UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Texas Police Dept. Provides Statement to TheBlaze on Vet Arrested After ‘Rudely Displaying’ Rifle (Plus, a Texas Firearms Attorney Weighs In)
The father at the center of a controversial arrest in Texas offered more details on his side of the story, Wednesday, regarding how it unfolded.
On Tuesday, TheBlaze brought you the story of Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham being arrested by Temple, Texas, police while on a 10-mile hike with his teenaged son. Knowing there are wild boars, coyotes, and cougars in the area, he had an AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder and in front of him while also carrying a .45 caliber pistol.
But according to local authorities, Grisham was "rudely displaying" his firearm, and "people are alarmed" when they see such weapons. Grisham says a police officer grabbed at his rifle -- not asking him to drop it first -- then pulled his service firearm in front of Grisham's 15-year-old son when Grisham took a step back. The veteran was subsequently arrested and hauled off to jail -- but not before catching a 13-minute conversation between himself and the officers on video.
The story has exploded in the national media, with many outraged at how the officers seemingly handled the situation. On Wednesday, Grisham appeared on the Glenn Beck radio program to speak more on the story:
Grisham explained how he originally thought the police were just making sure he and his son were okay, seeing as they were walking on a rural road and his lights weren't on. But when the officer saw Grisham's gun, he said the officer's whole "demeanor" changed.
"He looked at my rifle and he's like, 'what are you doing with that rifle?'"
When the officer grabbed at his gun, without asking him to disarm first, Grisham admits he said: "What the hell are you thinking? You're not going to disarm me." And from there, everything went downhill.
"Each time I asked a question I was getting more and more frustrated, and there were a few moments where -- I'm a devout Christian, Mormon...I said some things I regret," he told Beck, noting that he has a back injury from Iraq and the officer wouldn't let him stand up straight.
"It was just a very frustrating situation because, here we are doing absolutely nothing wrong, just walking down a road, we haven't even passed a house yet...and suddenly I'm in cuffs for absolutely no reason, and they're not answering my questions about what it is I'm accused of, they're going through my wallet and my things..."
"Without a warrant," co-host Pat Gray noted.
"It's pretty stunning stuff," Beck weighed in. "I'm so gravely -- and again, I haven't spoken to the police officers, and maybe you're making it up, maybe you were pointing the gun at them at the beginning -- but I am shocked and horrified at the way Texas police officers would behave...and have such a blatant disregard for the law, it seems."
(Photo via Fox News)
To be sure, Grisham has his detractors. For the past several years, he and fellow prominent military blogger Michael Yon have engaged in a war of words over the Internet. The two have repeatedly questioned the integrity, valor, and and service of the other. TheBlaze will be following up on this issue in the future.
But regardless of his past, the treatment of Grisham's son deserves to be investigated, Beck said. Police took the boy home after Grisham's arrest. And though Grisham warned him not to answer any questions until his mom was present, police allegedly wouldn't let the boy out of the car until he spoke.
They were just "identifying questions," Grisham noted, "name, age, etc." but Beck interrupted.
"Doesn't matter, doesn't matter...You are being held illegally against your will. You have the right to remain silent, and you also -- if you are not under arrest, you also have the right to calmly walk away," he said. "Those are two rights you absolutely have, and they violated both of those rights."
More information will continue to come out on the case, and the court date is currently set for May 29, though Grisham and his lawyer are requesting to have it moved up.
The veteran was quick to defend the majority of the police officers in his city, saying most of them are "great guys" and he doesn't know "what happened" that day.
Beck agreed, urging Grisham to get a "giant" civil rights attorney.
"What is acceptable to me is -- if that happened -- just with his son, forget about the rest -- that police officer needs to be fired," Beck said. "Not suspended, not put on probation, fired. There is zero tolerance for that kind of stuff. That's the baby step to what everyone else claims about police...You do not violate the law, period. You enforce the law! And you follow it to the letter."
Here is Grisham's video from the arrest, for those who haven't seen it:
- Decorated Vet Arrested After ‘Rudely Displaying’ His Rifle — and Says Officer Pulled Gun on Him in Front of His Son