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Ex-soldier goes missing after sentencing in protester’s exposure


NASHVILLE, Tenn. –

A former Tennessee State trooper has gone missing after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault alleging he pulled a mask over a protester’s face during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020. .

In a Facebook post on Monday, Columbia Police said 54-year-old Harvey Briggs was last seen in the city on October 1, a day after receiving a sentence of six months of probation, and that he I’m driving a black 2015 Ford Fusion. He did not contest the assault charge on September 15.

Before leaving, Briggs made “several statements of concern” to his family, and they have not heard from him since, police said. Police are asking anyone with more information to contact them. They did not provide details of Briggs’ comments to his family.

Additionally, Briggs “expressed discomfort about her probation and verbally expressed displeasure with the (probation) officer,” said Tennessee Department of Corrections spokeswoman Dorinda Carter.

The terms of Briggs’ probation require him to get permission from the probation officer to leave the county where he lives. Dana McLendon, Briggs’ defense attorney, declined to comment on Tuesday.

At an August 2021 hearing in Nashville, prosecutors relied on a soldier’s testimony that he witnessed Briggs pull the mask off the face of protester, Andrew Golden , at the state Capitol complex.

Prosecutors played Golden’s widely circulated audio recording of the encounter, which showed Golden’s mask on the ground but failed to capture Briggs removing it, and when Golden said the soldier had ripping off his mask, Briggs denied it in front of the camera.

Briggs and Golden’s confrontation came as lawmakers reconvened inside the state Capitol for a session in which they passed legislation that threatened felony charges against protesters camping on the property. state amid nationwide protests against racial justice. he and another soldier were tackling a traffic stop before he saw Briggs remove his mask from Golden.

Golden was recording the stop when Briggs, who was nearby but was not involved, scolded Golden and told him not to “obstruct” the scene.

The video shows Briggs, not wearing a mask, close-up of Golden’s face. Golden then said on camera that Briggs tore off his mask and showed the mask on the ground nearby. “I didn’t,” Briggs replied. “I’m tired of you guys who make up.”

Briggs was fired and charged following an encounter with protesters. He sued the state over his dismissal. That instance still works.

Briggs’ announcement of his termination as a soldier also said security footage of the incident from the nearby Tennessee State Library & Archives supports the claim that Briggs removed Golden’s mask.

In the lawsuit opposing Briggs’ dismissal, his attorney echoed Briggs’ claim that he didn’t pull the mask off Golden, saying it “doesn’t appear in the video nor on the video from the cameras placed above it.” various structures in the Capitol’s parking area.”

Surveillance footage of the incident provided by the state’s Department of Homeland Security and Safety is rough, but appears to show Briggs’ arm facing Golden’s face, causing Golden to stagger back.

Briggs’ personnel records show that during his 22-year career with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, he was suspended for 17 days without pay for several violations prior to the mask incident.

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