Grisham releases ‘Holding Temple Police Department Accountable’ video (TX)

U.S. Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham was convicted Nov. 19 by a Bell County jury retrying his Class B misdemeanor charge of interfering with a peace officer while performing a duty. With potential punishment of a fine not to exceed $2,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days or both fine and confinement, he was sentenced the following day to a $2,000 fine. With an appeal likely, questions continue surrounding statements made and allowed to stand throughout the case’s investigation and prosecution.

One of the case’s most troubling aspects was the revelation by Temple Police Officer Steve Ermis of what can aptly be called the Ermis Doctrine, an interesting view of resisting arrest and use of force concepts. Ermis testified that a suspect never has the opportunity to resist arrest, that it’s appropriate to use the force necessary to affect an arrest. When asked if a defendant has the right to resist the use of unreasonable force, Ermis replied no, that the court system is “where things are to be hashed out.”

The city of Temple has supported Ermis’ actions throughout the eight month period since the arrest took place. The county’s vigorous pursuit of Grisham’s case signals additional support of the doctrine. Both taxpayer-funded entities’ failure to address much less reconcile contradictory statements and other evidence brings issues of credibility, even betrayal of public trust, into question.

Grisham introduces a newly-released video entitled Holding Temple Police Department Accountable with these comments:

On November 19, 2013, a jury found me “guilty” of “interference with public duties,” a class B misdemeanor. This verdict came after a highly biased judge refused to allow evidence into record that my arresting officer, Steve Ermis, had lied to his supervisor Sergeant Thomas Menix, lied on his police reports, and lied during the first trial that ended in a hung jury. All of these lies are either on sworn affidavits or in sworn testimony in trial. Yet, no one is holding these officers accountable. In spite of my conviction – which I am appealing – police officers should be held to a standard of integrity that is above reproach. When you have the power to throw people in jail, take their money, and seize their property it is incumbent on government to ensure these individuals live to a higher standard. It is especially important when the Temple Police Department had adopted the motto, “Integrity, Honor, and Dedication”, that supposedly “best describe the character of the men and women who are the Temple Police Department.”

After watching this video, you tell me if Officer Ermis and Sergeant Menix have this kind of character or if they’re just characters in uniform.

Lou Ann Anderson is an information activist and the editor of Watchdog Wire – Texas. As a Policy Analyst with Americans for Prosperity – Texas, she writes and speaks on a variety of public policy topics. Lou Ann is the Creator and Online Producer at Estate of Denial®, a website that addresses probate abuse via wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney as well as other taxpayer advocacy issues.

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