Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins has once again threatened someone on Facebook with violence.
The Lafayette Republican, who has a long history of bizarre social media antics, told an Alaska man named Joel Dolphin who commented on one of his posts that Higgins is “easy to find,” and suggested he is prepared to fight the man when he visits Alaska next year.
“I’ll be in Alaska next year, with (U.S. Rep.) Don Young,” Higgins wrote after Dolphin said he’d be happy to reiterate his criticisms face-to-face with the congressman. “Beautiful. I’ve enjoyed my time there. Like I said. I’m easy to find. Locate us a ring, or a dojo. I’ll give you a few rounds to make your point. Be seeing you. Higgins out.”
Higgins had posted a news article about President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, adding commentary slamming the president.
The comment that set Higgins off came from Dolphin, an Alaska man who identified himself as a “former lawman.” Dolphin called Higgins a “sycophantic fool” and a “traitor.”
Higgins, who has easily won reelection twice since taking office in the conservative 3rd District in 2016, was a car salesman before becoming a law enforcement officer. He gained notoriety as a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy by filming CrimeStoppers segments where he sternly demanded that criminals surrender, often using insults.
His office didn’t respond to requests for comment about the exchange with the Alaskan.
Dolphin, a 34-year-old state investigator who lives in Anchorage, told The Advocate and The Times-Picayune he was only "mildly" surprised to see a congressman challenge him to a fight because he was "already aware of his very poor character."
"I accepted his challenge but given his history of similar conduct I'm not expecting anything to happen," Dolphin said. "Challenging a citizen to a fight isn’t a good look for a U.S. Congressman or for U.S. politics in general for that matter. It’s just another reason for his constituents to be disappointed in him — add it to the pile. I hope a more moderate and honest Republican successfully primaries him."
The latest Facebook exchange was not particularly out of character for Higgins.
In fact, Higgins has previously told people he threatened that he’s “easy to find.” In his last video rant as a tough-talking sheriff’s deputy, he called out a Vermilion Parish gang and asked them to meet “on solid ground, any time, anywhere, light or heavy, makes no difference to me, you won’t walk away.” He subsequently asked the sheriff for extra body armor and for permission to strip the markings off his Sheriff’s Office truck, before resigning amid controversy.
He also took to Facebook last fall to threaten violence against a group of armed Black protesters, saying he’d “drop any 10 of you where you stand.” Facebook removed the post for violating its “violence and incitement” policies; the incident came amid protests over the police killing of Trayford Pellerin by Lafayette Police last August. He later made peace with the leader of the group of protesters, though the group recorded and released the conversation without Higgins’ knowledge.
His propensity to generate controversy with videos and social media posts has landed him in hot water before: In 2019, Higgins apologized and retracted a video he filmed of himself in the gas chamber at the Auschwitz concentration camp after receiving a tsunami of backlash.
He also posted a video last year suggesting people will “force the government to open” after emergency stay-at-home orders to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a video of him next to what appeared to be a campfire saying he had “inside data” that the 2020 election was compromised. He tweeted last October that his wife has the “gift of premonition” and that she had dreamt that “federal squads” had broken into their home to seize guns, knives and “unauthorized foods.”
Higgins and his family recently contracted COVID-19. The congressman told The Advocate last week that his bout with COVID nearly killed him, but that he fully recovered and still opposes mandates for vaccines and masks.