THP trooper who ripped face mask off protester fired

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(Courtesy: Andrew Golden)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper that was caught on cellphone video ripping a face mask off a protester at the state capitol has been fired.

Trooper Harvey Briggs, a 22-year veteran with the department was served with a termination notice on Friday for unprofessional conduct in the incident that happened Monday, August 10. The department placed Briggs on discretionary leave with pay on Wednesday, after the department opened an investigation into reported policy violations on Tuesday.

Andrew Golden was recording the video at the time of the incident, trying to capture a woman’s traffic stop near the capitol on his phone. On video, Trooper Briggs approached Golden, telling him to stop impeding the scene. That’s when he says Trooper Briggs ripped the mask from his face.

“He grabs my mask off of my right ear and rips it off and throws it on the ground,” Golden said. “And at that point I’m just dumbfounded.”

Golden said he filed a complaint with the office of professional accountability Tuesday afternoon. At the time, he said he believed the trooper should face discipline.  

“Harvey Briggs needs to be removed from his position as a state trooper,” said Golden, “He shouldn’t be allowed to work in law enforcement again and there should be charges filed against him.”

It is the Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s policy to warn, suspend, demote or dismiss any employee whenever just or legal cause exists. Employees shall not commit any act that would reflect discredit upon themselves or the department while on or off duty.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Statement

At this time, no charges have been announced against Briggs.

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