Tennessee DA investigates sherriff’s deputy calling for LGBTQ to be killed

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Grayson Fritts talking with local media in Knoxville. (From a screen capture of WLVT)

Grayson Fritts talking with local media in Knoxville. (From a screen capture of WLVT)

KNOXVILLE — The district attorney for Knox County, Tenn., is investigating after a deputy called for LGBTQ people to be put to death.

A reporter for WVLT-TV, a CBS affiliate in Knoxville, was invited to services and recorded the sermon by the deputy, who is also a Baptist minister. In it, Grayson Fritts calls for government to kill LGBTQ people.

From WVLT:

“The purpose of this sermon is, our government, like the police, should enforce Leviticus 20:13,” Fritts said during a service at All Scripture Baptist Church during a sermon titled “Sodomite Reprobates.”

The King James Bible version of Leviticus says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Fritts made several violent statements in his sermon, calling non-straight people “freaks, animals” and other names. He expressed the belief that it is the duty of police and the government to enforce anti-LGBTQ+ laws that are outlined in the Bible.

“Here’s how it should work, it shouldn’t work when we go out and we enforce the laws, because the Bible says the powers that be are ordained of God and God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT FREAKS and arrest them,” he ranted. “Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted then they are to be put to death…do you understand that? it’s a capital crime to be carried out by our government.”

Fritts went on to say, “All the pride parades, man, hey call the riot teams, we got a bunch of ’em, get the patty wagon out here, we got a bunch of ’em going to jail, we got a bunch of them we’re gonna get convicted because they’ve got their pride junk on and they’re professing what they are, they’re a filthy animal.”

“After this onslaught, where the government’s arresting them and carrying out God’s laws and they’re all dead…you think.”

The county district attorney said she would review all pending cases that has Fritts as a witness.

“I find this speech personally offensive and reprehensible,” said a statement from DA Charme Allen to the TV station. “As District Attorney, my constitutional obligation is to protect the integrity of the justice system. When any potential witness in a criminal proceeding expresses an opinion of hatred and/or bias towards a class of citizens, I am ethically bound to explore that witness’ credibility. Accordingly, I am reviewing all pending cases involving Mr. Fritts to scrutinize them for any potential bias. Although my office has never received a complaint regarding Mr. Fritts prior to this incident, I have assigned an Assistant District Attorney to receive complaints regarding closed cases, and I will act on those complaints as justice dictates.”

WVLT reported that Fritts had requested early retirement from the sherriff’s office and was no longer on active duty.

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