A Pennsylvania police officer has been suspended for making what some users alleged were “racist comments” and sticking up for the Confederate flag in a TikTok video he filmed while in still uniform inside his police cruiser.
In the TikTok rant, the Mansfield Borough Police Department officer argues that the Confederate flag is not racist, going on to make remarks about slavery, saying, “that’s been over 200 years ago.”
“I think it’s time that people just like get the fuck over themselves,” he asserts, as seen in the clip uploaded by a local NBC affiliate, who revealed the officer’s name is Brian Gossert.
“I don’t understand how [the Confederate flag] is racist,” the cop says in the video that TikTok has since taken off the platform.
“It represents the South, just like the Union flag represents the North. No one says that the Union flag is racist. So why are we saying the Confederate flag is racist?” the officer explains.
He went on to make a case for how flying the rainbow flag is never controversial, but the Confederate flag is.
“So yeah, technically, they fought for slavery, I guess you could say,” he recognizes.
“Why hate them,” he says, sticking up for Southerners, “for something that no one is alive from anymore?”
The officer goes on to accurately point out that the “fucking Democrats started the KKK.”
“Everyone wants to call cops racist but yeah, you know who starts racism, Democrats,” he states. “They need to get the shit kicked out of them.”
The camera keeps running as he exits the patrol car to make what seems to be a drug arrest.
“Oh, fun stuff. This is why you don’t do meth,” he remarks as he re-enters the cruiser.
The reactions from people online varied wildly among users divided on the issue of the flag. One person commented:
“What’s there to investigate? Fire the racist cop. The longer you take, the longer it appears you are protecting him and enabling racism.”
Another argued back, “how in the f@ck do you think he’s racist?! Because he says he doesn’t understand why folks like you think the confederate flag is racist? So that makes him racist…….”
In another TikTok video acquired by 18 News from TikTok user ARonUNC, the officer mentions in the footage that he is on duty while filming. He says he would file an official grievance if he were to get fired for filming himself while on the job.
His TikTok account, called “officer_goose,” has since been taken off the platform, but his videos were screen recorded by users and posted across social media platforms.
As of Thursday, the Mansfield police have not responded to a request for comment from the media.
On Wednesday night in a statement posted to Facebook, the Mansfield Borough Council said it “is aware that a borough police officer posted offensive videos on a social media platform which were recorded and posted while he was on duty.”
The council insisted that they are “appalled and outraged by this conduct.”
“The officer has been suspended and an investigation is proceeding,” the post stated.
Gossert was recently put on the job as a full-time officer, as indicated by reports from the borough’s meeting on Sept. 9, 2020, the same year that 160 Confederate monuments were removed from public spaces in both legal and illegal manners.
Prior to that, he had served as an “as-needed officer,” according to borough minutes from Aug. 14, 2019.
The Wellsboro Gazette confirmed that Gossert graduated from the Mansfield University Police Academy in 2012.