KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Knox County Attorney General’s Office said it is looking into a church sermon by a Knox County Sheriff’s detective that called for the government to arrest and execute LGBTQ community members.
In an hourlong video of the sermon online, Detective Grayson Fritts, also a pastor at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, tells his congregation that he believes federal, state and county governments should arrest, convict and “speedily” execute LGBTQ people on no more grounds than a cellphone photo showing participation in a Pride event.
The Knox County District Attorney General’s office knows about the matter and will respond accordingly, Attorney General Charme Allen said Tuesday.
“As district attorney, I have dedicated my career to the belief that justice is blind and that all people are entitled to equal protection of the law,” Allen said.
“I always have, and always will, prosecute fairly and justly, based upon the law and the evidence, without prejudice, bias, or discrimination of any kind.”
Fritts delivered his sermon June 2 at the church near downtown Knoxville on the first Sunday of Pride Month, which honors the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, considered a galvanizing moment in the gay rights movement.
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All Scripture Baptist Church describes itself as an “independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning church,” on its website. “Don’t expect anything liberal, watered down, or contemporary here,” it goes on to say.
Tennessee Equality Project executive director Chris Sanders called the use of religion and a law enforcement position to attack LGBTQ people “particularly reprehensible.”
“The symbolism is extremely palpable considering it is Pride Month and the anniversary of the Orlando pulse shooting,” Sanders said.
“We hope that there is a thorough quick investigation of this Knox County employee, and if all the facts are confirmed, he should not be in law enforcement.”
Fritts screams into the microphone, advocates for police riot teams to haul off Pride participants en masse and uses multiple slurs against the LGBTQ community.
He also targets Christians and others who support the LGBTQ community.
Fritts references his law enforcement career multiple times during the sermon, first telling the congregation “such arrests and executions should be carried out by our government, not Christians,” pausing for laughter as he adds, “unless you’re a policeman.”
Fritts has worked for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office since 1999 and was named a detective of the month in 2017.
Follow Brittany Crocker on Twitter: @brittcrocker.