Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler says a deputy who recently delivered a sermon calling for police officers and government to kill homosexuals is no longer on active duty.
Spangler says Det. Grayson Fritts took part in a workforce reduction buyout program two weeks ago. The sheriff says Fritts is on paid sick leave until the workforce reduction takes effect on July 19.
“I want to be very clear that it is my responsibility to ensure equal protection to ALL citizens of Knox County, Tennessee under the law, my oath and the United States Constitution without discrimination or hesitation. Rest assured that I have and will continue to do so,” Spangler said in a statement.
Fritts recently delivered two sermons condemning homosexuality at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, where he is currently pastor. In his June 2 sermon, called “Why Leviticus 20:13 Should Still Be Enforced,” he calls on government and police to enforce the death penalty for homosexuals.
“God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT freaks and arrest them, and have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, they are to be put to death,” Fritts said in the sermon, which is posted to YouTube. “It is a capital crime that should be carried out by our government.”
In the following week’s sermon, Fritts also called out the LGBT community, saying they are deserving of hatred from church members and that HIV and AIDS are “their reward for engaging in this type of behavior.”
The Knox County District Attorney’s Office says it is looking into Fritts.
“We are looking into it and will respond accordingly. 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. 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,” District Attorney General Charme Allen said in a statement.