ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. — An officer in Louisiana reportedly rallied more than a dozen law enforcement agencies together with community leaders to make a video calling out the members of a violent street gang while pleading with law-abiding citizens to stand up and report crimes and criminals when possible.
Capt. Clay Higgins of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office stands in front of a large crowd of cops and community leaders in the video posted to YouTube by KATC, and in the footage Higgins minces no words as he warns those criminals that the police are coming for them and are not afraid.
“The Gremlin street gang is responsible for hundreds of violent crimes: Murders, armed robberies, witness intimidation, burglaries, drug trafficking, extortion and brutal beatings,” Higgins begins. “We’ve arrested 10 of these thugs and have warrants on seven more. Every one of these animals is most definitely armed and dangerous.”
After reading a list of names of wanted men, Higgins makes a promise to the suspects.
“You will be hunted, you will be tracked, and if you raise your weapon to a man like me: We will return fire with superior fire,” Higgins says in the video.
He then calls out one suspect by name.
“Darren Carter, you think men like these are afraid of an uneducated, 125-pound punk like you that’s never won a fair fight in your life and holds your gun sideways? Young man, I will meet you on solid ground, anytime, anywhere, light or heavy,” Higgins continues. “Makes no difference to me, you won’t walk away. Look at you. Men like us, son, we do dumbbell presses with weights bigger than you.”
Higgins then says that most convicts in jail are “good people” who found themselves “crossed with the law” and says those inmates don’t respect criminals with the kinds of violent histories the Gremlins are alleged to have.
Higgins then calls on citizens to report criminal activity or criminal sightings when possible.
“I encourage every citizen watching this to look into your own heart and find the American courage that conquers all evil,” Higgins said. “I implore you to listen to this message and stand up. Take back your streets. Tack back your country. Come forward with information about these heathens that have terrorized your community.”
Higgins also addresses the possibility of some perceiving his message as being racially charged.
“And for those who would use this message as a way to create false racial division in our country, take a close look behind me,” he said. “Standing next to every cop is a leader of our black community. This is not about race, this is about right versus wrong.”
Finally, Higgins tells the men they are searching for that if they take issue with his message, he welcomes a meeting with them.
“One last message to the Gremlins. You don’t like the things I’ve told you tonight? I’ve got one thing to say: I’m easy to find.”
KATC reports the video is in response to an investigation into the Gremlins Gang, members of which were recently spotted in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. KATC reports the suspects are bold at times, even going as far as posting music videos where they rap about the crimes they’ve allegedly committed.
Last year, Higgins, then a Lieutenant, made anotherimpassioned crime stoppers video regarding a burglary at a restaurant popular with the Sheriff’s Office. That video was viewed nearly 2 million times.