KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler took to the podium to speak at Monday night’s county commission meeting to denounce the anti-gay sermons of one of his detectives.
KCSO detective, Grayson Fritts, who is currently on leave, is a preacher at All Scripture Baptist Church, where he had recently preached anti-gay sermons from the pulpit that were posted on the church’s YouTube channel.
In the sermons, Fritts called for the execution of LGBTQ persons, calling them “freaks.”
“I stand before you as the Sheriff of Knox County, and as a concerned citizen,” Spangler said. “I want everyone to know that I, the sheriff, and I, Tom Spangler, do not agree (with) or condone Mr. Fritts’s comments.”
“I certainly do not condone the calling for execution of a person or a group of people, for any reason; that is nothing more than vile and hate-filled speech,” Spangler said. “…those comments are not reflective of our people.”
Spangler then saying KCSO officers are to protect and serve without discrimination or hesitation, and would continue to do so, regardless.
Spangler also said he wanted to reassure citizens they had nothing to fear from KCSO officers.
“In fact, our men and women are saddened and have heavy hearts as well over these recent events,” Spangler said. “Please, please – do not allow the actions of one individual to cause dissension in our great county.”
Fritts had applied for voluntary workforce buyout and is expected to leave KCSO July 19.