Man yanks campaign sign from Franklin neighbor's yard, leaves message for owner

Bob Britton sign vandal
Posted at 9:56 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 14:02:35-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Franklin Police Department officers investigated a bizarre encounter Wednesday morning in Williamson County, captured on a doorbell camera.

Video shows a man drive up to a home in the Cool Springs East neighborhood and yank out a campaign sign from the homeowner's front yard. But it doesn't stop there.

The man then walks up to the front door of the home, holding the sign, and then rings the doorbell, while chiding into the camera, "no, no no!" before throwing the sign to the sidewalk and walking away.

The yard sign was in support of Bob Britton, Democratic candidate for Williamson County School Board District 4.

"I was just shocked and dismayed anyone would behave that way. I felt particularly bad for my supporter who had to be threatened and frightened about this sort of thing," Britton said.

Britton said he has no idea who the person is, but he says he thinks this kind of behavior is a result of an increasingly caustic political divide.

"We're neighbors, we're all neighbors in this community, we may disagree, but that's OK," Britton said. "That doesn't mean we have to act out like that person, the way you act out is to vote."

Tennessee law protects the right of homeowners to post traditionally-sized campaign yard signs, even in HOAs.

On Thursday, the Franklin Police Department responded to the incident saying they identified the man in the video.

They said in part:

After conferring with prosecutors, Criminal Trespass could be a potential charge. Criminal Trespass is a Class-C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $50.00, and a sentence of not more than 30-days in jail.

What happened here should not be the experience of anyone who chooses to support a candidate, and the Department is saddened that this occurred. The homeowner advised officers that they do not want to prosecute.

The Department, however stands ready to assist them with pursuing criminal action, should they decide to do so. Absent an arrest and pending prosecution, it is not appropriate for the Department to publicly identify the man in the video.