A maskless Tennessee State Highway Patrol trooper ripped off the mask of a man who was recording traffic stop of a person, near the Tennessee State Capitol building. An investigation into the incident has been initiated by the authorities at Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The video recorded by Andrew Golden has been widely shared on various social media platforms. The trooper has been identified as Harvey Briggs.
Golden Was Accused of Impeding the Traffic Stop
Golden, who posted the video on his Facebook page, said that the incident took place on Monday evening when he was recording an interaction between a TN state trooper and a citizen pulled over during traffic stop, from a safe distance on a public sidewalk.
The video shows Briggs, who was not involved in the traffic stop, shouting at Golden from the opposite side of the road and threatening Golden to get back. "I am filming and I am on a fucking sidewalk," Golden is heard replying.
Offended by the choice of words used by Golden, Briggs warns him saying, "Go ahead and use that language. Don't talk to me like that. I prefer better language and attitude."
When Golden asks Briggs what was he threatening him with, the trooper is seen approaching him while saying, "Sir if you impede these gentlemen over there, we will arrest you."
Despite Golden insisting that he is not obstructing the officials, Briggs goes on to threaten him. "When you address me you use less colorful language. Also, I don't appreciate that," Briggs is heard saying.
Trooper Denies Removing Mask of the Man Recording the Video
However, when Golden points out that he doesn't appreciate Briggs language too, the trooper says it doesn't even concern him. Things take an ugly turn when Golden asks the trooper why is his hand on the gun. "Because that's where it always is," replied the maskless Briggs, as he gets up real close to Golden.
"You are not wearing a mask and you are right upto my face," Golden is heard saying as he records Briggs name and badge number on the video. It is at this point that the Trooper allegedly rips off Golden's mask and throws it on the ground before walking away.
Stating that he did not remove Golden's mask, Briggs is heard saying, "I'm tired of you people making stuff up."
Golden Demands Action Against Briggs
Golden, while alleging that the Trooper stepped on his foot during the altercation, told TMZ that he filed a complaint with the office of professional accountability.
Adding that an action should be taken against the trooper, Golden said: "Harvey Briggs needs to be removed from his position as a state trooper. He shouldn't be allowed to work in law enforcement again and there should be charges filed against him."
In a statement released to News 2, the THP said that the Department of Safety and Homeland Security has received information involving Trooper Harvey Briggs at the Capitol yesterday. "At this time, we are in the process of reviewing the matter," it added.