Pastor, Police Detective Calls For the Execution of LGBTQ Persons In Sermon
The Knox County Attorney General's Office said it is reviewing cases involving a Knox County Sheriff's detective who in a June sermon 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.
Attorney General Charme Allen said she will also assign an assistant district attorney to take complaints about any past cases involving the detective.
“I find this speech personally offensive and reprehensible. As District Attorney, my constitutional obligation is to protect the integrity of the justice system," Allen said in a statement late Wednesday.
Fritts has taken a buyout and is on paid sick leave until the buyout goes into effect in July.
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.
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.
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.