Manager Reacts to Officer Confrontation

News

POSTED: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 5:56pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 10:36am

UPDATE: We have just received a copy of another complaint filed against Officer John Chavez involving a physical confrontation. The person asked the document be redacted to remove any personal information.
Click on the link below to read the redacted version of the Internal Affairs complaint.

EL PASO--- We're following up on a story that has generated a lot of response.
It involves our station manager, who was confronted by an El Paso Police officer in the middle of a news story about a boy hit by a car near the intersection of Mesa St. and Sunland Park Dr.

KDBC and KTSM station manager Hollis Grizzard walked us through Thursday's confrontation with a police officer John Chavez. Grizzard recorded the incident with his IPhone.

This an image capture of Off. John Chavez during the confrontation with Station Manager Hollis Grizzard.

CLICK ON THIS PICTURE TO SEE THE FULL UNEDITED VIDEO

The first exchange went like this:
Chavez: "Would you mind stepping out of the way?"
Grizzard: "I am out of the way. I am out of the way."
Chavez: "Over there on the sidewalk."
Grizzard: "Fine. On the Sidewalk. You're welcome."

According to Grizzard, he admits standing in the turn-off into the Village Inn on the same corner. Yet, according to him, there were no cars attempting to turn into the parking lot.
He says, as soon as Officer Chavez told him to move, he did.
Of course the story doesn't end there.
Grizzard says Chavez charged at him moments later.

Chavez: "Sir this is a juvenile,why are you recording him?
Grizzard:"Because I'm with the news station, KTSM Newschannel 9."
Chavez: "I understand sir but this is for the integrity of the victim. Why are you video-taping sir?

That was when Grizzard says the officer crossed the line and intimidated him.

"It's amazing how he somehow took it upon himself to censor what he wanted videotaped and not videotaped, and that's not his job. He doesn't have that power," said Grizzard.

We attempted to get a hold of Officer Chavez Friday through El Paso Police public information officers and at his home.
No luck.
 

"It's a situation we're going to look into, like you said Sgt. Mears is here along with an Internal Affairs officer. It's an investigation that is already ongoing we're going to look into it and find out what led to this," said police spokesman Det. Michael Baranyay.

Police would not further comment Friday, only to say Officer Chavez is still working out in the field while the investigation is pursued.
Grizzard says he just wants to make sure other El Pasoans aren't treated the way he was.

'Not just reporters, not just journalists, but anybody. Anybody should be able to, and has the right to, stand in a public place and record, write down, photograph what happens in public, and share that with others if they want to," he said.

Grizzard says he has not filed a complaint against Chavez, yet, but will be willing to give a statement to police investigators.

We have just received a copy of another complaint filed against Chavez involving a physical confrontation.

AttachmentSize
IAchavezcomplaint.pdf463.16 KB

Comments News Comments

There sure are alot of wives and relatives of cops who are willing to dispose of their civil rights to support this kind of behavior. Pretty obvious by the positive comments.

Anyway, I think the EPPD is wrong in HARRASSING this (obviously white man). And yes, it is almost like Mexico here, now. It is that same MENTALITY carrying over, unfortunately. And for those of you ignorant idiots, the name is 'Grizzard', learn to spell. Or is it your Mexican influence that screwed you up there too? (Oh... I'm Mexican, by the way).

Chef Sara, you're an wrong. I hope you got everything out of your system. And by the way, you along with jj1519 and a few others misspelled the man's name. It's Grizzard for you're future knowledge. The truth of the matter is that, the Police Officer was, indeed, wrong. I am a reserve officer in a different state and can tell you that The station manager was doing nothing wrong and so why should he move. He, in fact, got harrassed; possibly because he looked a little too while.

If El Paso PD was so bad, why the hell is El Paso the second safest city in the country? Lets remember this people. KTSM isn't really to blame, its this Mr. Grizzard because his feelings were hurt. Hey Mr. Grizzard, quit your crying and next time maybe you should listen to the police. Bet if you were the one in the accident and some idiot was videotaping you, you would certainly ask the police for help then. This is just a reason to create news. And how the did racism become an issue?

I guess you just didn't see the video, but that's just a guess? Try standing up for what's right, it's a little harder than you think?

I do not believe Off.Chavez did anything wrong. I think Mr.Grizzard just got his feelings hurt and just because of his position he was able to run this story.Seriously, cops have a tough job as it is, and sometimes the media/onlookers can make their job alittle bit more difficult.Not only do they have to worry about the actual situation at hand, but now they have to babysit the media/onlookers and tell them where to go? Run your story,remember freedom of press, but don't interfere with the job.

After watching the video, nothing can be seen anyway!! What is the big deal?? I understand both sides of the argument here, but really people?? Get all worked up over something that really doesn't affect your day-to-day life?? The officer was right and he was wrong, the guy filming was possibly immoral but I don't see how he was wrong.

Wow another racist Mexican cop in El Paso but of course if you are Mexican you can't be racist. Oh ya Darrin Hunt wasn't it! Chief Allen is old enough to know what racism is and should probably look at what is going on with his force cause looking the other way like most of the Mexicans who posted here want you to do leads to another Mexico and we really don't need the bodies!

This whole story is just proof that KTSM is far behind in the ratings and will do anything in order to catch KVIA. The Officer did nothing wrong and the General Manager was the one trying to intimidate the Officer. Keep up the good work Officer Chavez and shame on you KTSM with your pathetic attempts to make news.

Pro KVIA are we? If Officer Chavez was doing good work he wouldn't be in the news? And, I guess you're totally ignorant to police policy and media rights? But that's just a guess.

FrankEP....Look around you ARE IN MEXICO...Read the billboard Spanish, listen to all the radio stations Spanish, listen to all the people talking spanish you are in EL PASO MEXICO...
Believe me I am not here because I want to be!

Just because we live in a pre dominantly hispanic community does not mean we are in MEXICO. This is America where we have freedom of the press. That does not mean we should'nt practice some form of censorship. It is not in good taste to record a poor child who just got hit by a truck!! Mr. Grizzard was being an obnoxious snob the way he was responding to the officer. He had hopes of a confrontation so he could peddle his sorry video to the NEWS. KTSM needs to look at their own!!

THEN LEAVE. Stop crying!!! Nobody has a gun to your head. If you were really unhappy you would leave but I guess there are more important things to you than your happiness right. No excuses just leave.

Based on the statements I read here, Grizzard wanted to provoke the incident. He gets snotty right off the bat "your welcome". Typical media sensationalizing an incedent they create.
Grizzard has the right, but come on, did he expect to put his cell phone video on the air. God bless the officers for having a job made harder by a$$es like Grizzard.

There would be more questions as to how a film is distributed than the simple filming. Stopping a car takes PC, walking up to someone on the street does not. You simply walk away [otherwise police will argue it was consentual] and then if stopped, PC [lack of] is frozen to that moment and you win in court. This issue touches 1st Amendment so standing is easier to show than in non 1st Amendment cases. Carl Starr

i would like to say that you are on the list to be eliminated. i would be very careful in the
near futher. you seem to think that this is something new. this is the very average cop.
i know people that were killed by the police and got promotions for it. you are lucky that
you were not hurt!!! watch your back, you have awaken the blue brother hood. eppd gang!!
Have a great day!! the lone ranger

This is nothing. The police officer was doing his job. Although his "impeding traffic" argument was LAME, the video clearly shows that he was respectful to Mr. Grizzard with his request. Mr. Grizzard's tone is what seems off to me. His pride is hurt and he is lashing out.

So okay, enough already. What you all should do is stop bashing on EPPD and the man. Yes they were both at wrong but okay there are other things to investigate. In example schools. Invetigate the principals and superintendents, look at the material given to students to learn from. It's all crap. That will really explain why students are graduating with so much incompetance. One more thing for all you demanding a better EPPD, well join and change it. Show us how it should really be.

Can officer Chavez help and tell my insurance company they can not use pictures or private video of my back yard to tell me what I need to do to keep my policy. I wish it was that simple if the news service breaks the child's rights the child's parents have rights to sue. but Mr. Chavez does not however I think ktsm should sue mr. Chavez personally and if the El Paso Police force wish to back him up sue them too because no one should take civil rights into their hands.

I don't have facts [my vid player down] but I think EPPD may have been wrong. Filming minor cases usually are re porn. Schools can limit filming, but the streets are the streets. While KTSM may have felt intimated, the encounter seems borderline consentual, police can approach anyone on street and ask any question for as long as you are willing to stand there and entertain them. I don't have facts but have been stopped two times filming protests and won a federal case. Carl Starr

It's obvious that all the pro-pig comment writers have their heads up you know where . . . chavez even looks like officer wiggum.The Station Manager has every right to record whatever he wants, after all this was a free country until the bush administration to away our civil liberties.As far as the local keystone cops- what are the qualifications to become a cop ? ? ? a G E.D.-good enuff degree.These police officers seem to forget that they're suppose to work with us not against us.Get a clue.

So if you believe that this is no longer a free country and you no longer have civil liberties then please feel free to pack up your belongings and leave.

Mr. Billybob you need to go back to high school or get a G.E.D. to learn proper grammar and maybe then you would meet the minimum requirements to be a Police Officer.

Cops here and everywhere throughout the US are not qualified to uphold the law. They get a badge and think they are the law and become enforcers. Uphold not enforce (get it? they hide behind a badge and want to enforce) Cops have a bad image and are hated here for good reason...they are assholes! Take there badges and guns away and they are the biggest misfits in society.

It about time something has been done about the way most police men conduct themselves. I remember one time going for a job around my neighborhood and was put on a police units vehicle and punched in the ribs. I mean it is getting like Juarez here in El Paso with the cops becoming corrupt. OH, for info I have a perfectly clean record and am College Educated.

Media sensationalism at it's worst. This is not news worthy. Your station manager mouthed off with his sarcastic, "Thank you" remark, and the officer reacted. Maybe the officer was in the wrong, but talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. This is the chisme mentality that will keep El Paso and KTSM from ever being taken seriously.

so the cop had a previous complaint.... most do. The complaints usually come from people that are getting in trouble and want to blame someone else. You hardly tell people when they do a good job but you are quick to say when they do a good job.

what is wrong with all of you????? All the cop did was ask him to move and if he was video taping? He didn't curse and he didn't yell. It wasn't a confrontation. Are you going to patrol the streets when they get fed up with you? I think not. I'm not saying there aren't some that abuse their power, but the cop didn't do anything bad. I know I wouldn't want the news showing my kid on tv unless I gave them permission.

KTSM, apparently you want to bring us Mexican style journalism now. I suggest, you pack up your stuff and move to Juarez!

Wow. Did any of you even watch the video? From what I've been allowed (by KTSM) to see of the video, the officer was nothing but courteous and professional to Mr Gizzard, who incidentally was NOT professional. Mr. Gizzard seemed to be provoking a confrontation by standing in a turn lane and snapping at the officer who requested he move. The officer quite clearly expresses his concern over him recording a JUVENILE. I'd only hope the officer would do the same for my (or your) sons and daughters.

Has KTSM noticed the remarkable resemblance between officer j. Chavez and Mortimer Snerd. The resemblance is uncanny. Chavez demonstrated an IQ comparable to Mortimer, although the latter is obviously brighter. What was he thinking? For an EPPD officer to behave so inappropriately while being openly taped by the local news media, one can only wonder how he behaves off camera when he 's abusing his position of power and authority. EPPD will lose all credibility if they fail to fire this loser. j

Shame on you, Hollice Grizzard. How selfish of you to manipulate a personal issue and attempt to create a societal mutiny against the very people who's mission is to serve & protect you. These officers put their lives on the line for you every day they walk out that door after kissing their babies or loved ones goodbye.

It appears you are like the imbecil who goes out of his way to pack some matches and scissors in your carry-on luggage so you can point your finger & blow your horn, just because you want to be a big fear causing jerk and prove some additional flaw in a world that doesn't need to be broken down any more than it already is. News flash: there is no perfect world, and happiness comes in small doses..

...People like you remind people to remain miserable. It is so apparent based on the unnecessary rage in viewer voices; whereas, this energy should have been used to love their families or talk about real issues. You have wasted people's necessary time for peace of mind, rest & relaxation imposing them to get all fired up for you over some petty issue.  And then you wasted more time as these people needed to take time to simmer down & neglect time to simply love..

...These angry viewers were encouraged to dismiss simplicity over such a stupid self serving report, and what purpose REALLY did you serve? This time could be better spent sharing stories, dreaming of possibilities, or creating magic out of moments. Life is too short. People like you are a detriment to maitaining some level of peace within. You destroy serenity..

Accidents happen all the time. This was another one; and like all others, it needed a timely resolution in order to avoid additional & potential danger in a traffic hazzard YOU were creating for no real or good reason. Standing, arguing & filming on your iPhone doesn't validate or justify ANYTHING.

...Next time, try representing in a complete uniform with proper gear: including a company van, a microphone, and a camera identifying you as a valid member of a newsteam, rather than some disgruntled overpaid figure head trying to prove some frivilous point. Perhaps then, the officer would have let you do your job while he was attempting to complete his...

...Taking advantage of your power in your position is disgusting & disturbing. What you are doing is so wrong, it's scary.  People listen to the news. Fish for real stories rather then feeding the public a load of your garbage. Your personal issues should not be dumped onto the public to rally & discriminate.  Shame on your followers. How DARE you release a comparison of the El Paso Police Department to the tragedy in Mexico..

...There is a basic order of due respect given in spite of your personal opinion. There are many unqualified people managing to uphold, delegate & perform in various roles & positions in life. For example, we may all have had teachers we didn't like, but in spite of all things, we were educated...

...You've GOT to appreciate what you can on a basic level or misery consumes as obviously as it does. Insulting the community of public servants who protect you is the damnation of our nation. Your petty report is a reminder as to why most every country has little respect for ours. Americans love to hate. How sad we are as a people..

...Why can't we be kind? Why can't we encourage through positive reinforcement? Why can't we help our police force by recognizing the good, rather than nitpicking most every day on some public broadcast on only what's wrong? Why can't things just be right for once? What happened to loving one another? Why all this hate? What do we gain? Is it really that bad?...

...We don't appear to be unsafe here in this border city next to the holocaust over the fence & across the river. Wake up! Count your blessings El Paso.Shame on all of you sitting around complaining. Get up & make a difference...

...You don't like the police force? Then join it & fix it. They could use a few good men & women, as if you don't complain enough to notice. Your life is your reward. Live it like you love it. Don't be so cynnical & treat the world with kindness, you'd be surprised at the results. It's never going to get better unless we actively make it so. End this war on hate. Right Now. Go forth, to do great things, or start digging your own grave. Unbelievable, Mister Gizzard. Shame on you.

I guess KTSM needed to boost its raitings and is taking advantage of the situation. This is just proof that media here in El Paso, specially Channel 9, is starving for any note to fill up their newscasts. On another note the Officer was not even rude to Mr. Gizzard however Mr. Gizzard appears to be upset just by his tone of voice. Channel 9 get your big boys pants on!

mr grizzard, you're a joke how intimidating is it really when an officer asks you politely to move. in your account of events no where does it state that the officer told you to stop recording. i think the news in el paso think they are above the law and can do whatever you want. then the audacity to publish only your version of the story. it's you who are not letting the officers conduct their investigations without having to worry about people like you creating a nuisance just to get a story.

Police officers here in El Paso are incompetent, lack knowledge of the law, do not reason with people at a professional level. They should receive more training and the department should higher standards when hiring.

There have been and always will be officers that have a condition that is called "badge heavy". It's too bad they have this attitude.
People get hassled by law enforcement enough without the extra problem of big headed attitudes. I think officer Chaves is a good example. He had no right to react the way he did.

Here we go again! I believe the cops have to take a course on how to be bullies when training for the academy. As for FrankEP's comment, how do you know he was DELIBERATELY trying to provoke the officer. Do you have a crystal to look into the man's thoughts. WOW that's a first. EP cops are just plain bullies. The badge and gun they carry gives them power over others and they take advantage of it to the fullest!!

Great evidence here. A complaint for an incident that happened in August of 2009 but sworn out today? Doesn't look suspicious.

This is crazy. You guys are going to crucify this poor police officer and he does not deserve it. Cops do make mistakes too but police are taught to take control of a situation and that seems like what the officer was doing. He just got unlucky that he did this to the manager of a news station. Just because you can video tape something does not mean you should. El Paso is extremely safe even being next to one of the most dangerous cities in the world for a reason, in large part due to EPPD.

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