UPDATE: On September 19, 2013, the Gilberton Borough Council voted 6-1 to fire Chief of Police Mark Kessler two and a half years before his contract with the town ends.
Joint Petition from CeaseFirePA and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
By openly threatening elected officials and other members of his community with violence, Gilberton, Pennsylvania Police Chief Mark Kessler has violated his oath to protect the public and tarnished the good name of law enforcement.
Kessler has made national headlines by releasing a series of profanity-laced videos in which he fires fully automatic assault weapons and threatens, “If you f***ing maniacs want to turn this into an armed revolt, knock yourselves out.”
This is no idle threat. Kessler is the head of a private militia called the Constitution Security Force (CSF) whose members swear an oath to “respond to the call if…needed to resist tyranny that seeks to destroy our republic.” CSF openly affiliates with the “Three Percent,” an insurrectionist movement founded by former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. Kessler openly recruits CSF members at his website ChiefKessler.com.
Given the lack of separation between Kessler’s public personae and his private one, how can any resident of Gilberton (or any visitor to the town) have confidence that he will fairly and equitably perform his duties to protect and serve?
Furthermore, after receiving intense criticism for his videos, Kessler escalated his threats. In a Facebook post on July 23, 2013, he declared:
I will not stand idle while tyrants attack the constitution … If they want to fire the first shot let it begin right here in Schuylkill county … Every militia , every csf member who can attend please do … So come with your flags n your firearms. MOLON LABE … democrats are the true enemy of our country, our freedoms, our constitution, along with liberal news agency’s , liberal news reporters, much like hitlers nazis , time we clean these antiamerican thugs from office.
The Gilberton Borough Council has employed Kessler under contract for over a decade. They have the authority to terminate that contract at any time. So far, they have elected only to suspend him without pay for 30 days. That is not good enough.
Tell the Gilberton Borough Council: Fire Police Chief Mark Kessler immediately.