When journalists and residents asked about the posts, Holland at first claimed they were fake, the Kansas City Star reported. But Marshall’s mayor said when he confronted Holland on Saturday, the chief apologized for the posts and then resigned.
“The City of Marshall condemns the actions of Mr. Holland in his posts to social media,” said Marshall Mayor Kevin Elliott in a letter. “The Marshall community does not in any way support or condone bullying or threats of violence to anyone of any political persuasion! We condemn it!”
The incident comes as violent rhetoric has festered on the right amid Trump’s continued attacks on the democratic system and refusal to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon was banned from Twitter last week after calling for violence against Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, while Donald Trump Jr. has called for his father to wage “total war” to keep power.
Holland had been the police chief in Marshall, a northern Arkansas town of about 1,300, for two years, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. After a decorated career as a deputy, including being shot in the line of duty, he had previously been the “best police chief that I’ve ever seen” in Marshall, Elliott told the paper.
In July, Holland blasted Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) for issuing a mask mandate, insisting he wouldn’t enforce it and suggesting it would lead to the United States becoming a “failed communist state,” reported KATV.
The anti-Democratic tirades under Holland’s name were posted to Parler on Friday, the day before multiple news organizations, including The Washington Post, declared Biden the winner of Pennsylvania and the presidency. The posts claimed that Trump was the victim of a coup.
“Do not forget what these Marxist Democrat b------- have tried to do. When you see one in public get in their face do not give them peace,” said one since-deleted post shared on Twitter by KATV.
It added, “Throw water on them at restaurants. Push them off sidewalks. Never let them forget they are traitors and have no right to live in this Republic after what they have done.”
Another since-deleted post included a photoshopped image of former president Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in orange prison jumpsuits, the Democrat-Gazette reported.
“I pray all those in that picture hang on the gallows and are drawn and quartered!!!!” the post said. “Anything less is not acceptable.”
The posts quickly drew notice, with some tagging the local FBI office, KATV reported. Holland didn’t respond to messages left at the police station, but on Parler, a new account suddenly appeared under his name — this one featuring pro-LGBTQ imagery and congratulating Biden.
“An associate showed me the FAKE profile of me on here and I was horrified and disgusted,” the new profile, which claimed to be the real Holland, posted. “I actually lean hard left on most issues.”
But Elliott called Holland in for a meeting after seeing the violent posts himself, the Democrat-Gazette reported, where he apologized and resigned on the spot.
“I don’t care who they are — Republican, Democrat or whoever — my Police Department for the city of Marshall is here to protect and serve everybody,” Elliott told the paper.
Hutchinson also criticized the former chief on Saturday, the Democrat-Gazette reported, calling the posts “dangerous” and his ouster from the department appropriate.