Manager Reacts to Officer Confrontation


POSTED: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 4:56pm

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

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.


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.

IAchavezcomplaint.pdf463.16 KB

Comments News Comments

What exactly was this " poor police officer" taking control of besides a minor news event? Police are not yet official news censors. It's not unlucky he did this to the manager of a news station; It's incredibly bad judgment. Imagine what this clown does when he's not on camera? Do yah think he might abuse his postion of power and authority under those circumstances? EPPD will lose all credibility if they fail to rid their ranks of this " would be " Gestapo. j

As usual, El Paso ploice are pushing their weight around. Mr. Gizzard was just recording a story, keeping the public informed on what is going on in the city. I can understand if Mr. Gizzard was in the way of the officers' working but he was across the street. I think that the cop acted unprofessional as he was arguing with Mr. Gizzard, but then again, it is the El Paso Police Department....

Thank you! The best comment I've read yet.

Just another example of the El Paso Police Department abusing the authority entrusted to them. This is nothing unusual with the police; it’s becoming more and more common. They won’t investigate accidents on “public” property if it occurs in a parking lot; and yes, a parking lot in which the substantial portion of the public has access to is reportable. Truth is, there is no more integrity with the El Paso Police Department. My question is, what the heck is Chief Allen doing about these comp

Yeah, the officer was in the wrong. However, if you think this is bad, I have seen/encountered much worse from the El Paso Police Department. I received a curfew ticket literally two minutes after eleven o' clock, and while I was being drilled with questions, I simply stated my innocence, and was then compared to a "rapist and murderer," for absolutely no reason. Those are the EXACT words that came out of the officers mouth to a 16 year old. Step it up EPPD, fight some REAL crime.

Are you serious, the Station Manager stopping to recording an "accident." Something so newsworthy that he had stop a capture on a cell phone. Please. But on the flip side, what's up with the EPPD? So now, I guess KTSM has now stooped to the level of KVIA ala Brian Hunt. Make something out of nothing and walk away with a controversy. Good job, looks like you'll get your ratings up.

Its amazing how some people abuse the small power they have, its not right that because he wears the badge abuses against the poor reporter, who seems to be doing his job.

Hope that police investigate and take the corresponding action. People like that should not be public servants, and our taxes should not support them.

The EPPD seems to think they can deprive us of our rights (freedom of the press) it is not the first time something like this happens, but I hope it is. The EPPD needs to learn the rights before they can pretend to enforce them.

Sincerely a local viewer

Thank God someone's on the right track!

Here is ANOTHER classic case w/ EPPD ! - or what I consider "bullying"/a high strung man with a badge an no thought process!!! for some reason common w/ EPPD. Understanding the news tends to involve themselves more then they should at times, this was not one of those times. - with this said... law enforcement wonders why we tend to keep our distance... make a lesson out him to other officers! -from a tax paying citizen!

Mr Grizzard had every right to record on public property, however, he showed no regard for the Police Officers inquiry and was simply being a nuisance. This man showed poor taste in trying to record that poor child who was hit. This is not Mexico where they have no sense of censorship. What a shell of a man. Just because he works for a new station he was deliberately trying to provoke this officer into a confrontation so he can make himself the center of this bogus news story. Fire Mr. Grizzard!

Hmm! Mr. Grizzard was deliberately trying to provoke this officer into a confrontation just because he works for a "new " station. That's a real rational and logical conclusion. I'm sure there's no possibility he was feeling he might have stumbled on a newsworthy story. Most of us would love to have the tea leaves or crystal ball that you pulled that one out of. You imply you would be alot more comfortable with more censorship in this country. Who wants uncensored news, right? j.

Nothing personal jtfld but are you blind stupid or Mexican or a little of all three?

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