A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper is under investigation after a viral video appears to show him ripping the face mask off a civilian at the state Capitol.
A video posted to Facebook by Andrew Golden shows him filming a traffic stop by troopers at the Capitol Monday evening.
“Tonight around 6:35pm CST, I followed a citizen who was people pulled over by TN State Troopers for the purpose of filming their interaction,” Goldman wrote on Facebook.
In the video, Trooper Harvey Briggs warned Golden not to impede with the traffic stop.
The video shows Golden on the sidewalk standing a safe distance away from the troopers.
Briggs, who wasn’t involved in the traffic stop, crossed the parking lot to confront Golden for using curse words.
“Don’t use that language again,” Briggs can be heard saying in the video. “You don’t talk to me like that. … I prefer better language than that out of you.”
Briggs standing inches from Golden’s face while not wearing a mask, threatened to arrest him if he “impeded” the troopers during their stop.
Briggs had his hand on his gun during the brief altercation and allegedly stepped on his foot.
When Golden briefly turned away from Briggs to speak with the other troopers, Briggs ripped the mask from his face.
The video shows Golden’s mask flying to the ground. Briggs then denies ripping off the mask as he walks away.
“At this point, I’m not surprised when state troopers or law enforcement officers decide to escalate a situation,” Golden told The Tennessean.
Golden called Briggs “reckless” and said he was uncomfortable with the trooper’s behavior.
He filed a complaint against Briggs with the Tennessee Office of Professional Accountability on Tuesday.
A THP spokesman told the newspaper the Department of Safety and Homeland Security received information about the incident and the agency is reviewing it.
615-251-5228. Just spoke with Arlene. Lovely and patient. Said an investigation into this incident with Officer Harvey Briggs, Tennessee Highway Patrol, was opened yesterday. Declined to say if he’s on desk duty pending outcome of report. https://t.co/QeDFcsJwQV
— Pamela Popeil (@pamelapopeil) August 12, 2020