Previous Post
Next Post

OK, so now we see the whole sequence of events leading to a Texas jury fining Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham $2000—the maximum allowed under Texas law for “interfering with the duties of a police officer” (a Class B misdemeanor). And it’s crystal clear that the Temple Texas police officer Steve Ermis’ gun grab put the LEO into a situation where he (the cop) felt threatened. And justifiably so; Grisham reached to regain control of his rifle. But again, Ermis initiated and then escalated the situation. If he’d stood off a respectful distance—which is also the safest option in this situation—I reckon none of this would have happened. After Ermis cuffed Grisham, well, things just played out as they do these days. Except maybe the cop lasering Sgt. Grisham with his own .45 (3:40 in). At the end of the day, Grisham’s anger is more than understandable. Their decision to arrest him seems to be based on nothing more than small town stupidity.

Previous Post
Next Post


      • Ah, let the character assassination begin. The RKBA movement always eats its own! So, are you going to contend that this officer that grabbed the rifle in the video knew that this citizen was a “shady individual”? I didn’t look at your links because they don’t matter. The situation at hand is all contained in the full video; most in the first few moments. If everyone is looking for messiahs, then don’t bother. What we have are imperfect human beings and that’s all we’re ever going to have in this movement.

        Now, if your comment was purely just a heads up then I thank you but you could’ve clarified that. Otherwise, my initial comment stands.

        • It’s not about character assassination, but making sure that Shanon Watts and others don’t use him as the poster boy, thus dragging everyone down with him. Video doesn’t always present the whole picture.

        • @Tom: And your post is somehow going to ‘make sure’ that Shanon Watts and others don’t use him as the poster boy? I gave you an easy out in my reply. All that you had to do was call it a heads up. Obviously, it was more to you than simply passing along possible relevant information. 😉

        • I see people seem to miss a couple of points about this Yon character. Number one of them, is there anything that Yon wrote aboug Grisham that is not true? ANYTHING?

          Let’s assume that Yon’s writings are driven by vendetta for disembedding. Fine, Yon is an asshole with a grudge. How does it change what’s written? Is Grisham not a dangerous psychopath who’s going to drag RKBA down with him?

          And another thing: Gen McCrystal, who actually ordered Yon kicked out. Same things about character assasination were said back when Yon wrote bad things about the General too. And when McCrystal was pulled out of Afghanistan out on his ear, suddently all that Yon wrote turned out to be very true and justified. Like the bridge thing. Remember that? No?

          • Yes, he appears to not be a dangerous psychopath.

            NONE of what Yon (of the comedy team, HITHER AND YON) says about the master sergeant has the SLIGHTEST bearing on what happened. Not in the least. I wonder why you felt it necessary to raise the issue once again.

        • @Pete Zaitcev: I didn’t look at your links because they don’t matter. The situation at hand is all contained in the full video; most in the first few moments.

      • If the only source that you can come up with is Michael Yon, then you’ve got a problem. Yon has had it out for Grisham for a long time, ever since Grisham reported the problems that Yon caused to units he was embedded in Iraq with. Now Yon does his “reporting” from Chiang Mai, Thailand, the home of many ex-pat Americans who take advantage of Thailand’s lax enforcement of child sex laws.

        • Yon is a honorable and respected man in military circles. And the fact that you would tangentially, passive-aggressively accuse him of moving to thailand for boys is disgusting and slanderous. You’re a fuck knuckle and should contemplate running out into traffic

          that is all.

    • More like Master Sergeant Ass-Clown at your service. I agree that the officer’s actions were inappropriate but why not just let the officer take the weapon and detain him, then get a lawyer and sue the dept. But now because of the way he reacted he has no recourse.

      • You don’t understand Nick87. You don’t let anybody just come up to you and take and handle your gun. You are responsible for it. No matter what. If the officer had come and ASKED to see then that might have been a different story.

    • Police should always be treated as the extremely hostile and dangerous criminals that they are. I say criminals because they thrive on the Nuremberg defense excuse as they kidnap and cage peaceful people for possessing leaves and other victimless “crimes” dreamed up by power-hungry politicians psychopaths.

      It is standard operating procedure for cops to escalate situations in hopes of bagging a felony and high fives at the precinct.

      • You said it! And as legalization/tolerance grows steadily, such a shame they’ll have to find someone else to pick on.

  1. What would possess a person to grab another persons gun like that? Why did he need to read the serial number off of the gun? The officer escalated the situation for no damn good reason. Of course the guy is going to touch his rifle, you just pulled it from his body and then let go. There should have been no charges and no fine. This is utterly ridiculous.

  2. This did nothing to change my opinion of the situation. Officer Ermis is a moron. You don’t walk up to someone and just start grabbing their stuff. Then holding him down on top of said gun and telling him to keep away from the gun is just dumb.

    Azz hat!

    Basically the officer created the problem, overreacted, expected the citizen to simply let him do whatever he wanted, then arrested the citizen for non-compliance. Yeah that seems fair.

    • I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we don’t live in a free country anymore. The police are taught that they are always right and that they are not allowed to tolerate any resistance at all. In Williamson county Texas I know that they are taught this. During their interview for a position with that county after graduating from the police academy they are asked what they would do if they pull someone over for speeding and ask to see an id and the driver hesitates to comply immediately. The correct answer is to, without warning or a second command, smash their window and pull them out of the car through the window.

      This is what they are taught. They are in charge and we will comply no matter what.

      The place to argue with a cop is in court where they generally can’t shoot you. People would be well advised to remember this when encountering a cop and when entering the voting booth.

  3. It is doubtful the Texas courts will consider it reasonable to feel threatened simply because the man has a gun. That would render the word “threatened” in the statute empty of meaning. Under such an interpretation virtually any manner of open carry would be a violation, clearly not the statute’s intended meaning.

    If the law stated that a man might carry a hammer unless the police find it threatening, would that entitle a hammer-phobic LEO to adjudge every hammer carry ‘threatening’? Obviously not. And how remarkable that the second LEO said “I don’t care what the law says…” and then mumbles about the plethora of laws in this day and age. Yes. We noticed. We don’t find it amusing. The least he could do, though, is respect the words of the laws he chooses to enforce.

    I am reminded of the Illinois training officer who expects concealed carry to increase the number of ‘disturbing the peace’ offenses. Well, if lawful concealed carry strikes an LEO as disturbing, then it is a foregone conclusion, though not a lawful one.

  4. Mistakes were made by both sides. Incorrect statements were made by both sides. However, in America we usually side with the concept of “freedom” when a dispute of this nature arises. I know that a jury recently found the master sergeant guilty and admit it’s a close call but one thought keeps reoccurring to me…. Do the police want to cultivate this type of reputation in the Land of the Free? Think about it. Thousands and thousands of people have now watched this video. A good man has now been prosecuted who meant no harm to anyone. The police officer’s safety was his primary concern but now there is recentment, spent tax money, a shaken kid who had to watch his dad engaged in this manner, a tarnished veteran’s career, etc….. I can’t help but think the police won the lengthy court battle but lost a bigger war. They both could have been a bit more composed. Hundreds of people will hate police even more than they currently do (wrongly I would add) because of this video. It shouldn’t have played out like this and the officer was both the instigator and controller of the developing confusion. He has a right to question the man and his son but he still over reacted I think. It will further alienate police from the hearts of those who’s help they need to do their jobs. They win the court case and lose support and trust of many people in that community. Who was the real loser in the long run…..?

    • I would say that, YES, they DO want to cultivate this type of reputation. What’s the alternative explanation? That they act in a random fashion?

      • What’s the alternate explanation!?…….There are literally hundreds: The officer was poorly trained. The officer was having a bad day. The first comment “Because I CAN” was perceived to be confrontational (not the wisest way to begin the encounter though technically correct). The officer is scared by black rifles. The initial caller said something untrue and set the stage for over caution. The master sergeant went to grade school with the officer and beat him up when they were 9. The officer is a liberal douch bag…etc.,etc.,etc. I’m not trying to say the cop acted appropriately in all ways, however, when he asked the man “what going on” all the master sergeant had to say was, “We’ll sir, my son and I were out for a hike and I thought I’d carry my rifle in case we are attacked by zombies” followed by a smile and chuckle. None of this would have happened. I’m as pro 2A as anyone believe me…. I’m just saying I wouldn’t have taken an attitude in my 1st sentence. The entire encounter was a disaster and the cop shouldn’t have arrested him I agree, but I see problems with the mans response and so did an impartial (hopefully) jury of his peers.

        • “We’ll sir, my son and I were out for a hike and I thought I’d carry my rifle in case we are attacked by zombies” followed by a smile and chuckle.

          That statement could’ve easily bought the citizen a mental health hold and evaluation. The citizen was breaking no laws. The officer is paid to know that. The citizen doesn’t have to answer any questions. The officer DOES have to accept that and cannot detain a citizen without something more to go on. This officer can’t be excused so easily. The officer was wrong from the beginning which poisoned the rest of the interaction.

        • John in Ohio, I really don’t think that comment would bring out the straight jackets. I also know from experience that when a Police Officer receives a call he/she has to respond to it, especially a “man with a gun call. Even if the Officer just rolled up on these two men, why can’t he just approach them and ask questions concerning the rifle in possession? Does the Officer know if the man is a convicted felon or are the two men just enjoying a walk down the street? What I’m getting at here is that the Officer was justified in conducting an investigation and could have asked for ID to verify all was well. I know some here think that the Police should not have to ask for identification, because after all that’s what the brown shirts did 70 years ago, but if the Officer believed suspicious activity is afoot, then he can conduct his investigation. Now,did he go about it the wrong way? I believe so. As a matter of fact, this whole situation was a cluster from the get go with both parties.

          Just remember folks, there are ALOT more of us “pro Constitution” Police Officers out there than what the media is projecting these days. We are not about taking our rights away, or disarming us. But we do have a job to do and that involves conducting investigations appropriately from both sides.

        • @Steve: We agree that such a statement wouldn’t likely bring out the straight jackets. But, I wrote that it could have; as in if a citizen has the misfortune of being in the presence of a bad cop. This cop was acting as a bad cop.

          In a state lacking in compulsory identification laws, there’s no good reason for a citizen to identify when stopped solely for carrying a firearm. I, too, believe that there are more ‘pro’ officers out there than might be readily apparent. However, I think that the majority are of the ‘I support the 2A, but…” variety; just like in the gun owning community. To preserve the freedom of everyone, we need as many of those individuals in BOTH overlapping groups to drop the qualifier and walk the damned talk.

        • But we do have a job to do and that involves conducting investigations appropriately from both sides.

          Observing from a distance or even attempting a brief consensual encounter is proper. Beyond that, where’s the RAS? A vague call from another citizen doesn’t generate RAS. Refusing to answer and asking if one is “free to go?”, “being detained?” is likewise proper. No RAS, leave the citizen alone and tell the caller that simply seeing a MWAG is not observant of a crime.

          Y’all also need to get your call centers properly trained about the RKBA. These calls shouldn’t even generate a unit rolling up without other suspicions. As you know, not every call generates a dispatch. In my county, MOST calls are handled right there in the call with no officer dispatched. These situations should be treated the same.

        • @Leonard Embody: Pretty much. That’s similar to when one voluntarily hands them any identification. Officers simply hold on to it and avoid giving it back to drag out the encounter in the hopes of generating some reasonable suspicion from which to justify going even further.

          (Oops… wrong place. This post should be in the lowest level of the comments below here. It belongs with the ‘don’t ask for a supervisor’ comment.)

      • So, what reputation does this establish? They can stop you for nothing and seize your means of self defense, while they cook up a half-baked excuse to take you to jail. With statements like “we’re exempt from the law,” they want to make sure we understand that the police have indisputable power over us. The fact that Grisham was found guilty lets us know that even when they are wrong, they are right.

        From the prosecution’s closing argument: “laws must protect police and tell citizens you are not to fight back if an arrest is being made. An officer has a right to disarm a citizen before interviewing them.”
        I bet someone said something like that, sometime in history, regarding the Jews, too. Sic semper tyrannis

        • You make good points. It is a sad situation all around. I wish the best for the master sergeant and hope I never have to deal with jumpy cops.

        • Roice, the whole jumpy cop statement got me thinking. As long as the person being contacted is not acting aggressively, or jumpy either, the Officer will be more calm. Still on alert, but calm. Remember when an Officer contacts you, the ball is in your court on how the situation is going to go. It can go smoothly or rough. Just be calm, respectful and if you think things are getting out of hand, ask for a supervisor or make a complaint. Of course, I only speak from experience as a Police Officer and have made the conscious decision that at the end of the day, I am a citizen first with the privilege of working as a police officer.

    • Wrongfully hate police? I don’t think you have ever been a black man in America. Not all police officers are bad. There are a lot that are terrible and should lose their badge foe the way they treat people, especially their treatment of people of color.

      • Sorry but I feel American blacks owe our nation an apology for the way they behave. If I was a police officer I’d treat a young, black, male like I was handling a rattlesnake. Instead of whining on sites like TTAG why not try to convince other African Americans to abandon their propensity for violence, drugs, victim mentality, and family abandonment. Cops would treat you better. Sorry if this isn’t the response you wanted. We owe you nothing. You owe your nation dearly for the trouble you’ve caused. You communicated with a truth speaking patriot just now….. not the cow-towed cowards you are use to. Now STFU loser.

        • Roice,

          Do you understand the concept of personal responsibility? You see Drew, or anyone really, does not owe anyone anything for the things done by anyone but them self. Now, if he has children, then he is responsible for them of course. But he certainly doesn’t owe this country anything for the crimes committed by anyone regardless of their or his color.

          “We owe you nothing. You owe your nation dearly for the trouble you’ve caused.”

          If Drew is American, and I suspect he is, then there is no we here. For there to be a we, Drew would have to be something other that us and you’d have to speak for America, something I’m sure you don’t. What’s more, our government owes him exactly the same as it owes any other citizen, respect of his civil rights. You did get one thing right though and this goes back to personal responsibility, he does owe the nation for the trouble he has caused, but not for the trouble all of any race caused.

          “You communicated with a truth speaking patriot just now….. not the cow-towed cowards you are use to. Now STFU loser.”

          I’ve read a lot of politically incorrect statements on this board and that is great. I believe in the 1st amendment as surely as I believe in the 2nd. You are definitely not a truth speaking patriot, you are an idiot. I can’t vouch for Drew but blaming him for the crimes of all African Americans is ridiculous and counter to the personal responsibility message that almost all on this board espouse to.

        • You do not speak for anyone else here (ok, sadly, for a few, I’m sure); you do not represent the majority of us and you are making the rest of us look bad by acting like a stereotypical gun owner.

          Can there be separate forum areas? The racist, bubba, “everyone-I-don’t-agree-with-is-a-libtard”-section, and the literate, functional section?

        • @TT

          “Do you understand the concept of personal responsibility? You see Drew, or anyone really, does not owe anyone anything for the things done by anyone but them self. Now, if he has children, then he is responsible for them of course. But he certainly doesn’t owe this country anything for the crimes committed by anyone regardless of their or his color.”


  5. If these cops really felt threatened, why would they have left him unattended, at the far end of the squad car, without at least frisking him first.

  6. He get’s fined? NRA ,Goa 2nd Amendment a foundation needs to get involved And GET THESE STUPID IGNORANT COPS FIRED and sued for 4th amendment violations;Ilegal search and seizure ,and 2nd Amendment violations of right to keep and bear arms!
    And then there is the judge,apparently got a law degree from Asia ,cause certainly doesn’t understand US Law!

    • I say we all go to Temple, TX and be on the lookout for anything that we might see that makes us feel threatened, and when we see something we’ll call the cops, even if what we see isn’t a violation of the law. For instance, if you have a gluten allergy and you see a man eating a sandwich with wheat bread, call the Temple police and let them know you’d like them to go check it out, even though it’s not a violation of the law. If you see a guy with big feet, call the cops and let them know that even though it’s not illegal to have big feet, you’d still like them to go check this guy out, because you’re afraid he might wind up stepping on someone’s toes. I think as long as we’re honest in what we’re reporting that we’ll be okay legally.

    • The NRA, GOA, and SAF don’t condone the open carry of firearms. These “gun rights groups” are worthless except to collect money from ignorant people who think they are pro second amendment.

  7. In a world where innocent kids get shot eight times for carrying a toy gun, Grisham got lucky. I suppose we should be congratulating the cops for showing amazing restraint because they didn’t shove a plunger handle up Grisham’s ass. Way to go, Barney! You’re a credit to your profession.

    • I agree he got real lucky. The officer had his gun out and stuck in his gut who knows if his finger was on the trigger or not.

  8. It’s people like officer Ermis that show us the potential for some officers to abuse their position. And this was during a time of peace. What will officer Ermis do when under duress, or even under martial law? The Temple police went out of their way to make this entire series of events happen. I still haven’t heard a plausible/believable excuse/reason for stopping Grisham in the first place. What I haven’t heard anyone talking about is how this officer chose to provoke this confrontation in front of a minor child, Grisham’s son. Then to top it off, illegally questioning a minor child outside of the presence of a parent or legal guardian. This officer just lost his man certification. What manner of non-man inserts himself like this into a father and son merit badge hike? This is absolutely unforgivable behavior for any man, much less, that of a uniformed LEO. How many civil rights did he violate that day, 3-4? This story shouldn’t be about Grisham, it should be about the actions of officer Ermis. Officer Ermis Gets Away With It!!

    • Why do you have a higher standard for LEO’s to live up to than for other men? LEO’s are just guys who got jobs. It’s highly likely that officer Doofus’s dad was a cop too, and that’s probably how this guy got his job. It certainly wasn’t on the basis of good looks or intelligence.

      • The officer is paid to do a job and do it properly. That same officer also took an oath. He didn’t properly do the job and he violated his oath.

      • “Why do you have a higher standard for LEO’s to live up to than for other men?”

        1. The anti-RKBA people hold that police are the only civilians that should be allowed to have guns.
        2. Because the police officer made it through 3 months of cop college, was given a badge and gun, gets paid for their efforts, and on a whim, arrest a man that is talking to but not agreeing with the cop.
        3. The cop can mostly get away with reining h3ll down on someone that is not breaking any law other than the misapplied disorderly conduct charge.
        4 Police are paraded in front of school children as heroes, honorable and trustworthy.

        I could go on, but it is for these reasons police should be held to the highest standards.

      • Because they are entrusted with public safety.

        Because they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.

        Because THEY SHOULD be held to a higher standard!

        Because every job doesn’t hinge upon public trust, BUT THEIRS DOES.

        You want more?

        • Maybe I didn’t get that out right. I understand why they OUGHT to be held to a higher standard, given that they’re basically worshipped by anti’s, but in fact (as this hillbilly douche has proven) they’re just mere mortals like the rest of us.

        • And because with power they get as LEOs comes responsibility not to abuse it. And how can a cop say: I don’t care what the law says! and keep his job enforcing it?

    • I keep seeing comments about a lawsuit… all the story mentions is the guy getting found guilty. Given the judicial doctrine of ‘clean hands’ and his guilty verdict… what lawsuit?

      • Was that a serious question? A statement disguised as a question? THE LAWSUIT THE MASTER SERGEANT WILL FILE.

      • There could be a Federal Suit for violating is Constitutional Right against unlawful searches and seizures. He could try to sue not only the officer but the police department as well. The officer seized the weapon and there WAS NO PROBABLE CAUSE. So it might boil down to whether the judge would grant immunity for the officer. It’s not over.

  9. It is the difference between a firearms friendly state and a state like Texas. In Alaska if you were carrying a rifle down the road the only reason the cop would stop would be to talk to you about hunting or your choice of arms.

    • Texas is allegedly a “gun-friendly state”; what say you, Robert, Nick? Is Texas a “gun-friendly state”?

      I saw nothing “friendly” about this encounter. All I see is escalation and over-reaction, all caused by this s.o.b.’s grabbing of the rifle without asking or announcing his intention.

      Shame, SHAME on the jury, for convicting this man for going peaceably about his business!

      • I believe I saw somewhere that Grisham was aware that the local JBs were not gun friendly. There will always be pockets of people I this country that disagree with other people. It’s part of what makes America great.

      • Gun friendly compared to California, New York or Rhode Island? Sure. Gun friendly when viewed on face value? Not so sure about that.
        This story is another reason I’m thankful I live in New Hampshire.

      • Sometimes I wonder if Iowa is more gun friendly than Texas. You see a guy walking in rural Iowa with a gun and you will probably wish him luck on his hunt. We don’t allow suppressors in Iowa but you sure don’t get hassled like this by the sheriff.

      • We don’t have constitutional carry for handguns which is of course inexcusable and as you can see we may as well not have it for long arms. There are areas of Texas that are better than others when it comes to interacting with LE but there are definitely places where the police are nothing short of corrupt regarding (but not limited to) firearm rights.

        I think there is a misconception about Texans thinking they have it the best when it comes to gun laws. Sure there are some misguided people that think this way but really at the core it is the Texas idea (whether real or not) of not taking S**T and guns just happen to be an extension of that. We do have some decent laws when it comes to defending yourself but as you can see there are areas where you can still lose a case like this with the right idiots on the jury. No state is perfect by the way.

    • What you have here is a mini-culture war… Temple PD has been accused for quite some time for harassing soldiers at nearby Ft. Hood. Mostly just typical civ-soldier stuff, but it has recently been escalating, I understand from friends of mine in that general area in Texas. You’d figure that anywhere that close to a major military installation that the cops, perhaps more than anyone considering how many of them have prior service, would treat the troops with more respect, but not from what I hear. An old story well understood from San Diego to Norfolk.

  10. Another case of the leo thinking the law does not apply to them. It only applys to those whom the deem fit, and as the officer said “we are exempt from the law”. No they are not exempt from any law. However IMHO that is how most police feel.

  11. Let’s see…..

    a $2000 fine….
    TTAG has at least 2000 loyal readers….
    $5 each and we pay his fine and gather some seed money for a civil rights suit that will hopefully advance gun rights in TX….

    can I get a Harrumpf?

  12. I’m old. Crippled. Lived in war zones. When martial law is invoked, I will consider myself in a war zone again and promise to obey my oath to uphold the constution of the USA . I will not shoot at body armor.

  13. And people wonder why I have zero nada zilch respect for police as an institution.
    The officer clearly escalated the non situation. He was threatened??
    BS on that.
    If he felt threatened in that situation he should be a dog catcher not a cop.
    I used to live in a rural area and the local cops in my town all needed a lesson in how to deal with the public.
    Leave me alone I leave you alone was the way it was.
    He may not know where I lived. I knew where he did and he knew that.
    Anyway. I hope the Sargent gets his day in Civil Court.

    • The laws are overboard on what is “resisting” and “assault” on an officer. An inadvertent brush is considered assault. If they are that big of candy asses, they need a new line of work.

  14. I don’t like to get into the middle of these fights, being a LEO myself I have a hard time watching a cop like this behave like he did. I admit, I am forming my opinion on watching about the first 5 mins. I couldn’t take anymore before I started seeing red. There are good cops and bad cops, but the thin blue line will always be there. Militarized or belligerent police are a product of their departments and the fear mongering members of society who empower them. When a person calls 911 to report their fears, then exaggerates the circumstances based on feelings, the stage is all set for things to go downhill, add a stupid cop, it’s virtually assured. We all know who the bad cops and other LEOs are and no one wants to work with them, but policing the police is much harder than most realize. It starts at the top, at the academies and in the local culture. Cronyism, favoritism, nepotism, all contribute. When I was a cop, my Chief had a son who went through 4, count them, 4 PDs before he finally settled down and became a decent cop. He got 4 chances and blew three of them and still got rehired. That kind of practice is what breeds cops like this. I don’t know how to end it, just making an observation here. I do know that with YouTube dash hoard cams and cell phone cams, it’s becoming harder and harder to conceal though. That’s a good thing. 20 years ago we didn’t have those things and I can tell you, things were much worse. So it may be small consolation but outing this officer like this may be painful to watch but it does provide more momentum in the right direction. Others PDs will watch this and train with it. Doubtlessly, thousands of officers will watch it to and learn from it. Some will say, “F yeah officer, you get some!” Others will say that’s not me and I will handle myself differently. I think the latter category is growing, that’s my perception. It’s only because sensational cases like this make the headlines that we are aware of this problem, but also we blow on incident out of proportion accordingly. Condemning the whole LEO profession for the acts of a few bad actors. Millions interact with cops everyday, most of those interactions are positive.

    I am embarrassed by this officers behavior, if there is a website to donate to his defense, someone post it. I can do that, and I can take this lesson with me to share with others I work with. That all I can do from where I am.

    • Thank you for your honest reply Brad.

      I have seen the exact same situation time after time. Someone calls in to report a “man with a gun” … then the police show up and immediately confront the man with guns drawn and immediately restrain the man. What is it going to take to get police to regard such a person as a subject of interest rather than a criminal? What is it going to take to get the police to observe the behavior of the person of interest rather than immediately trying to take down the person of interest?

      Anyone can call the police and claim anything. How can that possibly qualify as a reasonable, articulable suspicion?

      • It’s going to take more and more citizens open carrying like this. That’s the way we change things in the O-Hi-O and it works. We need unity on the part of gun owners regarding OC of long guns and handguns. It won’t change any other way than repetitively exercising the right until departments change their training and begin culling these bad cops. Refuse to go to the back of the bus; over and over again.

    • You summed it up pretty good and my hats off to you. These departments are a machine and it is difficult for good LEO as individuals to turn it around. We have to find someway to do it.

  15. Farago, your blog posts are intellectually dishonest. You continue to insist on different standards for some open carriers. Here, you excuse behavior of a man wearing camouflage who wrestles him gun back from a LEO. You call the arrest “small town stupidity.” In other open carry instances where the open carrier is completely law abiding you tear them apart.
    Lol at you and your blog buddies.


        “Open Carrying A Rifle In a Bullet-Proof Vest? Seriously?” R.F.

        “[O]pen carrying a modern sporting rifle through a city wearing a bullet-resistant vest is meshugah and asking for it.” R.F.

        “I open carried in Rhode Island. I’ll do it in Texas—once The Lone Star State gets its you-know-what together. But I’m not an idiot.” R.F. (In referring to open carry of a locked and cased rifle while handing out 2A literature)

        The only reason I read this blog is so that I may point out robert farago’s hypocrisy and anti 2A tendencies.

          • Grabbing a gun from a cop is better than carrying a cased rifle and exercising the right to be silent and refuse a search. That is why I point out the hypocrisy if this blog.

        • Sorry, Leonard… but folks like you and James Yeager apparently do not fit into the culturally acceptable mold of the gun rights community. You see, in order to be accepted into the fold of “The People of the Gun,” you have to be passionate about guns, but not so passionate that you’d actually use your guns to defend your rights. People like you will just scare the liberals and cause anti-gun legislation to be passed. You have to still work within the system even when it’s that very same system that has never, ever been used to produce more individual liberty. Or, so the thinking goes.

    • You watched a different video than I did. Frankly, I think citizens should be able to defend themselves regardless who is attacking them. Since I don’t know any of the people in that video, I would trust Grisham before I would any of the punk thug LEO in the video.

  16. “small town stupidity”?! Having grown up, lived in & still having family in a small North Dakota town I find your statement ignorant & insulting.

    • Having also grown-up in a small town, I find that objectionable also. Small towns are no more “stupid” than big cities, or no less.

      It’s a different kind of stupidity, that’s all.

  17. Once again, the police are out of line. Here are the facts. Someone called in and reported a man walking down the road with a rifle. Walking down the road with a rifle is a legal activity. No one claimed that the man with the rifle was pointing it at anyone or threatening anyone. So the policeman drives up and sees a man and his son walking down a rural road. And the policeman sees that the man has rifle. At that point the policeman immediately confronts the man rather than simply observing him. There was no immediate danger to anyone or anything.

    This stop and arrest stinks. If the policeman wants to engage the man in a consensual encounter that’s fine. And if the man refuses to engage in a consensual encounter, that is fine as well. Given the totality of the circumstances, the policeman had no business grabbing the man’s rifle. The man was in a rural location. He had his son with him. He was walking down the road. He had a rifle. All someone reported was a man walking down the road with a rifle. And the police officer did not even observe the man long enough to see him do anything threatening or illegal.

    Perhaps now everyone understands why the first words out of many people’s mouths are, “Are you detaining me?” And the second words out of many people’s mouths are, “I do not consent to any searches or seizures.”. And finally the third words out of their mouths are, “I am invoking my right to remain silent.”

    • +100

      Exactly. It’s very difficult to predict when an encounter is going to turn towards violations of your rights so it’s often advisable to default to the rule of thumb you outlined in the last paragraph. Apologies to all of those good officers out there but, frankly, the stakes are too high for individual citizens to gamble in many of these encounters. Clam up and let the officers stew on what charges then fire up a civil suit if you can. When they lose enough law suits and many citizens don’t engage in consensual conversations with them, they will have to change… they won’t have a choice anymore.

    • “If the policeman wants to engage the man in a consensual encounter that’s fine.”

      Please. The Master Sergeant is a married man! 😉

  18. That’s the dealio. You don’t “obey the officer’s instructions” and you are going to jail for obstruction. Then you have to prove the arrest was unlawful at your expense. This is why I no longer have 100% support for LEOs. I reserve that 100% support until the relationship is established.

  19. According to the article, the judge allowed the prosecutor’s investigator to testify that the sgt used this incident to raise money and publicize himself. That seems clearly “not relevant” to the charge, and should have been excluded by the judge. Grounds for appeal.

  20. So, you will be convicted of “interfering with an officer” even when the officer is acting ILLEGALLY!

    • It’s under the contempt of cop statute written in every law book in the land. Don’t look for it though because I hear that it’s written in invisible ink for maximum plausible deniability and zero accountability. 😉

      • Yeah. I’m pretty sure “Disorderly Conduct”, “Disturbing the Peace”, and “Causing a Public Nusiance” are some of the other chargable offenses under that statute.

  21. The deterrent value of the Second Amendment is lost when a citizen cannot bear a rifle in public unmolested by agents of government. In this video, 1A, 2A, and 4A protections are gutted. Towards the end, the officer says that he cannot resist an officer. That’s not correct. One can resist an officer committing an illegal act. Although, it’s usually not wise to do so since the situations and system are stacked against a law abiding citizen in such circumstances. The trend by law enforcement officers, as exemplified in this video, is deleterious to liberty and increases the likelihood of future violent encounters with free citizens in the future. It’s a big county and somewhere, sometime citizens aren’t going to passively tolerate behavior like this by servants of the People. It’s a tragedy that government and individuals employed by it refuse to see that their unconstitutional actions are increasing tensions between them and law abiding, liberty conscious citizens.

  22. Its a tough situation all around but I think it clearly shows Grisham was in the right.

    He let the officer handle his firearm while it was attached to him without being asked or told by the officer he was going to do that. He reacted by placing his hands on the stock and fore grip when the officer attempted to remove it from him without saying anything.

    Is that the smartest thing he could have done? Probably not. Was it a legitimate way to react in that situation? Absolutely.

    And that is the problem, Grisham had time to react not strategize about the best course of action to take for the long run. I have no advanced training or military service under my belt, but I may have reacted in a similar way in that situation. Someone is trying to take a deadly instrument from me, that is tied directly to my name, without saying anything. I think it is reasonable.

    More communication on the part of the officer may have avoided this whole thing but we will never know now.

  23. CJ made the mistake of thinking that law enforcement should be trusted. He would have been better off to have exercised his right to be silent and he should have asked if he was being detained and refused to be searched.

  24. The stop should have never happened in the first place, since the guy wasn’t doing anything illegal.

    The cop was unprofessional, and provoked a natural (and unfortunate) reaction in the guy by grabbing his gun without a word.

    If he had said he was temporarily taking the firearm for officer safety, the guy would have complained, but likely have not resisted (and would have been in the wrong, legally, for resisting).

    The law is likely vaguely worded, and intentionally so, so that “threatened” is not defined (or poorly defined), allowing them to seize a firearm whenever they feel like. This is the true intent of the law.

    His first touching of the rifle was rather rude too, and a general indicator of the cops attitude (the sense of entitlement that he can do whatever he wants). You can also see the officers general attitude in how he became violent at the slightest resistance (pulling a gun and shoving the guy against the car).

    The charges were the general “we have to arrest him for something” type charges, like resisting arrest, obstruction, and interference, which are either vague enough to be easy to make stick, or just something that they can drop later and charge him with something else (like they did here, he was arrested for resisting, and was charged with interference). Even if the charges later get dropped, the person “beat the rap, but not the ride”.

    In summation, the police officer caused the situation by behaving in a rude and unprofessional manner, unintentionally provoking a natural, but bad, reaction in the man.
    The guy should have never been stopped in the first place, 911/police operators should know to tell people that carrying a firearm is legal, but they don’t, and the police get sent for liability purposes (If they didn’t investigate, and a crime occurred, then the media would be awash with how the police “did nothing”).

    The charges were all cop ego protection/punishment for being “uppity”, they couldn’t just let the guy go, they had to “get him” for something. They can’t just admit to being wrong, (it probably never even occurred to them that they were, or could be wrong).

    • Wow. I could not have said it better myself, and I agree whole heartedly.

      The only thing that I would add is that the DA should have dropped the charges long ago. It sure seems like the entire county government is going out of its way to punish Grisham for something minor. Does anyone know if Officer Ermis has been reprimanded in any way?

  25. Ermis is damned lucky Grisham’s son didn’t retrieve the “unknown” .45 from his dad’s side and put one through that fat mothers’ brain housing group. Were that me,and I saw my father manhandled and slammed onto the hood for doing absolutely nothing illegal, I’d have made every human effort to remove Ermis from the living. Cop…ha, ha,: would have made a fine guard at Dachau, but not in America.

  26. Those who want to donate money, I believe he already has a legal fund somewhere in the $50,000 range. He plans to appeal the $2,000 fine and conviction. He has the money to do so at this point.

  27. Is it wrong of me to believe that, when police violate Constitutional Rights, and the laws they are sworn to support/defend, they SHOULD feel threatened?

    • You are not wrong as you wrote the truth of it. A self respecting officer ought to be ashamed of violating rights and laws. Barring that, an officer ought to fear violating rights and laws. As things stand now, there is very little, if any, accountability for these officers. That needs to change.

      • THIS officer does not look like that. He is a disgrace for his profession. If I were his boss he would sharpen pencils until his retirement.

  28. Having been stationed at Ft. Hood for 21 months, I can tell you that local PD’s take no crap from military members, as a matter of fact, local LEO’s seem to go out of their way to harass and try to intimidate military personnel…

  29. First, Temple isn’t exactly a small town, it’s population last year was 69,148. Having lived in Central Texas (first in the greater Fort Hood/Killeen/Temple metroplex and now in North Williamson County) and being a member of the Army I’ve noticed a few things. The police in the Fort Hood area with the exception of Killeen and Harker Heights don’t much like Soldiers. A Soldier in Austin will spend a night in jail for things that UT Students get a gentle admonishment for. No run in with a law enforcement officer tends to be pleasant, but when LEO’s in the Fort Hood (and from what I’ve seen Fort Bragg, Fort Riley, Fort Irwin, Fort Knox and Fort Benning) area realize they are dealing with a Soldier, particularly a senior NCO or Commissioned Officer, they tend to puff up their chests and flaunt their authority. This goes beyond open carry. In Officer Ermis’s eyes he was dealing with two things, a gun nut and an uppity Soldier boy. Uppity Soldier boy was the biggest crime. When I was a battalion commander I had a Soldier spend a night in jail over “failing to signal a turn within 50 yards” despite being on a thirty yard stretch of road.

    I don’t know Grisham from Adam. He may be a great guy, he may be a jerk. Don’t care. I honestly believe this had more to do with “walking while being one of those guys who used to bust my chops when I was in the service” than with open carry.

  30. I say those of us in Texas should go to this, err… department and all open carry our rifles. Should be enlightening.

  31. I don’t know where the Officer thought he had the right to just go up and handle this mans rifle.
    I would not have let him eve get that close and it would have been a different story if he had just reached up and try to grab my gun for no reason.

  32. Roice makes a good point. The DA may have won in the first go-round (well second. First one was a hung jury), but a zillion people have now seen the video(s) for themselves and a lot of goodwill and trust in the police has been lost. Hope CJ wins on appeal so that the cops get better training on stopping and questioning open-carriers.

  33. The cop, the judge and the second jury were WRONG. The judge should have dismissed the case or issued a directed verdict of not guilty! I hope Sergeant Grisham APPEALS this case – preferably transferring it to federal jurisdiction – as this case will be a “slam-dunk” if his lawyer raised the proper issues re: “search and seizure”, “unlawful arrest”, “firearms law”, etc. in trial court. The case-law overwhelmingly supports Grisham’s position – the relevant Supreme Court decisions are far too numerous to list them all! (Whether Grisham is a “saint” or a “bastard” is irrelevant – he should win on the merits alone.) If I were Grisham’s lawyer, I would later sue the town of Temple, its police chief and the officers involved (in their official and personal capacities) for ALL legal expenses, plus a few million dollars more for damages.

    1.) The cop can require someone to stop ONLY if he has “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the man has committed a crime or is in the process of committing a crime. That means that the cop must have some objective evidence of a crime already committed or being committed which he can clearly state to the man and later to the court. Without such “reasonable, articulable suspicion”, the cop CANNOT order the man to stop. Terry v. Ohio (1968);

    2.) A firearm where legally carried can NOT be the ONLY reason for a cop to stop someone – that is, carrying a firearm can NOT provide the the cop the necessary “reasonable suspicion” The cop can NOT stop someone simply to check if he has a “license to carry”, or to prove the man is not a felon, etc. Instead, the cop MUST have “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the man is committng a crime or is illegally carrying the firearm, such as positive evidence that the man IS a felon. U.S. v DeBerry, 1996

    3.) Absent “reasonable, articulable suspicion” of a crime being committed, the cop WAS allowed to ASK the man to stop – that is, to request (but NOT to demand) that the man stop, BUT the man was NOT REQUIRED to stop and was free to ignore any such requests from the cop. The man was NOT required to identify himself (regardless of any state or local laws – Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611, 616 (1971) ) Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004); Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979) ; nor required to even turn around to acknowledge the cop or even talk to the cop at all. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, (1968); Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984).
    “The person approached, however, need not answer any questions put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all and may go on his way.” Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500 (1983); Lefkowitz v. Turley, 414 U.S. 70, 77 (1973) ; Brinegar v. United States – 338 U.S. 160 (1949)

    4.) The cop needed “reasonable, articulable suspicion” of a crime – which he did NOT have – simply to demand that the man stop. To demand anything further the cop required “PROBABLE CAUSE” of a crime – something the cop NEVER had in this case. Miranda v. Arizona – 384 U.S. 436 (1966) ; Dunnaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 208 (1979); Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176 (1949).

  34. This gentlemen did nothing wrong yet the cop stepped over the line. The cop said he is above the law. The cop did not have a legal right to disarm an innocent citizen.

    We have a constitution that is to be upheld…. Then they are embarrassed enough to file a trumped up charge.

    Then he is judged by a corrupt jury….classic abuse of power.

Comments are closed.