Benghazi Veteran John Tiegen Gets Kicked Off Facebook and Instagram, Tells Everyone to Follow Him on Parler

Facebook has disabled accounts linked to former U.S. Marine John "Tig" Tiegen after he organized a weekend protest in Denver that turned deadly.

Tiegen, who is best-known for his role in defending a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during a 2012 attack by Islamic militants, used his social media accounts to promote a "Patriot Muster" protest event at the city's Civic Center Park October 10.

The 100-plus supporters who attended Tiegen's event last Saturday were met with a Black Lives Matter-linked counterprotest. During one confrontation, a man was fatally shot by an armed security guard reportedly working with a KUSA-TV news crew.

The shooter, identified as Matthew Dolloff, was detained by Denver Police Department under investigation for first degree murder but not immediately charged. The victim was believed to be a 49-year-old named Lee Keltner, the Associated Press reported.

Images and video from the scene showed the victim was deploying a can of spray in the direction of the security guard before being fatally shot. Tiegen, who still remains active on Twitter, published screenshots following the protest confirming his ban.

It was applied to both Facebook and Instagram. "Your Facebook account was disabled because it did not follow our Community Standards. This decision can't be reversed," read a warning sent by the Mark Zuckerberg-led platform over the weekend.

— John “TIG” Tiegen (@JohnTiegen) October 10, 2020

IG is deleting my account

— John “TIG” Tiegen (@JohnTiegen) October 12, 2020

Right wing outlets, including Brietbart, have characterized the move as censorship. Facebook and Twitter have been contacted for comment by Newsweek.

Yesterday, Tiegen claimed the KUSA media website were responsible for the shooting. Verbatim, the post now pinned to the top of his profile read: "Wake up America! Now New agency are willing to chance OUR live, OUR safety and OUR security for a story, for likes, for shares, for comments, Lee Keltner was murder for rating!"

President Donald Trump retweeted several posts about the shooter this week, including one that said he had previously published "anti-trump and anti-cop rhetoric."

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Tiegen founded the Colorado Veterans for Trump and previously submitted Colorado petitions to put Trump's name on the state ballot last November. In a press release on the Trump campaign website, Tiegen was previously described as being a Veterans for Trump Advisory Board member.

Tiegen's posts promoting the weekend protest remain mirrored on Parler, another social networking platform favored by conservatives and far-right personalities.

"Don't let the communists, socialist party and groups intimidate or Oppress you any longer! Come join us and be heard & seen and celebrate OUR freedoms," he wrote, appearing to provide advice for armed supporters with rudimentary code.

"For Mechanical pencil that offers a concealed eraser, top lead advance and removable clip no more than .15 mm lead allowed in each. City of Denver ordnance," he noted.

He has now urged his 50,000-plus Twitter followers to join him on the rival platform. Go follow me on @Parler cause I'm sure twitter isn't far behind," Tiegen wrote Monday.

In a post on his Instagram page before its deletion, Tiegen had described the victim as a "fellow American patriot" but suggested it was unclear if he was attending the rally. He went on to complain about a "radical leftist ideology and agenda" by opponents.

Denver police said in a statement the suspect was "acting in a professional capacity as an armed security guard for a local media outlet and not a protest participant."

It stated: "Immediately following the incident, rumors were circulating regarding the suspect's affiliation with a particular group. Investigators are unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization. No other suspects are being sought in connection to this incident. This remains an active investigation."

UPDATE 2/3: ...not a protest participant. Immediately following the incident, rumors were circulating regarding the suspect’s affiliation with a particular group. Investigators are unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization.

— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 11, 2020

In August, Facebook said it was bulking up enforcement to take action against accounts "tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests."

Facebook said: "We have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior.

"We will also remove... accounts where we identify discussions of potential violence, including when they use veiled language... particular to the movement to do so."

John "Tig" Tiegen
Soldier John "Tig" Tiegen attends a press conference with fellow soldier of Benghazi Mark "Oz" Geist and actor John Krasinski prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. Tiegen's Facebook and Instagram accounts were deleted. Robert Reiners/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway/Getty