A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper accused of ripping a face mask off a bystander filming a traffic stop has been terminated.
A THP spokesman confirmed Trooper Harvey Briggs’ termination Friday evening after an internal investigation by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Briggs was found to have violated a department policy and was terminated for unprofessional conduct.
The firing comes after Briggs, a 22-year employee of the agency, was placed on leave after a video surfaced of an altercation with a bystander.
A video posted by Andrew Golden shows him filming a traffic stop by troopers at the Capitol Monday evening. On the video, Briggs warned Golden not to impede on the stop.
The video shows Golden on the sidewalk distanced from the troopers. He estimates he was 10 to 15 feet away.
Briggs, who wasn’t involved in the traffic stop, crossed the parking lot to chastise Golden for using curse words.
When Briggs reached Golden, he threatened to arrest him if he “impeded” the troopers during their stop. Briggs had his hand on his gun during the altercation.
Briggs got inches away from Golden’s face while not wearing a mask, the video shows.
Things escalated when Golden said he turned away from Briggs to speak with the other troopers. While the camera wasn’t on Briggs, Golden said, Briggs ripped the mask from his face.
The video doesn’t capture Briggs removing Golden’s mask but shows Golden’s mask flying to the ground. In the video, Briggs denies ripping off the mask.