A Pennsylvania officer has been suspended over an inflammatory TikTok video he filmed while on duty.
The Mansfield Borough Police Department has identified the officer as Brian Gossert, who began working for the department in 2019. The video shows Gossert sitting in his police vehicle in full uniform as he delivers a rant in defense of the Confederate flag.
“I don’t understand how (the Confederate flag) is racist; it represents the South. Just like the Union flag represents the North. No one says that the union flag is racist. So why are we saying the Confederate flag is racist?” he said. “Well they fought against the North, so yeah, technically they fought for slavery, I guess you could say, but again, that’s been over 200 years ago. I think it’s time that people just like, get the fuck over themselves. Because if that’s true, if the symbolism behind that flag is still that hurtful now, then we should still hate the South. So, why hate them for something that no one is alive from anymore?”
He continued: “You want to know who started the KKK? The fucking Democrats, probably the same party that you agree with … read a fucking history book. Everyone wants to call cops racist but yeah you know who starts racism, Democrats … It’s OK we can justify our flag, because it’s not as bad as the flag next to us.”
According to NBC affiliate WETM 18 News, Gossert made the comments during a live stream on his TikTok account @officer_goose, which has since been deleted. At one point during the stream, a viewer asked Gossert if he could face any repercussions for filming while on the job. The officer confirmed he was on duty at the time, and said he would file a grievance if the stream resulted in his termination.
Gossert continued to live stream as he appeared to make a drug arrest.
“Oh, fun stuff. This is why you don’t do meth,” he said before ending the video.
The MBPD addressed the incident in a Facebook statement Wednesday afternoon, confirming the department was aware of the stream and have suspended Gossert pending the results of an investigation.
“The Mansfield Borough Council is aware that a borough police officer posted offensive videos on a social media platform which were recorded and posted while he was on duty,” the statement read. “The Borough Council is appalled and outraged by this conduct. The officer has been suspended and an investigation is proceeding. The views expressed in these videos do not reflect the values of the Borough government.”