Officials in Bell County, Texas, have released the dashcam footage of a police officer in Temple, Texas, disarming and arresting decorated veteran C.J. Grisham while he was on a hike with his son in March. The officer is seen grabbing the dad's gun and then seemingly attempting to unlatch it from the man's sling without telling him why or asking for permission.
Video recorded by Grisham and his son went viral earlier this year, but it did not show the moment the dad was approached and disarmed by the officer. He was later charged with "interference with duties of a public servant," though the officer is heard in the video from March telling Grisham he was stopped for "rudely displaying" his rifle.
On Nov. 19, Grisham was found guilty by a jury of three men and three women of "interference with duties of a public servant" and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. In an email to TheBlaze, the veteran said he plans to appeal the decision.
In the newly released dashcam video, officer Steven Ernis can be seen flagging down Grisham and asking him, "What are we doing?"
"We're hiking," Grisham replies.
Ernis, without warning, grabs Grisham's AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and examines it.
"Some reason why you have this?" the officer asks in the video.
"Because I can," Grisham shoots back.
"Well, OK," Ernis says as he seems to attempt to unlatch the firearm from its sling.
That's where things spun out of control.
"Hey, don't disarm me man!" Grisham says, grabbing the butt of the rifle.
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.
Watch the new footage released by Bell County below: