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.
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.
"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.