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Cabarrus County’s Pittman criticizes ‘gutless wonders’ in public office, calls protesters ‘vermin’

SALISBURY — A state legislator whose district covers parts of southern Rowan County says he’s “thoroughly disgusted by the gutless wonders in public office who are bowing down to Black Lives Matter.”

In a rant posted on Facebook Tuesday, Rep. Larry Pittman, a Republican from Concord, called protesters domestic terrorists and vermin. He said they are bent on destroying the country. Pittman represents the 83rd District in the N.C. House, which covers parts of Kannapolis, Landis and China Grove. He’s running for re-election and faces a challenge from Democrat Gail Young, but his district will no longer extend into Rowan County in 2021.

In his post, Pittman refers to the city of Seattle, where protesters have been allowed to take over a six-block radius called CHAZ, the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. Elsewhere across the country, protests have sprung up in response to the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died while a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

“Even some police officers are giving in to the pressure to kneel down to these criminals,” Pittman wrote. “Unfortunately, some of the great law enforcement officers who deserve to wear the badge are becoming so discouraged because of how their chiefs and other public officials have abandoned them that they are resigning when they have done nothing wrong.”

He goes on to say that, if he were police chief, he would tell officers to “take back our city,” arrest “these domestic terrorists” if they surrender, use any recovered stolen items to help business owners whose place of business have been “invaded” and shoot protesters if they resist.

“Now all the leftists out there will attack me for calling for officials to let law enforcement get tough with these criminals,” Pittman said. “I don’t care. Law and order must be restored.”

People have a right to expect that public leaders won’t surrender to “the lawless, godless mob,” he said.

“These vermin don’t care about George Floyd or any other individual, except maybe their financial sponsor, George Soros,” Pittman wrote. “They are bent on destroying our country and our way of life, and they will use any tragedy, any slogan, any excuse to convince clueless people that their radical injustice is justice.”

Pittman has quickly come under fire online for making the comments, but it’s not the first time his remarks have drawn condemnation. Among other things, he’s compared former President Abraham Lincoln to Hitler after criticism about legislation he sponsored along with China Grove Republican Carl Ford, then a member of the state House, and Rep. Michael Speciale, of New Bern, that would have restored a ban on same-sex marriage.

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