FRACKVILLE, Pa. (CBS/AP) — A foul-mouthed former police chief whose incendiary videos on guns and liberals led to his suspension and departure said Monday his nascent reality TV show could feature a militia-style group he started last month.
Speaking at a news conference in his attorney’s office, former Gilberton Chief Mark Kessler said the group, called 3 Percent Boots on the Ground, already has a “few thousand” members in chapters around the country.
The group will train monthly and require members, who are vetted by Kessler, to supply their own fatigues, combat boots, body armor, sidearms and military-style rifles. Members will attain ranks like private, lieutenant and colonel.
“Basically it’s just a group of people who believe in the country, the Constitution, and what our founding fathers enacted,” said Kessler, 42.
Though Kessler gained a measure of Internet fame for his rants against government, he said the group does not advocate insurrection.
“My group is not affiliated with that in any way,” he said. “It has nothing to do with overthrowing the government, as some people would like to believe.”
Gilberton officials suspended Kessler last year and tried to fire him after he posted videos of himself shooting borough-owned automatic weapons and cursing liberals and others. The videos garnered hundreds of thousands of views online. Kessler has acknowledged they’re inflammatory but said he posted them to draw attention to the erosion of Second Amendment and other constitutional rights.
Kessler reached a settlement with Gilberton last week that pays him $30,000 and allowed him to retire from the force.
Kessler and his attorney, Joseph Nahas, said he signed a development deal with Relativity Media, the production company behind such reality TV fare as “The Great Food Truck Race” on Food Network and Showtime’s “Gigolos.”
Relativity did not immediate respond to a request for comment Monday.
Kessler said his as-yet-untitled show would focus on his life, the 3 Percent group and another group affiliated with the former lawman, the Constitution Security Force.
“They contacted me back in July when my videos first came out to do something and we have been kind of negotiating myself, and negotiating since July. It will involve myself, members of my organization,” Kessler said.
Kessler and his compatriots believe the federal government is curtailing individual freedoms, but they don’t advocate taking up arms against it, said Nahas, who unspooled a hypothetical scenario in which the militia could prove itself useful.
“Say there is some sort of a civil riot. Mr. Kessler’s group would not be part of the individuals who are promulgating the overthrow of government,” he said. “He would be on the side of trying to assist government that there isn’t any kind of unruly behavior, the breaking of laws, and to be protecting his local populace from that.”
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)