CA Cop Suspended Over Anti-LGBT Proud Boys Rally

The Fresno Bee reports:

The Fresno Police Department is investigating one of its own officers after he joined the Proud Boys on Sunday morning to counter protest the sale of the iconic Tower Theatre to a church.

Officer Rick Fitzgerald was spotted in the YouTube footage posted by Eddie Block, a Madera man who is a former Proud Boy. Block’s home was raided by the FBI in late January.

After police became aware of the footage, Chief Paco Balderrama launched an internal affairs investigation, according to a statement released by the department Sunday night. Lt. Rob Beckwith later said the officer in question was placed on paid administrative leave.

NBC News reports:

For weeks, demonstrators in the central California farming hub have been outside the Tower Theatre hoping for sidetrack its sale to a church that critics claim is hostile to gay rights and marriage equality.

Those rallies have been frequently met by counter-protests, led by the far-right Proud Boys, and YouTube footage of Sunday’s dueling demonstrations allegedly showed a police officer among the self-described “Western chauvinists.”