A Tennessee trooper was fired after video footage showed him ripping a man’s face mask off

A Tennessee trooper was fired after video footage showed him ripping a man’s face mask off

September 5, 2020

  • A Tennessee trooper was fired after video footage showed him ripping a man's face mask off outside the state capitol last month.
  • In a Facebook post, musician and activist, Andrew Golden, claims he was filming police officers pulling someone over near the state capitol on August 10, when he was approached by a state trooper standing nearby.
  • After a heated confrontation between the two, state trooper Harvey Briggs gets face to face with the protester. 
  • The footage doesn't show Briggs removing the protester's face mask, but the camera pans to it lying on the grass.
  • "What the f–k!? He just ripped the mask off my f–king face!" the protester said.
  • Briggs has been charged with assault and released on a $1,000 bond over the incident, court and jail records show.
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A Tennessee state trooper has been charged with assault after ripping the face mask off an activist during a filmed encounter outside the state capitol last month.

In a Facebook post, musician and activist Andrew Golden claims he was filming police officers pulling someone over near the state capitol on August 10, when a state trooper standing nearby approached him.

The trooper, 52-year-old Harvey Briggs, told him to "get back", to which Golden responded: "I'm filming and I'm on the f—king sidewalk."

"I responded colorfully that I was on a sidewalk & that I am filming," Golden wrote in the Facebook post. "Apparently he did not approve of my verbiage, because he then begins to threaten me by saying, 'Go 'head & use that language again young man.'"

In the footage, Briggs is seen walking over to Golden and warning him not to "impede" the officers he was filming.

"I'm not impeding them!" Golden responds as Briggs gets inches away from his face.

Golden then tries to film the state trooper's identity badge, asking him why he isn't wearing a face mask.

The footage doesn't show Briggs removing the protester's face mask, but the camera pans to it lying on the grass and Golden can be heard saying in the background: "What the f–k!? He just ripped the mask off my f–king face!" 

Briggs immediately denies that he did anything wrong and accuses Golden of being a liar, saying: "C'mon. C'mon….I'm tired of you people making stuff up."

"What do you mean, you people? I have it on film!" Golden answers.

Briggs, a 22-year veteran at the Tennessee Highway Patrol, was fired on August 14 for "unprofessional conduct," WKRN reported. He has been charged with assault and released on a $1,000 bond over the incident, court and jail records show.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security also conducted an internal investigation and found Briggs had violated department policy, according to the Miami Herald.

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