A white Tennessee police officer resigned after witnesses said he got knocked out at a wedding for making drunken, racist comments

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Police officers unrelated to this story on October 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
  • A Tennessee police officer resigned amid an investigation into his comments at a wedding.

  • Witnesses said he said he "didn't know they let Black people in" the venue, WBIR-TV reported.

  • A man punched the officer after he "couldn't take it anymore," WVLT reported.

A Tennessee police officer resigned while the Knoxville Police Department was investigating reports of drunken, racist comments he made at a wedding in June.

Multiple witnesses allege the officer, Tanner Holt, ranted about race in the parking lot outside the wedding venue, telling one attendee that he "didn't know they let Black people in the reception hall," according to the incident report seen by WBIR-TV.

The attendee, Jonathan Toney, reportedly asked Holt to stop speaking about race - Holt declined, and said "he was part of the Black community."

According to WVLT, Toney punched Holt in the face, saying he "couldn't take it anymore" and knocking the off-duty officer unconscious.

Scott Erland, a spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department, confirmed the internal investigation in a statement.

"In the course of the preliminary investigation, responding officers were made aware of numerous possible violations of the KPD's Code of Conduct policy, including allegations that Holt had made racially motivated statements that precipitated the assault," Erland said, according to Hard Knox Wire.

While it's unclear which specific rule violations the department is referring to, the Knoxville Police Department's code of ethics states that its employees should not act in an "immoral, indecent, lewd, or disorderly manner or in a manner that might be construed by an observer as immoral, indecent, lewd, or disorderly."

No charges were filed against the former police officer.

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