November 22, 2013
Police dashcam footage of the arrest of Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham has surfaced, and reveals how dangerously close the decorated veteran came to losing his life in an altercation with Temple, Texas police officers.
The March 16, 2013 footage begins with officer Steve Ermis pulling up behind Grisham and his son, who were hiking down a road minding their own business.
As Grisham later explained, he was wielding an AR-15 rifle (legal to open carry in Texas) and a .45 caliber pistol (also legal with the proper permits) in case they encountered feral hogs, which are native to the Temple region, number in the millions and particularly destructive.
The footage shows Officer Ermis approaching the two hikers cautiously, and telling Grisham, “Don’t be touching it,” even though Grisham’s hands were nowhere near the gun. Ermis asks Grisham what he’s doing and reaches out to grab his rifle, examining it nervously before he asks, “Some reason why you have this?”
“Because I can,” Grisham replies.
The officer mumbles, “Well, okay,” before he reaches towards the stock of Grisham’s gun, startling Grisham, who at this point says, “Hey, don’t disarm me man,” and tries to secure his rifle by placing his hand on it.
Shocked by Grisham’s reaction, the officer draws his sidearm and begins yelling at Grisham to get his hand off the gun.
“Alright, I’m putting this on tape,” Grisham tells Ermis as he’s slammed onto the hood of the squad car.
“I’m being recording, too,” the officer yells.
“You’re trying to disarm me illegally,” the Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran tells the officer.
“I am going to disarm you,” Ermis tells Grisham.
The footage then aligns with video Grisham’s son filmed and uploaded of the arrest in April, which went viral for depicting officers unjustly violating Texas firearm laws.
Grisham was arrested essentially for “rudely displaying” his rifle, an impromptu law created on the spot by officers to cater to their specific situation.
Recently, Grisham was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge “of interfering with police duties when he refused to turn over his AR-15 rifle,” according to KXXV News. He served no jail time, but was made to pay a $2,000 fine.
“What this jury just told the people of Bell County is that the police officers around here can walk up to you and take your personal property,” Grisham told his supporters after the verdict was read. “They can take your firearms, and they don’t have to have a reason for it. They don’t have to tell you the reason for it.”
The dashcam video was reportedly acquired by News Channel 25 Thursday after an open records request, and provides the much-needed background context for what many believed to be an illegal arrest.
Grisham’s experience led him to become a national figure and notable gun rights activist. He now heads up Open Carry Texas, “an organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms openly in the State of Texas.”
Earlier this month, Grisham was arrested in Austin, Texas, on the steps of the capitol for trespassing while wielding a toy gun.
In April, Grisham joined Alex Jones on the Infowars Nightly News to explain the circumstances behind his arrest.
Last month, he also spoke to Jones prior to the open carry march on the Alamo in San Antonio.
This article was posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm