Apr 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Fresno police fires officer for ties to Proud Boys

The Proud Boys flag.

Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Fresno Police Department fired an officer on Friday after an investigation into his ties to the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group with a history of violence, Police Chief Paco Balderrama confirmed in a statement.

Why it matters: The firing comes as police departments around the country have moved to root out members with ties to extremist and white supremacist groups, following revelations that the mob which stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 included off-duty officers.

Details: Allegations surrounding Fitzgerald's connection to the Proud Boys surfaced on March 14, per the department. Fitzgerald was put on administrative leave within hours, and an internal investigation was launched.

  • Videos had recently surfaced of Fitzgerald at a pro-Trump rally with Proud Boys in November 2020, the Washington Post reported.

What they're saying: "I stand by and reassert my prior comments in strongly disapproving of any police officer affiliating with hate groups, or any group known for engaging in violent criminal behavior," said Balderrama.

  • “Such ideology, behavior and affiliations have no place in law enforcement and will not be tolerated within the ranks of the Fresno Police Department."
  • “Public trust and accountability are paramount in our ability to fairly police this community.”
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