A North Carolina police chief who was pushed out of his job after harshly criticizing Black Lives Matter spoke out publicly for the first time on "Fox and Friends" this morning. 

Michael Halstead, a 35-year law enforcement veteran and now the former police chief of Surf City, said he stands by the Sept. 3 Facebook post in which labeled Black Lives Matter as "nothing more than an American born terrorist group."

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Halstead reiterated that point, saying he believes Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group because protesters have repeatedly called for the deaths of police officers.

“It's a terrorist group if you can march down the streets and call for the deaths of police officers," he said, pointing to videos showing protesters chanting, "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" and chanting about "dead cops."

After the Facebook post, Halstead was called into an emergency meeting because officials said he violated the department's social media policy. 

The town manager said Halstead violated a policy that he helped to create by posting remarks that many would find to be "divisive" and some considered to be "racist."

Halstead, who was forced to immediately retire, said his post never mentioned the town or any police officers, adding that Surf City officers have expressed their support.

“What happened to freedom of speech? Because I'm a police officer I don't have the right to have freedom of speech? As a matter of fact, I was told by a Black Lives Matter affiliate, one of the head persons, that police officers didn't have the same constitutional rights as other people. I never got that memo," he said.

Halstead also pushed back against suggestions that he was planning to retire soon anyway. He said that was not the case, noting that he had just received a 10 percent raise and was asked to remain on the job for another year.

Watch the interview above.

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