BYU player: 'I will (expletive) strangle you until you (expletive) don't breathe'
WARNING: The video below contains racial slurs and expletives. View with discretion.
(KUTV) A video has surfaced of an interaction between law enforcement and BYU football player Francis Bernard, where he threatens to strangle a person to death in front of police.
The video, posted Wednesday by MormonLeaks, identified the person as a manager in the video, who is threatened by Bernard in front of police -- at first with violence and then with death. Bernard tells the individual initially he will "(expletive) pop you in the face (expletive)."
MormonLeaks claims the video was recorded Dec. 4, 2016. Weeks later, shortly before kickoff, Bernard, a starting linebacker, was suspended from his Cougar's Poinsettia Bowl game against Wyoming.
In the video that just surfaced, police tell him to relax after he makes the initial threat but the individual making the recording and Bernard continue to speak back and forth. Bernard uses a racial slur and then threatens the camera man again.
I swear on my life, if I see you, I will (expletive) strangle you until you (expletive) don't breathe. I swear on my (expletive) life.
The police officer tells Bernard to stop.
Hey Francis, don't say stuff like that
The person recording the video states that he has to record what is happening and that it is his job to record the conversation and that he can't close the door.
The officer says forcefully:
Close the door.
The door is closed and the recording ends.
Previous to the threats, the screen was dark and a conversation between police and Bernard can be heard but not viewed. It is clear police had already been to the location earlier and talked to Bernard about noise. They state that this time they will issue him a ticket. He requests that police bring his coach to talk with police but police to decline to involve a coach.
A person, presumably Bernard, tells police that everyone present is of age -- presumably meaning legal drinking age.
That is not what I am saying. But what about the Honor Code dude?
In response Bernard said he will transfer. Police try to calm him down and tell him they don't want him to get kicked off the team but insist that they will issue a ticket. Bernard begs him not to. The officer responds, "Francis, it's not just twice. It's not just twice man."
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Bernard was transferring to the University of Utah, according to the player's brother, presumably after the current season.
KUTV spoke with BYU spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins Wednesday who had not seen the video but said the school doesn't comment on individual students. KUTV sent her a link and invited her to comment further if she wished.
Jenkins also said -- in general about the Honor Code and not specific to the video in question -- threatening another student would fall under the "respect for others" tenent of the code. She said each violation is handled in a case-by-case basis.
According to his BYU profile page, Bernard is a junior from Herriman High School. It lists "MISSION: Atlanta, GA." It says he was also recruited by Utah and Utah State.
While at Herriman, Bernard was a running back but switched to linebacker while at BYU. He was third on the team in 2016 with 80 total tackles, including a career-best 16 against Mississippi State.
The Tribune reported that Bernard's brother had "meetings with representatives from BYU’s Honor Code Office this summer, but the representatives have never told him exactly how he ran afoul of the code of conduct."
- Be honest
- Live a chaste and virtuous life
- Obey the law and all campus policies
- Use clean language
- Respect others
- Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
- Participate regularly in church services
- Observe Dress and Grooming Standards
- Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code