Clark County Sheriff Deputy Fired After Wearing A Proud Boys Sweatshirt

Southwest Washington has been the breeding ground for far-right activity in the Pacific Northwest.

Proud Boys at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Aug. 6, 2017. (Daniel Stindt)

A sheriff's deputy in Clark County, Wash. was fired after being photographed in a sweatshirt supporting the Proud Boys, an alt-right group whose members have repeatedly come to Portland to fight in the streets.

Deputy Erin Willey was placed on administrative leave after The Columbian showed the Clark County Sheriff's Office the photograph.  Her sweatshirt featured a stick of lipstick, a switchblade and the letters "PBG" – which stand for Proud Boy's Girl. She was fired on Tuesday.

The Columbian reported that Willey had been advertising Proud Boy merchandise on social media.

"Law enforcement officers are peacekeepers whose core mission is to protect and safeguard the community," Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins told The Columbian. "My expectation is that my employees do not engage in activities or associations that undermine or diminish our role as peacekeepers."

Clark County has been the breeding ground for far-right activity in the Pacific Northwest. The protest group Patriot Prayer is based in Vancouver, Wash. and frequently crosses the state line into Portland to hold rallies that attract many Proud Boys and often devolve into street brawls.

Last year, a Patriot Prayer rally held in Vancouver drew hundreds of counterprotesters to the waterfront. As people in black bloc marched in downtown streets, a man slowly drove his black Chevy Silverado into the middle of the crowd.

He suddenly reversed at a high speed and nearly hit several people. He continued to drive his truck around the area, revving his engine and honking at the protesters, until police stopped him

Vancouver police declined to arrest the man and let him go without charges after holding him for several minutes.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.