Editor’s Note: This is another update concerning C J Grisham’s case in the tyrannical move of the Temple Police to disarm and arrest him.
I wanted to take a moment to give everyone a quick case update. I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking for updates and I was trying to wait until my pretrial hearing which was supposed to be tomorrow. However, after speaking with my attorney, we agreed that we needed to file a continuance for the hearing.
Two weeks ago, the judge that was supposed to hear my case, John Mischtian, recused himself suddenly and a judge from Houston was brought in. Because of this, we assumed that the timeline of our trial could potentially be moved to as early as next week. We are not ready to defend our case next week and asked for the continuance. Had Judge Mischtian not recused himself, we would have expected a case date around mid- to late-August.
There are a lot of weird things happening in this case that confuse the heck out of me. First of all, the prosecutor, Mark Danford, asked for and received a gag order on the dashcam footage. This is odd considering this is a Class B misdemeanor case. The county and city of Temple is claiming that release of the footage would open up witnesses to potential intimidation. The problem is that there aren’t any witnesses. The only people on the scene when I was arrested were me, my son, and the officers. Since neither my son, my wife, nor I object to the release of the footage, the only other “witnesses” were the officers.
The fact is that the county and city of Temple don’t want the dashcam footage released because it’s extremely damaging to the integrity and reputation of the department. They’ve invested themselves in blatant lies about what happened that day. TPD officers have been going around Temple defaming me and seeding potential jurors with misinformation about the case. I know this because I’ve had numerous people (including TPD officers) tell me so.
For those that haven’t been following my case, here’s a quick primer about the lies that TPD has been telling and the truth to back it up. I have said all along that I didn’t escalate the situation and it’s obvious that the dashcam footage could only serve to support that. After all, I was there on the side of the road. I don’t need a dashcam to tell me what happened, but I think the people are entitled to know what probable cause was used to violate my civil rights when I was falsely arrested on March 16, 2013, while hiking with my son.
I’ve already written about some of this, but I wanted to provide another summary.
Police claim: TPD “approached Grisham and told him to set down the loaded rifle that was slung across his chest so the two could talk.”
Truth: Officer Steve Ermis never asked me to set down my rifle. He never told me to set down my rifle. He never insinuated that I set down my rifle. At no time, did Ermis make any indication that I was to put my rifle down. In fact, as Ermis approached me upon first contact the only thing he told me was “don’t you be touching it,” referring to my rifle. This was in response to me asking him how his day was as he exited the vehicle. Hardly the greeting of a hostile individual. I had also immediately placed my hands to my side, away from the weapon, when he got out of his vehicle to put him at ease. Again, not exactly the actions of a hostile person.
Police claim: I “became very irate and angry and yelled at the officer he was not going to take his gun.”
Truth: I didn’t become angry and irate until the officer drew his pistol on me and slammed his foot down on mine after trying to steal my firearm without notice. He then immediately threw me onto the hood of the car in spite of me not touching my rifle and having my hands in the air. By the way, he pointed his loaded pistol into the back of my head as he violently escalated the situation. I was very calm and responded evenly to his questions prior to him trying to remove my weapon from me without a warrant or probable cause that I had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime. I was even calm when he grabbed my weapon. Again, I didn’t get “very irate and angry” until he pointed his pistol at my head.
Police claim: “Instead of talking to Grisham first, the officer decided to disarm him.”
Truth: The problem with this is that Officer Ermis DID talk to me. He asked me what we were doing, as he immediately picked up my firearm without asking and began to look at it. He then asked me if there was any reason I was carrying my rifle. Because carrying a rifle openly in Texas is not a crime, I responded, “Because I can.” It was a stupid question. Do they stop motorists driving the speed limit and demand to know why they’re obeying the law? Do they harass people having a picnic in the park and ask them why they aren’t eating at home? No. You don’t have to explain why you’re engaging in a legal activity. After I answered that question, Ermis got this smug “I’ll show you” look on his face and said, “Oh, yeah?” at which point he began removing my rifle without notice, cause, warrant, probable cause, or indication of any kind.
The City of Temple and the Temple Police Department are spreading the lie that I escalated the situation. This is why they CANNOT afford to release the dashcam footage. I can’t discuss what was in there other than to say what I know because I was there. I know what happened. The officer knows what happened. The dashcam footage would clear up any confusion about whether or not I was combative and “very irate and angry” upon initial encounter. The officer lied on his sworn affidavit and the police department lied to the citizens of Temple.
How can anyone feel safe knowing that instead of disciplining an officer that exceeded his authority, they circled the wagon of a lie and doubled down on it? How many people are in jail right now or have a record because an officer lied on his sworn affidavit and arrest report?
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