Facebook took down two posts from Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) after he wrote he would "drop any 10 of you where you stand" if armed protesters attended a Louisiana demonstration against police brutality.
"One way ticket fellas. Have your affairs in order. Me? ... I wouldn't even spill my beer. I'd drop any 10 of you where you stand," Higgins wrote in the now removed post, according to a BuzzFeed report.
The congressman also wrote, "we don't want to see your worthless a-- nor do we want to make your Mothers cry. You're the ones threatening, if you show yourselves, aggressively natured and armed in my presence." He seemed to suggest opening fire on the demonstrators when he wrote: "That is where your journey will end. Fast. How fast? 1,450 FPS fast," referring to the speed at which ammo can travel.
After his first post was removed, Higgins penned a second one saying that "America is being manipulated into a new era of government control" and that he will "advise when it's time gear up, [sic] mount up, and roll out." Facebook removed that post as well, after BuzzFeed reached out for comment.
In an email to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson said "the posts were removed for violating our policies against inciting violence."
Higgins' initial post appeared to be directed at members of a Black militia group called Not F------ Around Coalition (NFAC), according to BuzzFeed, as he posted a photo of the group alongside his message. The group, which has protested against white supremacy and the KKK in the past, has attended police brutality protests before, with members armed with guns and wearing bulletproof vests.
A rumor sprouted online that the group would attend a protest in Lafayette, Louisiana, according to BuzzFeed. NFAC did not appear, but about 50 members of a right-wing militia group called Louisiana Cajun Militia appeared at the protest in vests, camo gear, and carrying guns, local outlet The Advocate reported.
Higgins is an ex-cop and a staunch gun-rights supporter, who has made appearances in promo material for the National Rifle Association. He resigned from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's office in 2016 after backlash erupted over his videos to promote a Crime Stoppers program, per BuzzFeed. He has served in Congress since 2016 and has made appearances at events organized by militia groups before, like the Oath Keepers, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated an extremist, anti-government group.
The social network giant's removal of both of the congressman's posts comes amid widespread protests against police brutality, a movement refueled by the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Washington.
Armed individuals have made appearances at protests in recent months, clashing with Black Lives Matter demonstrators, and have mostly been documented as being members of far-right extremist and militia groups.
A recent altercation turned deadly when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters during a Kenosha protest. He's been charged with first-degree homicide. And a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, which frequently engages "in violence against their political opponents" according to the SPLC, was recently shot and killed in Portland, Oregon, during a protest.