Darien Long — also known as “KickAss Mall Cop” by his supporters on Reddit, has reportedly been fired from his job as a security guard at a strip mall in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
Long became an Internet celebrity last month after video footage showing him tasering an unruly hoodrat mother in front of her kids went viral when it was uploaded to YouTube. Other videos showed Long also battling with groups of street thugs and chasing known drug dealers away from the area.
The no-nonsense approach Long takes with his job earned him the nickname “KickAss Mall Cop” from the Reddit community, who all banded together and raised close to $24,000 for Long through a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdTilt so that he could purchase “better and more gear.”
Long carries a firearm, a Taser stun-gun and has a Go-Pro camera mounted on a bulletproof vest, and regularly uploads his videos to YouTube, which are then picked up by other people who post them all over the Internet.
Here are some of the most recent videos posted to the KickAssMallCop YouTube channel – which is not run by Long (FYI):
Long says that he was given a pink slip by his employers for financial reasons. “They lost three vendors. They can no longer afford to pay me. So that’s why they’re letting me go,” he said. But some have questions whether Long’s aggressive method of keeping the peace could be the reason for his dismissal.
Long made a pretty good point though, saying, “This environment made me very, very aggressive. But when you need someone to handle a situation so you don’t have to call the police, then you want somebody there that’s going to be willing to handle it.”
Reactions to Darien Long losing his job have been mixed. While some members of the Reddit community believe that Long losing his job was the best thing for his safety, others were critical of his approach at cleaning up the streets.
“The last video I saw [the] dude went way too far. He was instigating the arguments and fights, putting his hands on people, pushing them when there was no reason for it. He tazed the one guy for no reason,” Reddit user philhouse64 wrote. “Just goes to show what a little power and fame can do to a person. He was security guard, not a cop.”
Another Redditor, ServerGreek, wrote, “Getting laid off may have just saved his life. Hope he is able to rebound and get a better job..”
Long said in an interview with Right This Minute that his last day on the job will be March 31st, and he fears that in his absence, crime will return to the mall.