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Fired Tennessee trooper arrested and charged with assault after 'ripping off protester's face mask'

A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who was fired for allegedly ripping the face mask off a man filming a traffic stop has now been arrested and charged with assault.  

Harvey Briggs, 52, was arrested and charged with assault Thursday at about 9pm. He was released on a $1,000 bond at about 11.30pm that night, WKRN reported. 

Briggs’ arrest comes nearly a month after he was caught on camera getting right up into the face of a protester and supposedly yanking off his face mask near the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Warning: Graphic language 

Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Harvey Briggs, 52 (right), was arrested Thursday night and charged with assault after allegedly ripping the face mask off protester Andrew Golden (left)

Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Harvey Briggs, 52 (right), was arrested Thursday night and charged with assault after allegedly ripping the face mask off protester Andrew Golden (left)

The incident occurred August 10, when Golden was filming a traffic stop while on the sidewalk

The incident occurred August 10, when Golden was filming a traffic stop while on the sidewalk

Briggs, who was standing across the street, shouted at Golden not to impede the officers

Briggs, who was standing across the street, shouted at Golden not to impede the officers

The August 10 incident began when protester Andrew Golden started filming police as they pulled over a protester in a car. 

As Golden films the incident, Briggs – a 22-year veteran of the Tennessee Highway Patrol – can be heard shouting at him, from across the street, to move away and not to interfere with the traffic stop. 

Golden swears while pointing out that he’s on the sidewalk and not getting close to the police officers, prompting Briggs to march over to him. 

The two then begin arguing, with Briggs noting that he doesn’t appreciate Golden’s colorful language, while Golden asks why Briggs has his hand on his gun handle.  

After Golden swore while saying he was isn't impeding the officers, Briggs marched up to him

Briggs

After Golden swore while saying he was isn’t impeding the officers, Briggs marched up to him

During the heated confrontation, Golden claimed that Briggs - who wasn't wearing a face mask - ripped off the one that he was wearing and threw it on the ground (pictured)

During the heated confrontation, Golden claimed that Briggs – who wasn’t wearing a face mask – ripped off the one that he was wearing and threw it on the ground (pictured)

Briggs was a 22-year veteran of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He was fired on August 14 and is currently appealing the decision

Briggs

Briggs was a 22-year veteran of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He was fired on August 14 and is currently appealing the decision

During the argument, Briggs gets close enough to Golden that they are nearly nose-to-nose – despite Briggs not wearing a face mask. 

Although the precise moment isn’t shown on camera, Golden suddenly exclaims that Briggs ripped off his face mask and shows it lying nearby a tree trunk.  

Briggs, meanwhile, can be seen marching back to his post across the street. As he walks away, he tells Golden not to impede the traffic stop officers. 

When Golden asks the other officers if they’re ‘going to do something’ about what happened, Briggs denies removing the mask and says he’s ‘tired of you people making stuff up.’

Golden, in his Facebook post about the incident, wrote that he was ‘met with a blank stare’ from the other officers. 

Golden also noted that Briggs is ‘A notorious figure at the Capitol protest,’ but didn’t elaborate on why that was the case.  

Briggs was fired four days later, on August 14, for ‘unprofessional conduct.’ 

He appealed his termination, but no decision has been made about his termination, a THP spokesperson told WKRN.

Briggs’ arrest warrant claimed that while removing Golden’s mask and throwing it, Briggs touched Golden’s face.

Golden was described as having participated in a ‘peaceful demonstration’ near the state capitol building.  

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said in an internal investigation that Briggs had violated department policy, resulting in his being fired by the THP, the Tennessean reported. 

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