Confrontation Between El Paso Police and KTSM Employee

POSTED: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 10:32pm

UPDATED: Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 7:46pm

El Paso Police have launched an internal investigation after a confrontation between a police officer and a KTSM/KDBC employee.
KDBC 4 News and Newschannel 9 Station Manager Hollis Grizzard was one his way home from work when he saw an accident in West El Paso Thursday evening.
He pulled over, took out his phone and started recording video of it to be used in the newscasts.
An El Paso police officer saw him taking the video, approached him and a confrontation ensued.
What do you think about the situation?
We will let you Sound Off by calling 532-5421, ex. 298. Comments will be aired Friday on NewsChannel 9.
 

Comments News Comments

I'm a former reporter and these confrontations happen. Not often, but they happen. They're not a big deal. This was no big deal. It didn't become physical, no one got arrested, no one was cited, and bottom line, you got your video.

Yes the cop was wrong, but this is not a story. But if you want to make it a story, I would like to know the justification for leading the newscast with this.

"Never let yourself become the story," I was told in J school. I hope someone at KTSM was told the same

I am proud to finally have left the grips of El Paso. Looking back, in retrospect I realize how in some senses officers of the El Paso Police Department treat the citizens of El Paso as hostages in some situations. It is sad that in a community the size of El Paso, the police themselves do not know how to police each other. How we can expect this police force to protect if they can barely serve those who are paying their checks? Why do you consider this acceptable El Pasoans?

I think Kai Porter and every one there at news channel 9 is looking to prove a point, that Darren Hunt was a victim, and EPPD is out of control. "The confrontation is faar from over" with some silly look on his face like the officer is about to pull his gun out in the next clip. Get a Grip News channel 9, Im sure in a city our size you can find a better story than how an Officer asked you to stop filming or move out of the driveway. Do your job, and stop airing nonsense.

Thank you EPPD for setting an example for the media in common courtesy. The story was made just by the accident happening, the filming was unnecessary. The officer had enough to worry about just trying to keep the immediate area safe without having to keep an eye out for "rubber necker" on the sidewalk.

The officer is right. If 1 person stops to look to see whats happening then everyone else will follow. Thats what happens when there's an accident on the freeway and traffic is backed up just because everyone needs to witness the situation. There was no verbal or physical abuse. yes there is a minor involved. Would u want some stranger to video tape your child without your consent? If your loved one is hurt would you rather have medical assistances ASAP, or be famous to the town toleratin pain?

This is Ridiculous! This Jerk of an oldman wouldnt of been recording if it had been his kid laying there on the floor.. Shame on you Gizzard. The Officer was just trying to do his job and protect the integrity of this poor child.. way to distract him from his duty.. what matters more a hurt child? or your hurt pride? This story needs to be pulled! That officer needs to be commended for protecting a young childs integrity!

Another 2 examples of the news media run amok trying to sensationlize or creat news events. But even more evident is the lack of freedom our citizenry now enjoys. Whats next? No more cell phones in our vehicles? Yup you guessed right. That right now taken away (thanks to our Natzi city council members.) Our city continues to pass laws and regulations to enable officers to have carte blanche anytime they feel to harass the citizenry.

I thought the former USSR was the evil empire.It is now EP.

El Paso Media must get a grip, local law enforcement is very cooperative with you guys. Every single journalist that comes in from out of town goes on and on about the horrors they've experienced in other cities dealing with law enforcement. Local media has become, spoiled, complacent and forget how good they have it.

Maybe a news station (who claims to be El Paso's Best) should start broadcasting news with video cameras and new crews instead of a random old man standing in the street recording with an i-phone. This isn't a news story, its a news station trying to get ratings and attention by acting like a confrontation occurred. Stick to news and allow the tabloids to handle the paparazzi side of life.
Concerned American

You have to understand that the nes media will report whatever they belive to be a good story. The manager of KTSM is no different than any other media person (on or off camara does not make a difference here). The officer was being foolish when he left the victem and crossed the street - why does he have to do this to tell some one to move back a few feet. What I really think is that the PO , like many people , get nervous when they are being filmed.

This is just a lack of good judgment and procedure by that officer and it looks like an incoming trend by these new police officers.

They call it initiatve, I call it a lack of professionalism.

But let´s look at it from there point of view since I do hear that they are puting in to much OT.

When there is an accident and a victim is involved, the courtesy would be for the news and cameras to restrain from airing or videoing the scene. The family of the person/people involved should be notified in a humane way and not by seeing it on TV! The police officer is to serve and protect, which he did!

From a Widow whose husband died in a car accident and grateful I did not find out on the news.

I was driving through there when that happend, 5-5:30PM Thursday. Rush hour traffic, drivers weren't driving too good, I'm pretty sure they didn't want to get backed up in all that. A few drivers were honking their horns. That's Shadow Mountain you're looking at and it was pretty much blocked with a fire truck. Mesa was backed up big time so was the other end of Shadow Mountain. Pretty much pressure there with all the impatient drivers, FD, PD and EMS in a traffic jam. Hope the kids ok.

From the distance of the reporter you could not tell anything about who the person on the ground was. As usual the police officer was oversteppig his bounds and felt it was necessary to walk away from the victim. If the person down was in dire need of assistance the PO walked away from his responsibility of the injured party to confront the reporter. The reporter did as he was asked. The video also shows traffic moving past him so he was not impeding traffic.

DDor

Here's the media trying to sensationalize something for the sake of ratings. GET OFF THE DAMM STREET! and stop making an issue of it. It's an injured boy, give him some respect and privacy. Stop acting like you have to report everything you see and making the EPPD look bad. They deserve your respect and it's just a matter of common courtesy Mr. Producer man!!!

OMG! KTSM has gone Darren Hunt on us!! I really thought you were above this type of behavior and paparazzi style reporting (the reason I stopped watching KVIA). The term 'confrontation' suggests that there was aggression and/or hostility on the part of the officer; neither applies in this case. Officer Chavez was right in asking that the recording be stopped; freedom of information does not include disrespecting law enfocement nor does it preclude the right to privacy by a victim.

BS c636 I see and saw no disrespect in either of the events you mention . Nor was there any impairment of traffic. If either "news employees " were an illegal immigrant carrying a sign saying so , I bet the officer would have paid no attention to him

Who does that manager think he is? There are laws. A minor should protected .
So the officers should do their work but carefull a of a manager that is gone to its head.

It's called human decency. Grizzard is an amoral media idiot and should be severely reprimanded (yea, like that’s going to happen). Officer Chavez should have been upset (obviously he IS a decent human being).

Former Channel 9 news watcher

El Paso’s finest at their best.
The only person I saw impeding traffic during the whole situation. EL Paso finest having to walk across a busy street to ask someone to move back three feet. Please
I believe that officer needed to be taking care of traffic and not worrying who’s on the side walking rubber necking

I dont think the PO was out of line when asking the station manager taping to not cause a distraction. He was simply asking him to stop for the integrity of the young victim. And even if he was out of the way, him being there, would cause a distraction with traffic. I understand it was a news story, but it wasnt necessary to be so invasive. The station manager should have excersiced discretion. Also, it's ridiculous that this was the first story on the news! Seriously!

Hmmm, tough call...the newsman wasn't impeding anything during this incident but he should respect the law, especially when confronted; First Responders need to focus on their job, in this case, attending to the young man, which they did. I do feel that Officer Chavez overreacted in this case although he did maintain his composure when confronting the overzealous newsman. All in all I have to commend The EPPD and all First Responders for the job they do; it's a thankless world sometimes.

This was just a case of the station manager's ego getting hurt by being told that he shouldn't be doing something. The officer responded correctly and told the manager to move along. What a horrible example this "manager" is setting for his employees and the public in general. If an officer gives you instructions, or asks you a question, answer them without giving him/her any attitude. They are trying to do a job and it is hard enough without people talking back to them like a child would.

What the hell is wrong with the media? Do they not ubderstand that not everything is a news story why do they always pull the freedom of the press card please let the emergency responders do their job they got enough dealing with people slowing down and causing even more of a hazard as well as dealing with reporters that dont even care about the situation they just want the story they dont care if its a safety issue or not.

I would have to agree with the officers standpoint on this one. HIPPA laws should, if not already, limit what the media can and can not do when covering a story. If there are children involved then it should be a no brainer and the media should back off. I know its good to get breaking news as my wife and I watch the news daily but, lets take into consideration the privacy and emotional well-being of the victims as well. Why continue to argue with the PO when in an emergency time matters most!

As a parent, I would be upset if the news crews were filming my injured child. The station manager is correct - the news story was the child was hurt but take 10 seconds of video and move along.

Your station manager was wrong and should be reprimanded.

I've wondered what has happened to journalistic integrity, now realizing it passed away long ago and is replaced by the same gossip and chismes I can get from my neighbor over the backyard fence.

Dax

It may not be illegal to stop and film, but imagine if ALL people chose to stop their vehicles to get out and film the accident with a cell phone.This police officer asked Mr. Grizzard to get out of the way because he was standing in the street.Mr. Grizzard wanted to argue with the Officer,"I am out of the way." This in my opinion is stopping the officer from doing his job!This reporter needs to be under investigation!Time and resources will now be wasted on this guy with hurt feelings.

Looks like the story was getting to hot for Grizzard. Had to take it down from the site. Did not have quite the effect he was looking for I guess.

Cowards

Sorry to say but there was no reason to continue taking video of the accident. It nice that the news is there sometimes but it doesn't mean you need to be there. It was an accident. Why was there a need to video of an accident. You should be out there reporting real news and staying out of the way. I don't care if you were in the middle of the street or on a sidewalk. It's enough of a distraction to drivers on the road with the accident, they don't need you there too.

Why is the news reporting on this!!!!! I think the station manager had his ego hurt and he is abusing his position as a station manager by putting this on the news as a story. There is "Freedom of the Press", but I think the news has abused their position and they pull this card every time someone tells them no. You/we don't need to know everything. You sometimes compromise police investigations by invoking your "freedom of Press". What happen to our freedom to not be a news story???

I am impressed with how the PO maintained his composure, which is difficult to do. From the beginning, the PO requested that Grizzard respect the INTEGRITY of the involved parties. There are laws that the media has to respect as well; not only is the victim involved a JUVENILE, but also a PATIENT. HIPPA laws were created to provide patients with privacy. What if this was your child involved? Clearly, Grizzard was out of line. Get the shot and move along.

I,as an emergency responce worker fully understand why the police get so frustrated with the media, your teams often times sneek closer after they are told to stay back. They try to ambush emergency responce workers to get answers to stories even after they are informed by our PIO of the situation. They have very little reguard for individual privacy and always say the public has the right to know. If the reporter had waited till after the minor left the scene to record the incident???

Again, a member of the EPPD just has to abuse "his power" to a member of the media. Sure Holice might not have had any ID on him but I didn't hear the PO ask him for it. He just made a big deal out of nothing even after he was standing ON THE SIDEWALK, like the PO asked him to. Its not like he was zoomed in on the victim. Holice just acted on what he is trained to do and stopped to get coverage for KTSM. EPPD sometimes just can't comply to "Freedom of the Press."

- HQ, Concerned Westsider.

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