Governments' Lighter Side

Police Chief suspended indefinitely for shooting off mouth, machine guns

You've seen him on the news and possibly via his YouTube channel, but you won't see him in the Pennsylvania police precinct anymore. That's right, the foul-mouthed, trigger-happy police chief of Gilberton, Pa., has been suspended indefinitely.

The embattled chief, Mike Kessler, first caught heat over a series of videos he posted to social media sites in which he refers to “lib-tards” and “promotes gun rights” with profanity-ridden diatribes that feature footage of Kessler firing fully automatic weapons. The common theme of his rants? That government forces are gearing up to take guns away from private citizens.

The Gilberton Council suspended Kessler for the unauthorized use of borough property earlier this month, according to The Los Angles Times. You see, the guns he fears the government will take from him were… wait for it… owned by the government.

Kessler is not optimistic that the suspension will be lifted, and expects to lose the job he has held for a decade, according to The Los Angles Times. But, he is stoic over the potential termination.

"If that's the price I got to pay for standing up for what I believe in, apparently for what a lot of Americans believe in, I'm willing to pay that price," Kessler told the Associated Press.

A disciplinary hearing scheduled for Aug. 29 was postponed, according to the AP, but the council voted to extend Kessler’s unpaid suspension. Joseph Nahas, Kessler’s attorney, told the AP the disciplinary hearing would probably be held this week.

Kessler’s videos have struck a chord with a certain demographic. "The support has been overwhelming, both national and international," Kessler told the AP. "I find it truly amazing how many people finally said, `You know what? This guy's right.'"

But some have voiced concern over allowing a man with extreme views to carry on in a position of power. Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress, a liberal advocacy group petitioning for Kessler’s termination, told The Los Angles Times, “You can’t have a police chief that intimidates at least half of the population.”

“Did I make some questionable videos? Sure,” Kessler told The Los Angles Times. “But all I did was speak and express my Second Amendment rights.”

As is, Kessler is learning the hard way that the Second Amendment may protect the right to bear arms, but it doesn't give one the right to commandeer someone else's.


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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