A Washington state sheriff’s office said that one of its deputies was “released from employment” this week because she was allegedly seen wearing a shirt that with a logo connected to the “Proud Boys.”
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday in a news release that Deputy Erin Willey was fired on Tuesday following an investigation.
“Law enforcement officers are peacekeepers whose core mission is to protect and safeguard the community,” Sheriff Chuck Atkins said in the release. “My expectation is that my employees do not engage in activities or associations that undermine or diminish our role as peacekeepers,” he said.
The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver, Washington, which is located just north of Portland, Oregon, posted a photo that purports to show Willey with the logo on her clothing. Willey appears in a photo that was shared by a Proud Boys-affiliated Twitter page, saying they could contact her for Proud Boys merchandise, the paper said.
The Columbian, in its report, called the Proud Boys “a far-right group known for its white nationalist rhetoric and frequent appearances in the middle of political violence locally and nationwide.” The Daily Beast last week described the Proud Boys as “infamous right-wing brawlers” who frequently challenge the anarchist-communist extremist group Antifa during street protests. The Southern Poverty Law Center said that the Proud Boys “spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.”
The Proud Boys group was formed by former Vice Magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes, who has described the group as a “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” According to McInnes, the group is “not alt-right” while refuting the accusations of racism against the group. “Please be very diligent about new members. If there is even a possibility they are alt-right, do not allow them at meet-ups,” he wrote.
On Twitter on Saturday, McInnes tweeted to Fox News about its report that the deputy was fired, refuting a line in the report. “This line is complete [expletive for nonsense],” claiming that the Fox report on the Proud Boys’ “alleged connections to white nationalist rhetoric” isn’t true.