Cop fired and charged with assault after ripping mask off man filming traffic stop

Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Harvey Briggs, 52, went face-to-face with a man filming an arrest, handled his firearm while threatening him, then ripped the man's facemask off. It was all caught on camera; Briggs' actions first lost him his job and now his freedom.

Briggs, 52, was booked into the Metro jail about 9 p.m. on Thursday, Davidson County Sheriff's Office records show. He was released just before 11:30 p.m. after posting a $1,000 bond. According to an arrest affidavit filed by Andrew Golden, the victim was participating in a peaceful demonstration at the Tennessee State Library archives near the state capitol building, when Briggs approached him and tore off the victim's protective face mask. Golden stepped away from the demonstration to film a traffic stop behind the Capitol. 

The video is a good example of how cops position themselves to force people to touch them, which they will then be arrested for no matter how fleeting or inadvertant the contact. But Golden understood the game and it was Briggs who couldn't keep his hands to himself.