Tennessee State Trooper Allegedly Rips Mask Off Man Who Was Recording Cops

An investigation has been launched into a Tennessee State Trooper allegedly ripping the mask off a civilian who was recording the police during a traffic stop.

View this video on YouTube


Video has surfaced of a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper allegedly ripping a face mask off a civilian. Now, Trooper Harvey Briggs is being investigated for the incident.

In the footage, Andrew Golden films troopers making a traffic stop at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville on Monday. Golden is visibly more than six feet away from the officers and standing on the sidewalk when Briggs cautions Golden against obstructing the traffic stop. Briggs also warns Golden not to use curse words.

“Don't use that language again,” Briggs says. “You don't talk to me like that. ... I prefer better language than that out of you.”

Briggs approaches Golden and threatens to arrest him if he “impedes” on the traffic stop, and gets inches from Golden while not wearing a mask. When Golden turns the camera away from Briggs, the trooper allegedly rips Golden’s mask off his face. The moment isn’t captured on film, but Golden does point his camera to the ground, where his mask ends up. Briggs denies taking the mask off.

“At this point, I'm not surprised when state troopers or law enforcement officers decide to escalate a situation,” Golden told the The Tennessean. He also called Briggs “reckless” and said he wasn’t comfortable with how the trooper acted.

Golden filed an official complaint with the Tennessee Office of Professional Accountability. Afterward, a THP spokesman told the outlet the Department of Safety and Homeland Security is reviewing the incident.

Golden told TMZ he’s looking into legal representation so he can possibly press charges against Briggs. He also told the outlet other people are now coming forward to complain about Briggs. Golden believes the trooper should lose his job over the incident, or at least be punished since he clearly disobeyed Nashville’s mask ordinance, which was passed in late June.

Latest in Life