|CSGV UNVEILS BILLBOARD CALLING ON BOROUGH COUNCIL TO FIRE EMBATTLED PENNSYLVANIA POLICE CHIEF MARK KESSLER
|Washington, D.C.—In a powerful symbol that the controversy over violent police chief Mark Kessler is not going away, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) unveiled a new roadside billboard in Gilberton, Pennsylvania this week with a message to the borough council to end their contract with the offensive and unhinged chief.
Located on Route 924 where the highway passes through Gilberton, the billboard comes as a response to the council’s recent, inadequate decision to suspend Kessler for 30 days instead of firing him.
CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz commented: “This billboard sends an unmistakable message to the Gilberton borough council that they can’t bury their heads in the sand and hope this problem goes away. Chief Kessler is a blight on the community and has proven himself unfit for office. They owe it to the people of Gilberton, and to upstanding law enforcement officials everywhere whose reputations he is sullying, to fire him immediately.”
The billboard reads: “GILBERTON COUNCIL: FIRE KESSLER. EVEN THE OATH KEEPERS DUMPED HIM.”
The Oath Keepers are a radical anti-government organization that had previously worked closely with Kessler until the recent controversy proved too extreme for even them. After national headlines about his antics, Oath Keepers board member Elias Alias told Salon: “Chief Kessler is not working with Oath Keepers, nor is Oath Keepers working with him.”
Kessler’s extremism came to light a month ago when he posted profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he fires automatic weapons. The resultant scrutiny revealed a pattern of offensive, violent remarks and behavior, including threats of leading an “armed revolt” against the government.
Kessler has already responded to the billboard by posting a photo of himself standing in front of it with a gun. He is inviting armed supporters to join him for a group photo at the billboard this Saturday.
Paid for entirely by grassroots activists across the country, the billboard is the latest escalation of CSGV’s month-long campaign to fire Kessler. Already they have partnered with Pennsylvania gun violence prevention group CeaseFire PA to collect over 9,600 signatures on a petition calling for his removal, and driven calls to the Gilberton Solicitor urging that she advise the council to fire him.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.