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Arkansas Police Chief Resigns After Calling for Democrats to Be Executed

As the results of the presidential election unfolded last week and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the lead in the Electoral College, the police chief of Marshall, Ark., a town of roughly 1,350 people north of Little Rock, shared his feeling of rage online.

“Will you and several hundred more go with me to D.C. and fight our way into the Congress and arrest every Democrat who has participated in this coup?” Chief Lang Holland posted Friday on Parler, a right-wing messaging site. “We may have to shoot and kill many of the Communist B.L.M. and ANTIFA Democrat foot soldiers to accomplish this!!!”

“Death to all Marxist Democrats. Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!” Chief Holland added.

Roughly a day later, after an NBC affiliate in Little Rock reported on his posts, Chief Holland was out of a job. His Parler account, which says he previously worked as a trainer in Iraq and Afghanistan, has since been made private but has not been deleted.

The police chief’s undoing came at breakneck speed.

Quinn Foster, a 26-year-old Arkansan who runs the Ozarks Coalition, an anti-racist watch group, and shared screen shots of Mr. Holland’s Parler posts with The New York Times, said he was alerted to the posts at 7 a.m. on Saturday. An hour later he had taken screen shots of Mr. Holland’s online statements on Parler that were then shared with the mayor’s office in Marshall.

By 3:20 p.m. the mayor’s office released a statement saying that Chief Holland had resigned, effective immediately.

Email requests for comment were not immediately returned by Mr. Holland on Monday. Efforts to reach Mr. Holland by phone were unsuccessful.

Kevin J. Elliott, Marshall’s mayor, said that Mr. Holland was hired as police chief about two years ago and that he was unaware of his political beliefs until Friday night, when he received screen shots of the chief’s posts on Parler from people around the country. On Saturday morning, Mr. Elliott said, he contacted lawyers from the Arkansas Municipal League, who informed him that he was within his rights to fire Mr. Holland.

Mr. Elliott summoned Chief Holland to a meeting at the Marshall City Hall at 1 p.m. Saturday and showed him the posts. Mr. Holland declined to answer the mayor’s questions and announced his decision to resign.

Mr. Elliott said that Mr. Holland quickly turned in the car, badge, cellphone and other items issued by the city, including a sawed-off shotgun. Mr. Holland carried his own sidearm on duty, which he retained, the mayor said.

“As far as the city attorneys are concerned, we’ve done what they asked us to do and they’re going to stand behind us,” Mayor Elliott said.

Mr. Foster said his organization was looking into Mr. Holland’s connections to the Arkansas Patriots, which he said was a local right-wing militia with ties to the larger Proud Boys network and advocates politically motivated violence.

Members of the Arkansas Patriots have been showing up at protests with firearms, Mr. Foster said, adding that many claim to be current or former members of law enforcement and the military. Mr. Holland, he said, had been spotted at such protests recently as part of a militia group.

After Mr. Holland resigned, Mr. Foster said the Ozark Mountain Proud Boys released a statement on Parler calling for Mr. Foster to be harmed.

The Ozark Mountain Proud Boys did not respond to a message asking for comment on whether Mr. Holland was a member of their organization.

Mr. Holland’s calls for politically motivated violence were only the most recent ones he made on Parler, according to Mr. Foster. On Oct. 17, Mr. Holland called for Democrats to be hanged and said the F.B.I. and C.I.A. were Marxist organizations. Two days later he called for the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, to be tried for treason.

He also encouraged followers to throw water on Democrats while in restaurants and to push them off sidewalks, calling them “traitors” who “have no right to live in this Republic after what they have done.”

Aside from the former police chief, Marshall has three other full-time police officers and four part-time officers.

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