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Deputy Fired Over 'Disturbing' Parler Posts

Aaron Hoffman: Posts seeking violent overthrow of elected officials, killing John Roberts weren't mine
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2020 7:38 AM CST

(Newser) – A Virginia sheriff's deputy in Prince William County has been fired over "disturbing" remarks he appears to have made on a conservative social-media site, though he insists he wasn't the one who posted them. Per FOX 5, Aaron Hoffman is calling the situation a "giant nightmare" after posts surfaced on his "WethePeopleWarrior" Parler account—including ones in which he seems to advocate for the violent overthrow of elected officials; promote the harm or killing of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and former President Obama; warn he could become "insanely violent" if someone confronts him for not wearing a face mask; and show off his weapons arsenal. HuffPost reports the posts were first revealed in a Christmas Day Twitter thread by Molly Conger, a freelance journalist based in Charlottesville.

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On Saturday, the sheriff's office noted on Facebook it was informed of the "disturbing comments" and fired Hoffman after an internal probe. "I find [the [posts] very despicable, and that's why I took the action that I took," Prince William Sheriff Glendell Hill tells the Washington Post. Hoffman, meanwhile, says he was hacked and that he's "trying to figure out" who did it. "I do not in any way condone violence towards elected officials," Hoffman tells FOX 5, adding that while he's conservative, he's not a member of any extremist groups and doesn't go to rallies. "I've been a public servant for 15 years and I've taken that very seriously." Hoffman, whose social media accounts have since been deleted or set to private, also says he doesn't have hard feelings about his firing toward his boss. "I totally understand Sheriff Hill's decision in this because it does look bad," he tells FOX 5. More posts here. (Read more Parler stories.)

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