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Old April 15, 2013, 08:29 AM   #1
csmsss
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Army sergeant arrested for legal possession of a firearm

I would never have expected this to happen in a rural part of my home state - this is something you would not be surprised to see in, say Travis (Austin), Harris (Houston) or Dallas counties, but an Army sergeant was recently arrested near Temple, TX (near Fort Hood). What initiated the arrest was his open (and legal) carrying of a long gun (M-4 style semiautomatic rifle), in a manner the arresting officer found "rude".

Here is a link to the article: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...ing-rifle.html

Not only do the arresting officers violate HIS rights, but according to the quotes provided and attributed to his son, they questioned his son illegally without the presence or permission of either parent.

By way of background, it is legal to openly carry a longarm in Texas. No permit is required.

Watch the videos. The officers' combined ignorance of Texas firearms laws is appalling. I hope this sergeant sues them and the Temple PD for this egregious violation of his (and his son's) rights.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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I watched the videos and was disturbed to say the least. I will be very interested to watch the litigation play out on this one.

How is the arresting officer going to explain his reason to the court?
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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Master Sgt. Grisham does have questionable motives.

He and another military journalist have been at each other for years.

Here is a link to Mike Yon's latest post on this subject. [Link deleted]

Only for perspective.


[Moderator note - the link supplied above was listed by many internet security sites and services as a malware site. I had to remove it. - Mal H]
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Last edited by Mal H; April 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Removed malware link
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #4
csmsss
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Quote:
Master Sgt. Grisham does have questionable motives.

He and another military journalist have been at each other for years.


Only for perspective.
His motives are irrelevant. What matters is whether he committed any crimes or would have given a law enforcement officer any reasonable suspicion that he had committed any crimes. I don't see evidence of either - in fact, I watch an officer basically tell him that the law was irrelevant and that what mattered more was the ignorance of other citizens.
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Csmsss,

True. Just pointing out that sometimes things aren't always as they seem.

But, your statement
Quote:
What matters is whether he committed any crimes or would have given a law enforcement officer any reasonable suspicion that he had committed any crimes.
is in fact something to worry about.
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Email the mayor and the police department

I did; the addresses are: bjones@ci.temple.tx.us and police@ci.temple.tx.us

This is what I sent:

Quote:
Mayor Jones,

It is telling that charges against MSG Grisham were drastically reduced; it is telling that officer behavior changes when they realize they are being recorded; it is telling that one of your officers proceeded to question a detained (but not arrested) minor after being specifically denied permission to do so by the parent of the minor.

I can find no reference to carrying of a rifle in a rural area as a violation of Texas law. I have a lot of Texan friends who routinely carry rifles, to include ARs, when walking in areas where wild hogs are abundant, so if this is against Texas law, you have a lot of Texans who don't know that.

I suspect you and your chief need to have a discussion, followed by some remedial training for your department.

I also suspect that several lawyers might decide to take MSG Grisham's case, pro bono, and hit your city in the wallet, hard, if you don't drop bogus charges and apologize to the Master Sergeant.
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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His motives don't matter. Just because he's a Constitutionalist and would rather go for the "hard right" rather than the "easy wrong" has no bearing whatsoever. He was arrested, put in jail, and charged with a crime for committing no crime whatsoever. That video is very telling. Nothing he did could ever be construed as resisting arrest or even interfering with an Officer. This is wrong on so many levels.
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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MLeake,

I followed your lead on this one. This was just blatant! Letter sent!

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Old April 15, 2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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I don't see where Mike Yon gets off saying that the Army should go after MSG Grisham. Of course, I feel like Mr. Yon lost a lot of credibility when he started rambing about SGT Tillman and SPC Lynch. Heroism, and medals for, don't have to be the stuff of Audie Murhpy and Alvin York.

To me, this doesn't seem like a case of an open carry activist trying to get attention, but a case of a gun shy neighbor and an overly pious cop.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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What amazes me is the fact that the officers continued to let the son video tape the event. In Austin TX (just down the road from Temple), when someone starts videoing or picture taking at an incident they make them stop, move back 100 feet & if they refuse, they are arrested. Not sure what the charge is - I guess "interference".

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Old April 15, 2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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Just a heads-up: when I go to the Michael Yon page, I get a warning from Google safe browsing that it poses a malware risk.

Edit: Link deleted -- it comes up on several security sites, as Mal noted.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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You need not look at the victim you need to look at the crime.
As soon as they can illegally arrest and jail people in the "tin foil hat" crowd , how long will it be before they can do it to anyone?
We started down that road with indefinite detention of American citizens in Gitmo after 9/11 now we are starting to see fruits as the tentacles of government start to further choke off our rights as American citizens.
The law is the law and if this man was not breaking any laws I don't care how "rude" he was they have no right to arrest him. I wouldn't have a problem if he resisted the illegal arrest/detention.

If we don't stick up for our rights, for open and concealed carriers who are illegally detained and arrested it won't be too long before the "jack booted thugs" start kicking in doors to confiscate firearms.

This brings to mind I think it was Indiana or Alabama, didn't one of them try to pass a law allowing people to use force when resisting an unlawful arrest?
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
What amazes me is the fact that the officers continued to let the son video tape the event. In Austin TX (just down the road from Temple), when someone starts videoing or picture taking at an incident they make them stop, move back 100 feet & if they refuse, they are arrested. Not sure what the charge is - I guess "interference".
I'm pretty sure that's illegal now. Police can't force you to stop filming/photographing in a place where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. They're filming and recording us whenever they interact with us, there's no reason we can't do the same thing. The only exception, I believe, (and this might be old info as I don't care much for the laws in these states) is Massachusetts and Illinois.

Anyway, in Texas, they can ask you to stop, but they can't force you.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Funny, but if somebody puts the focus on the rape victim, society gets quite upset.

Yet that same society immediately looks for ulterior motives on the open carrier's part, when he gets harassed by LE.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Vanya,

Hmm? Never had that before. Yon's sight has always been A+. He has been embedded with US and Coalition forces for years of both AFG and Iraq wars. Seems strange.

Anyway, I am not on either side of the Grisham v. Yon war of words and threats, as I have followed both Yon's and Grisham's blogs during their time in conflict areas.

I do think it important to get all perspectives and info before choosing someone and their legal problems to be a living symbol of our 2nd amendment fight.

Some are more deserving than others. We must vet the causes we embrace.

ETA: I will not provide links to Yon's or Grisham's sites, as both Vanya and Mal H. report they are being IDed as having malware. But I will attest to the fact that I was just on both and they are clean according to my TREND software. Those interested can Google them.
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Last edited by Wyoredman; April 15, 2013 at 01:16 PM.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:04 PM   #16
MLeake
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Wyoredman, sometimes you may be right.

The thing is, when misconduct is blatant, it doesn't really matter whether I like or agree with the recipient of the misconduct.

The officer's refusal to let the 15 year old out of the car until he answered all questions was, IMO, serious misconduct. Had he tried that with me, I (as an adult) would ask if I were under arrest. If not, then under what basis could he justify extending detention? If so, then I'd like to call my lawyer, thanks.

Most 15 year olds don't know to do that; I'd like to think most LEOs would not bully a 15 year old.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:18 PM   #17
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I am not surprised, not for an anti gun type reason though. It has been a time honored traditional common complaint that the local constabulary near major bases will roust military personnel off base.

EDIT: again, thats a complaint. I'm not saying its actually the case.

Last edited by zincwarrior; April 15, 2013 at 01:25 PM.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:21 PM   #18
csmsss
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Quote:
I am not surprised, not for an anti gun type reason though. It has been a time honored traditional common complaint that the local constabulary near major bases will roust military personnel off base.
But is that what we're seeing here? The sergeant was not in uniform and was with his minor son. Unless the officers knew him personally, they would have absolutely no reason to believe he was military.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
If not, then under what basis could he justify extending detention?
They took custody of the minor child, and theoretically could only release him to a parent or Child Services?

The questioning of a child without a parent or child advocate is highly distasteful however.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:24 PM   #20
zincwarrior
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This is a good point. Considering Killeen is rural as heck, you'd expect to see hunters about.

I don't get it either.

Last edited by zincwarrior; April 15, 2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:38 PM   #21
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Military or not is irrelevant to the lawfulness of the officer's actions.

But if the military wanted to prosecute him, then his motive is relevant. Trying to provoke a confrontation with police may be service discrediting conduct in violation of Article 134.

I could see at most a reprimand if his intent was to have such an altercation. Conduct while perfectly legal in the civillian community may none the less offend a provision of regulation or the ucmj.

Even if punished the officer had no authority to enforce provisions of the ucmj and therefore he can't use military crimes to justify his actions.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
The questioning of a child without a parent or child advocate is highly distasteful however.
I believe it is also highly illegal.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:58 PM   #23
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I don't know about it being illegal to question the child, though anything they gained from the child may have become inadmissible.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:02 PM   #24
csmsss
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According to this (admittedly not exactly a SCOTUS ruling), it is permissible but there are boundaries.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_it_lega...hile_in_school

Quote:
School officials can ask whatever they so choose, so can the police. However, a child, by law, can say, "I would like to have my parent present. Or, I would like to have an attorney present." At this time, by law, questioning should cease and desist.
If this quote is true, then the cops violated the law by continuing to question the child once he said he was unwilling to talk with them.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:04 PM   #25
csmsss
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Here's an excerpt from the initial post where the questioning of his son is discussed:

Quote:
Chris told Fox News that the police officer refused to let him out of the car until he answered a series of questions. The boy had not been arrested.

“The officer told me that I wasn’t getting out of the patrol car until I answered his questions,” Chris said. “He said I didn’t have a choice. I was scared.”
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