This past summer, we brought you the story of C. J. Grisham, a decorated Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who was arrested in Temple, Texas simply for open-carrying a rifle. He was with his son and had planned to go on a 10-mile hike so that his son could earn his hiking scout badge. Grisham also conceal-carried a handgun.
He was stopped by Temple police officers, because they got a call from an “alarmed” citizen. Instead of informing this alarmed citizen of the legality of the 2nd Amendment and maybe observing the open carrier just to make sure he wasn’t doing anything beyond carrying a self-defense tool, they decided it was their duty to harass the man and treat him like a criminal from the get-go.
Up until now, all we had was the video footage the man’s son took of the arrest. We didn’t have the context. This is why so many cops hate it when people record them. They claim that their footage is always taken out of context, and you never see the whole story.
Well, this time we do have the whole story, because Bell County, Texas officials finally released the dashcam video of the entire encounter. Open Carry Texas compiled the dashcam videos with the son’s video footage to give viewers the entire context:
What we didn’t see before was Officer Steven Ernis walking up to Grisham after flagging him down, grabbing Grisham’s rifle, looking at it and trying to unlatch it from the sling. At that point, Grisham holds the butt of the rifle, trying to prevent Ernis from taking it, and then Ernis pretends to be in dire danger, points his handgun at Grisham, and yells at him to get his hands off his own gun (that Ernis was trying to take from him). The Blaze reported:
The officer immediately drew his pistol and yelled, “Get your hand off the gun!” Grisham removed his hand from his gun and protested before Ernis slammed him on his squad car, his pistol still in hand.
“You’re trying to disarm me illegally!” Grisham says.
“I am gonna disarm you,” Ernis replies. “Once I find out there’s no issue…you’re going to be on your way.”
Except he wasn’t allowed to go on his way after it was determined that Grisham’s firearms were legal and he wasn’t breaking any laws when he was approached by law enforcement. He was first charged with resisting arrest, but the charges were later downgraded.
In Texas, it is legal to open carry long guns, such as a rifle. Grisham has maintained from the beginning that he was illegally detained and disarmed without consent or notification.
Officer Ernis claimed that Grisham was “rudely” displaying a firearm. You saw the video. Was he “rudely” displaying it? What does that even mean anyway?
And the usual “resisting arrest” charge was obviously stupid. They have to charge you with something in order to arrest you. But those charges were eventually reduced to “interference with duties of a public servant.” Last week, he was found guilty of those charges by a jury of six and had to pay a $2,000 fine. He’s planning on appealing the decision.
What “duties” did Grisham interfere with? He was minding his own business with his own son before the cops came and rudely interfered. The father had a duty to protect himself and his son in case someone or some animal threatened their lives. That’s why he was armed. And he followed his state law to a T. He concealed his handgun, and he carried his rifle open. He did absolutely nothing illegal, and on top of that, he was acting like a dutiful and protective father. What law were these “law enforcement” officers enforcing?
In Copville, everything is backwards. They get to carry their handguns openly, because they’re “exempt from [Texas state] law,” as the sergeant told Grisham. And any non-cop like Grisham is assumed to be a criminal if he has a gun (an assumption from which cops are obviously exempt). They get to use their gun or taser on unarmed and defenseless people and later claim that they felt their lives were threatened and get away with it. Try defending yourself from such a cop, and they’ll charge you with attempted murder.
In today’s America, you’re seen as a mentally ill criminal if you exercise any of your rights acknowledged in the Bill of Rights.