A Louisiana police officer was fired after a photo showing him at a Ku Klux Klan anti-immigration rally went viral on the internet.
Raymond Mott, a police officer with Lake Arthur Police Department in Louisiana, is seen making the Nazi salute along with a fellow KKK member in the photo, which was allegedly taken at an anti-immigration rally last year somewhere in North Carolina. The exact location where the photograph was taken has not been disclosed.
Though the reasons for the photo going viral last week remain unclear, some speculate that the photo circulated widely on Facebook amidst the widespread interest in KKK’s activities in the wake of online activist group Anonymous’ decision to leak names of alleged KKK members on November 5. Mott went under the name Christian Knight on Facebook, according to New York Daily News.
On Wednesday, the Lake Arthur town council made the unanimous decision to terminate Raymond Mott from the town’s police department.
Speaking to KATC, however, the police officer alleged that the photo was taken out of context. He further added that the town council’s decision to fire him is illegal because it did not follow the proper protocol.
“The picture speaks for itself,” he added. “I’m standing at a rally against illegal immigration. There’s not much to be said about the picture. I’ve never denied it was me.”
But the community members, who were present at the Wednesday night meeting and voted in favor of Mott’s termination, believe the decision has been made keeping in mind the best interests of the Lake Arthur community. They said the police department does not have any place for racial bigotry at its helm, and the viral photo clearly shows Mott attending a KKK rally, something Louisiana’s police departments definitely do not advocate.
One of the spokespersons for the police department even added that the police officer has been fired for his own good.
“[Mott has been fired] just not for the concerns of the citizens, for his safety concerns. Out here on the streets you never know what’s going to happen. Nowadays, all over the United States cops are getting killed and cops are killing others. We don’t want that to happen right here in our own hometown.”
Visibly agitated after his dismissal, Mott said that the information revealed by the Lake Arthur town council puts his family at risk. The police officer says he is now planning to take legal action of his own, according to Fox News‘ Louisiana affiliate.
“The process that it went through in order to terminate me was not within guidelines of Louisiana law. Some information was put out that puts my family’s safety at risk. And I will be taking legal action. I’ve contacted an attorney already.”
According to reports, when the viral photo first came to the notice of authorities and Mott was confronted about it, the police officer made the ridiculous claim that he was present at the rally as an undercover agent for the FBI. However, he later admitted that he was lying.
Just learned that Police Detective Raymond Mott, when first confronted about being at a Klan rally lied & said he was undercover for the FBI— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 3, 2015
Other photos of the police officer with the white supremacist group have also surfaced online in the last week.
It was revealed after investigations that Raymond Mott had not only been a police officer with the Lake Arthur Police Department, but had previously worked for the Jennings Police Department, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Youngsville Police, and the Eunice Police Department — either leaving all of those positions or being fired for undisclosed reasons. Background checks also revealed that complaints about the police officer’s conduct began flowing in within 30 days of his start date with the Lake Arthur Police Department.
[Photo by John Moore / Getty Images]