'He's a terrorist:' says niece of embattled KCSO deputy

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A woman who said she is the niece of an embattled Knox County deputy and the pastor of All Scripture Baptist Church condemned her uncle in a YouTube video.

The niece of an embattled KCSO detective is condemning his anti-LGBT+ statements, calling him "a terrorist." (Cherish Hope Newman)

"I really feel like because this is my family, I need to address this," said Cherish Newman through teary eyes. "I am no longer close with that side of the family."

Newman said she doesn't generally make political statements on her video blog called "Hope's Homestead" where she mostly posts about her family.

She said her uncle's comments came as no surprise to her.

"I would be less shocked if he made a message on African Americans or anyone of any race. That side of my family is mostly full of racist bigots," said Newman. "I think what shocked me was that, I knew my family didn't agree with it, but I've never heard anyone say such vile things."

Newman goes on to explain how she realized that messages like the one given by her uncle could keep LGBTQ people from attending church services. "It wasn't until I watched his sermon all the way through, that I realized why, when I invited my friend to church, he said he couldn't come."

"I refuse to be speechless," she said. "Because being speechless will allow this type of thing to continue."

Newman said she believes rhetoric like her uncle's could cause Christianity to "become the next ISIS" by making people afraid. "I 100% disagree with what he said. With every fiber of my being. God is a merciful God, and He does not hate anyone."

"On the day of judgment when you stand before God Almighty, is He gonna judge you based on what your neighbor was guilty of? Because if the answer is 'no,' then why would you show anybody anything, other than love?"

"I won't sit back and silently watch anyone who is connected to me in any way, call for the public execution of innocent human beings just because their beliefs differ from their's and not call him what he is. A terrorist."

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