The Knox County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Deputy who this month has repeatedly preached sermons calling for gay people to be put to death by the state has not and will not be fired. But Tennessee residents can at least be glad he won’t be on active duty anymore.
Grayson Fritts is out on medical leave, and has accepted a form of early retirement, called a voluntary workforce reduction buyout. The buyout had been approved before news of the sermons broke.
Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler, Fritts’ boss, says he did not fire the Bible-thumping hate mongering pastor, who has served as a Sheriff’s Detective for to decades, because he fears a First Amendment lawsuit.
Spangler told Knox News that “we looked at every avenue we could look at without violating anybody’s First Amendment Rights (and) freedom of speech and the best thing for us was what we did. And that’s what we’re sticking with.”
“You can look for the ACLU to look for a lawsuit, you can look for the freedom of speech people to file a lawsuit,” Spangler also said. “They’re all around.”
During a June 2 sermon Pastor Fritts told supporters he’s “sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats.” This week, on Wednesday, aware of the nationwide outrage, Fritts doubled down, ending his sermon by saying, “Put homos to death.”
And while freedom of religion is an inherent aspect of the First Amendment, so is freedom from religion. And across the country law enforcement officers have been fired when it was determined their public statement have come in conflict with their job responsibilities or ability to equitably do their jobs.
“Obviously, people are upset, and they should be upset,” Spangler told Knox News. “Like I just said, I’m upset. What people say in their pulpit and what they say personally and their beliefs, that’s on them. And a lot of people will either agree or disagree and I think you have a lot of people disagreeing with some of the things said. I can understand that, absolutely.
Here’s Sheriff Spangler speaking with the press on Friday:
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MN Police Officer Sentenced 3.5 Years for Death of George Floyd
Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Keung has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of Black city resident George Floyd.
Keung, age 29, had accepted a plea deal in order to avoid an additional charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. His guilty plea acknowledged that the restraining holds used by police on Floyd were excessive and likely to cause serious harm.
Video of Floyd’s May 25, 2020 murder at the hands of city police captured footage of Keung kneeling on Floyd’s back while another officer knelt of the man’s neck. for over nine minutes, officers applied pressure to Floyd while he laid face down in the street, crying and telling officers that he couldn’t breathe while also calling out for his mother.
Video of Floyd’s murder sparked international outrage and inspired protests against institutional racism and police brutality.
Keung is the fourth and final police officer to receive prison time for his role in Floyd’s death. He will serve his new sentence and a federal sentence for Floyd’s death concurrently, serving a total of about 2 1/2 years for the killing.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Feels “Insulted” That Herschel Walker Didn’t Want Her Campaigning With Him
Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recently complained that she should’ve been given a more high-profile role in the failed political campaign of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Herschel Walker.
Speaking on the War Room podcast of federally indicted anti-LGBTQ Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Greene said, “I was never asked very often by the Herschel Walker campaign to come speak at any of his campaign events.”
“He was campaigning all over the state, running for Senate, but they only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting,” Greene added.
“The audacity and really frank rudeness of the campaign consultants and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham where they thought, you know, ‘We’re going to keep Marjorie Taylor Greene away from Herschel Walker,'” she continued.
“I think it was really a major mistake and an insult to me and insult to people who support me and Republicans all over Georgia.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene said it is “extremely insulting” that the Herschel Walker campaign didn’t ask her to campaign statewide for him. pic.twitter.com/Vg58W6cT9d
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) December 7, 2022
Contrary to her personal beliefs, Greene’s advocacy probably wouldn’t have helped Walker’s scandal-ridden campaign.
During his unsuccessful run to become Georgia’s next senator, multiple women accused Walker of abuse, impregnating and abandoning his kids, and pressuring his former lovers to get abortions. These accusations were especially damning considering that Walker himself supports a total abortion ban.
While Greene has emerged as one of the loudest voices among congressional Republicans, she’s also among the most unhinged.
In her past social media comments, she has advocated for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, said that an airplane never hit the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks, claimed that all school shootings are fake, said that California wildfires were started by a Jewish-owned space laser, and accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of slicing off a child’s face and wearing it.
Her social media posts caused her to lose her House committee assignments early into her freshman year.
Meanwhile, Bannon is no stranger to scandal himself. He co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
‘The Hypocrisy Is Just Absolutely Insane’: Morning Joe Slams GOP ‘Idiots’ for Criticizing Brittney Griner Release
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed Donald Trump and other Republicans for their “absolutely insane” hypocrisy on the prisoner swap that returned WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony.
GOP lawmakers and conservative media attacked President Joe Biden for agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis oil, and not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of spying. The “Morning Joe” host ripped their complaints.
“The hypocrisy is just absolutely insane,” Scarborough said. “I mean, the same Republicans that were criticizing Joe Biden for not bringing Paul Whelan home failed to place blame on the man who was actually in the White House when Whelan was arrested illegally, jailed illegally. Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2018 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t he do anything in 2019 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2020 to get Paul Whelan home? He was praising Vladimir Putin the entire time, why not actually call his buddy and ask him to release an American? I guess because he just didn’t give a damn.”
“Despite celebrating the releases of other Americans imprisoned while he was in office, Donald Trump didn’t publicly utter Whelan’s name even once as president,” Scarborough continued. “This is according to a review of public remarks and tweets, carried out by The Independent. Trump clearly had the power to negotiate a prisoner swap deal, however, never was this evident in 2020, when he negotiated with, get this, not with his friend Putin to get Paul Whelan home. He didn’t give a damn that Putin arrested Whelan and let him rot in jail. Instead, no, he was negotiating with the Taliban, and he freed up 5,000 Taliban terrorists. What did he get in exchange? Nothing, he got nothing in exchange and he wanted to actually invite the Taliban, the people who actually allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen, to be launched from their country, he invited them on Sept. 11 to Camp David.”
“When these idiot, and they are total idiots, when these idiots going around talking about Joe Biden being a bad negotiator, they are literally talking in defense of with Donald Trump — the biggest loser, the worst negotiator we have ever had,” Scarborough added. “He falls in love with dictators in North Korea, he completely kowtows to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he doesn’t even give a damn about Paul Whelan, lets him rot in jail for three years while Biden and [secretary of state Tony] Blinken and this administration are working their tails off to try to get him home.”
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