But Fitzgerald changed his mind after going to the rally in November and went to start his own group, The 1976 Sons.
According to its website, Sons of '76 is "a group of men who believe in uplifting and defending this brotherhood as well as our families, communities and nation".
The Fresno Bee reported that Fitzgerald was on administrative leave in March after an online video of him with the Proud Boys surfaced.
The FPD opened an internal investigation into Fitzgerald, the insider said he should be interviewed on April 12, but was fired before speaking to anyone.
"I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone, nothing. So they sent me the package to justify why they were going to fire me and it was like nothing. I mean you could argue like that." The protocol and the stuff, but I mean, regarding the stuff they claimed, there was nothing to warrant the immediate termination, "he told Insider.
"As if there was no reason I shouldn't have at least had a due process, but they weren't interested in getting an explanation from me or anything. To date, I haven't given them an explanation because they're 'me just not interested, "continued Fitzgerald.
Insider could not confirm Fitzgerald's report of his dismissal. Messages to the Fresno Police Department were not returned. When CNN was contacted about Fitzgerald's allegations, the FPD said legal restrictions prevented them from making further comments.
In a video kept by the Fresno Bee from Fitzgerald's now-deleted YouTube channel, he said, "I don't care if they're proud boys, three percent, Patriot Prayer, Sons of '76 having some dark ages Biden and Kamala-lalla up there doing God knows what. "
In a post entitled "Trench Warfare" posted on the Sons of '76 website in December, Fitzgerald talks about ongoing "battles" between "Tifa" - a reference to the Antifa - and the Proud Boys, drawing similarities between them them and the trench warfare in World War II.
He signed his contribution under the name "Sheepdog".
At one point he wrote: "I saw an article by Tim Pool on YouTube. He basically escaped the Proud Boys this weekend when they fucking beat up Tifa. Don't get me wrong now, I have no problem with that someone beats this. " Kids around and dealt with them on my own terms "before adding that he sees the struggle between the two groups as an endless cycle with no winners.
He told Insider that he had not instigated violence with this post, but expressed his frustration. He felt that Antifa was reportedly going to take over cities like Portland, and he wanted "ordinary Americans" to start their day without "bothering" a bunch of kids in black. "
Fitzgerald said he personally interacted with Antifa members while playing in a band and got doxxed after locals found out he was a cop. He said he had 300 messages from people who wanted to "kick my a--" and no one wanted to hear his side of the story. Insider was unable to independently verify his story.
"I'm just like that, wow. I mean, I'm a libertarian. I don't care what you do. If you want to do whatever, I'm fine with it. But they don't care because once they do something about you find out, they run with that narrative and then fill in the blanks and then they just start attacking you, "he said.
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