The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Militia-Leading Penn. Police Chief Suspended After Videos Go Viral

By Ryan Lenz on August 1, 2013 - 5:08 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Birther Extremism, Militias, New World Order, Patriot
Mark KesslerVideo: Mark Kessler rants on YouTube

The police chief of a tiny borough in Pennsylvania’s coal country, who also heads a militia formed to oppose any new federal gun control measures, has been suspended for 30 days after he posted a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he angrily fires several automatic weapons and uses the word  “libtards” in reference to liberals.

The Gilberton Borough Council voted 5-1 during an executive session last night to suspend Mark Kessler, saying he did not have permission to use the weapons he fired in the videos, The Patriot-News reported. The council did not suspend him because of the content of his videos. “It was just the misuse of borough property,” Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said.

The videos Kessler posted to YouTube are filled with angry antigovernment rants that became something of an Internet sensation. In one, he talks about conspiracy theories involving the United Nations and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In another, Kessler offers basic firearms lessons, using a target of a clown he says represents Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But the video that generated the most controversy was an “apology” he posted on July 15. In that video, he stands on an old strip mining road and fires several automatic weapons. “All you fucking libtards out there, all you fucking cry babies grow a pair of balls and man the fuck up. All right? You’re a bunch of fucking pussies,” Kessler says. “Oh, Chief Kessler said the f-word. I’m gonna say it again. Fuck you.”

Kessler came to the attention of Hatewatch earlier this year when he drafted the “2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution,” a proposed ordinance that would require his borough to “enact any and all measures as may be necessary” to protect the Second Amendment. Several months later, Kessler formed the Constitution Protection Force – a militia that garnered widespread support from many in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.

In the aftermath of his recent videos, however, those who were once his biggest supporters have sought to distance themselves from Kessler’s incendiary rhetoric.

Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack’s Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) removed Kessler from its list of law enforcement officers who have vowed to resist the federal government’s efforts to enact new gun restrictions. Mack on Thursday told Hatewatch that he has reached out to Kessler to encourage him to tone down his rhetoric. “I don’t think the founding fathers would be acting like that,” Mack said, adding, “I’ve been taken aback by all this stuff he’s been doing. … I didn’t want him to get fired. But man, oh man.”

The Oath Keepers, an antigovernment group composed of military and police personnel, said it has nothing to do with Kessler, even though the chief sometimes wears clothing with the group’s logo on it and has been praised by the group in the past. “Chief Kessler is not working with the Oath Keepers, nor is the Oath Keepers working with him,” Elias Alias, who sits on the group’s board of directors, said in an E-mail to Salon.

Kessler’s future remains to be seen. On Thursday, he posted a notice online stating that borough officials plan to fire him during his suspension. He did not return telephone messages left by Hatewatch seeking comment, nor did Mayor Hannon. Earlier this week, however, Hannon told the AP that “the profanity and violence in [Kessler’s videos] was upsetting.” She said nothing of his future employment, except that Kessler had been a “loyal” public servant.

  • Confused

    So… a government employee who is intensely anti-government? Fascinating.

  • Reynardine

    More on Klod: proposing a government in exile from which to launch armed insurrection against the United States. Why isn’t he up on sedition charges?

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/.....nistration

  • Reynardine

    Sorry, that’s Klayman, as in klod.

  • Reynardine

    And we now have this seditious call for a military coup from Larry Clayman:

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/.....revolution

  • concernedcitizen

    There is a big difference in the right to Freedom of Speech and inciting civil unrest and war amongst your countrymen and women, or promoting hate that would call for violence against innocent men, women and children.

    People who push the notion of committing violent crimes against others based on ethnicity or religious differences, do not in my opinion, deserve the protections for rights they are so willing to try and forcibly and violently take from others.

  • concernedcitizen

    Well B. Africa they do have people just this immature and stupid as police chiefs and holding other important positions in some of these small towns around America. When stupid gets together and speaks one dumb dumb to another they choose from the best of the dumb dumb’s to put into important positions.

    It’s usually not until the light is shone on their stupidity by the rest of America that they start realizing just how much they have lowered the bar.

    But even then it doesn’t mean that they will change. Some of these small towns I have been too have absolutely floored me with how much they embrace great degrees of ignorance and wear it on their sleeves with great pride. And somehow have come to believe that the rest of us envy them for it. But I believe that many would agree with me in the response that I find the presence of such individuals repulsive and completely undesirable.
    But I digress,I really came here to share this with everyone:

    Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Strength to Love (1963)

  • Gregory

    And he keeps digging the hole deeper…

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....rd?ref=fpb

  • PG

    Yet another example of why this state is often called Pennsyltucky.

  • CALVIN

    If the Black Panthers had had shown up at the meeting for “security purposes” would the townsfolk be as understanding?

  • Anthony Wesley

    How can he be allowed to keep his job at all? His pack of morons also blocked the meeting to discuss the consequences of his actions. I believe in the 2nd amendment but also reasonable laws to control unstable people from getting them without background checks. They allow this moron to keep his guns and a BADGE? He is in charge of enforcing the laws of the United States and is encouraging people to suppress other people’s rights? I might hate his message but will defend his right to freedom of speech. But he must be held to a higher standard as a symbol of law enforcement. What are the people in this town showing their children? Sickening.

  • legalhound

    The frightening thing is that this man has a goon squad that is not loyal to the townspeople, but to him. This is still the case even though he has been suspended. If I remember correctly he was suspended with pay too.

  • Peg W

    I live in Pennsylvania and am so horrified by this man. I certainly hope he is fired. I’d be afraid to drive through the town. He is one scary guy and I think the scariest thing about him is that he thought he could post his filthy videos with impunity. (And if he isn’t fired, he was right.)

  • Bill

    This man has the emotional maturity of a five year old. He should not be allowed to work as a law enforcement officer.

  • Gregory

    @ Aron,

    Check out this link at TPM. It looks like he was exploiting his position to take advantage of gun sales.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....?ref=fpblg

  • aadila

    This guy is what a lot of police departments like to explain away as a “hot head”. Oh sure, he has scary and oppressive tendencies, but hey, he’s a good cop, right?

    There was a case where some police were indicted for stomping a minor after he was cuffed, and the police union was there saying, hey sure a half dozen armed and immunity qualified officers stomped a prone and helpless juvenile, but is that something to end a career over?

  • Kiwiwriter

    Very concerned with this man’s behavior and attitudes, given his position, responsibilities, and duties.

    I have to wonder about his basic character, personal stability, and emotional balance to perform his duties.

  • Reynardine

    And here is the reason he got nothing worse than a suspension. He showed up with an armed retinue:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3694293

  • Kathleen Starzenski

    He needs to lose his job no temporary suspension.

  • Ben Africa

    Watched the video again with the wife. Unbelievable that a person this immature could be a chief of police any where. He is an example why we need to test people that want to own a firearm. What is wrong with that community? Even if they are all gun owners his behavior has to cause them concern.

  • Ben Africa

    As a retired policeman with almost 35 years in that field this guy would not even make it as a patrolman in the smallest department I worked at. He is a classless lout with obvious violent tendencies. He should be fired, but now his borough officials are probably afraid that the nut will go high order if fired. He’s a punk, but a punk with a gun the worse kind.

  • Metal Goddess

    Wow, so this is what full blown crazy looks like. Fascinating.

  • TL Mullins

    So much for ‘professionalism’ what a complete ASSHAT.

  • Andy

    Here’s my conspiracy theory. Guys like him are paid by gun manufacturers to act so incredibly insane that those of us who would like some reasonable gun control laws will think it is reasonable to buy arsenals in order to defend ourselves from theirs. Alex Jones eat your heart out! Bet you didn’t think of that one did ya?

  • Richard

    I can’t believe that Gilberton would want a man like that representing them as their police chief. The man has the right to say whatever he wants and to be as foul as he wants. But, if I were a member of the governing body of that borough, I would not want that man representing me. I would to remove him from his position as chief of police.

  • Georgia Citizen

    This guy is an embarassment to his profession and this is terrible.

  • Ben

    http://www.pennlive.com/midsta.....olice.html

    This site has pictures of the civilian “armed patrols” I mention above. These folks are terrorists.

  • Ben

    “Oathkeepers” showed up at his hearing… wearing camouflage, with civillian-bought semi-auto rifles and started “patrolling” the area for “security”.

    That is troubling behavior…. Exactly what would they have done if they saw what they perceived as a threat? These guys are wannabe G.I. Joe hothead conspiracy theorists on a good day, toying with the fantasy of armed treason and insurrection.

  • Aron

    Sam, with Ted ‘Poopy-pants Pedophile’ Nugent as a board member, I expect the NRA will be fully behind him.

  • Gregory

    Oops, my bad. It says the reason for the suspension was misuse of borough property. Looks like I need to have an eye exam.

  • Gregory

    Aron,
    My question is whether he bothered to do the paperwork and pay the taxes and fees as required by the National Firearms Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act) for the weapons featured in the videos. I wonder if it was this bit of administative carelessness, rather than his cliched insults caught on video, that led to his suspension.

  • Sam Molloy

    There is a Deep End and it seems he has gone off it. The NRA would be smart to denounce this clown and stop using the same talking points.

  • Aron

    Gregory, as a police chief, he can buy them as dealer samples. They are much less expensive that way, and they can also be manufactured post-1986.

  • aadila

    What Rey said.

  • Gregory

    On a more technical note, does this goober have a Class III license for the two rifles and pistol, as all three appear to be fully automatic? I also wonder if he has completed the paperwork to make the stock on that pistol legal? Those questions may have more to do with his suspension than his exercise of Freeze Peach.

    Libtards can be so inquisitive.

  • Aron

    Whomp whomp!

    I’m sure there is a highly paid post awaiting him at ‘The Blaze.’

  • Reynardine

    Clearly, he is loyal to only a special few of his public. The rest are at risk of being Martinized.

  • concernedcitizen

    Right, he has dazzled me with the a level of stupidity and ignorance that could only be best manifested in him losing his job.

    This is not the type of man we need behind a badge in this country.

  • concernedcitizen

    Good, this is ridiculous. You would think that Police Officers of all American citizens would understand the problem we have here with violence and the misuse of firearms.

  • Gregory

    Once again, for the hard of hearing, free speech does not mean that speech is free of consequences.