Updated on April 20, 2022
It’s not uncommon for gun carriers to have their concealed or openly carried firearms seized during a detention or arrest. In this article, I will first explain when officers may search for weapons in the first place. Then, once an officer conducts a legal (or illegal) search and makes an arrest, I’ll explain when any seized weapons must be returned and how to regain possession of them.
There is a common misunderstanding among the some in the law enforcement community that they have the authority to disarm anyone with whom they come in contact “for officer safety.” This couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s important that you understand your rights as gun owner. The leading case on this issue is Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). This is case where we get the term “Terry frisk.” However, Terry didn’t give carte blanche authority to cops to search people, much less confiscate legally carried firearms.
Terry requires that first and foremost, an officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is suspected of having committed a crime. “I got a call” is not reasonable suspicion in many instances. Articulating precisely what “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” mean is not possible. They deal with commonsense, nontechnical conceptions that deal with the facts and practical considerations that occur in the ordinary course of life that lead to reasonable and prudent people to act. “Reasonable suspicion” is boiled down to “a particularized and objective basis” for suspecting that someone has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a criminal act. A higher standard to search, probable cause, exists where the known facts and circumstances are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable prudence in the belief that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found. The State of Ohio argued in this case that “the right of a police officer…to make an on-the-street stop, interrogate and pat down for weapons” was the main issue, but the Supreme duly noted that this argument is only partly accurate. Street encounters, the Court found, “range from wholly friendly exchanges of pleasantries or mutually useful information to hostile confrontations of armed men involving arrests, or injuries, or loss of life” and are therefore quite rich in diversity.
In order for an officer to even begin the process of performing a frisk, the officer must legally “seize” a person. “[A] person has been ‘seized’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment only if, in view of all the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave.” A person is not seized until he either submits to the assertion of an officer’s authority or the officer has used physical force to prevent him from leaving. Hodari requires reasonable suspicion to perform a seizure. The Terry Court rightly recognized the need for law enforcement officers to protect themselves and other prospective victims of violence in situations where they may lack probable cause for an arrest. Therefore, the Court ruled that “where [an officer] has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual” then he has the authority to conduct a reasonable search for weapons (not anything else). Terry continues that “[t]he officer need not be absolutely certain that the individual is armed; the issue is whether a reasonably prudent man in the circumstances would be warranted in the belief that his safety or that of others was in danger.” This must be more than just a “hunch” and the officer may only conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. However, two elements must be met: that the officer reasonably suspects that the person is armed AND, separately, that the person is presently dangerous.
Ok, what if the officer believes he has reasonable suspicion of a crime, that a person is armed and dangerous, and decides to arrest the person for some real or alleged crime? Since there is really no argument that a person being arrested has no right to a keep a firearm while under arrest, we’ll skip to what happens after that firearm is seized. This is not a discussion about whether a particular arrest is lawful or not. When an officer places you in handcuffs and takes you to the slammer, with or without good reason, it stands to reason that such suspects should be disarmed even if the alleged crime has nothing to do with the firearm.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 18.19 explains what happens to seized weapons and is very specific about when the State can and cannot keep your weapon. Section (a) states that the law enforcement agency that made the seizure (the arrest) shall keep those firearms unless the weapon is a prohibited or stolen weapon. If it is a prohibited weapon, kiss it goodbye. You’ll never see it again if you’re convicted. If the charges are dismissed or a person is found not guilty, the person who had the alleged prohibited weapon seized from him must show cause in writing to the judge as to why the prohibited weapon should not be forfeited or destroyed. This only applies to prohibited weapons described in Penal Code Chapter 46.
For all other “legal” guns, there is an entirely different process. Section 18.19(c) states unequivocally that if charges are dropped or a person is acquitted, then the judge is required to notify the gun’s owner within 60 days that he is entitled to have his gun returned to him if he submits a written request. The magistrate then has up to 60 more days to release that weapon to the owner. There is no “may” return in the Code. If there isn’t a conviction or prosecution, the gun owner is ENTITLED to have his gun returned to him. If a person doesn’t request his gun within 60 days, the magistrate is required to destroy the gun, sell it at public auction with the proceeds going to the law enforcement agency holding the weapon, or have it forfeited to the State for use by law enforcement or a forensic laboratory.
Experience has shown that magistrates don’t typically follow the law. Why? Because they’re hoping that you, the gun owner, doesn’t know the law. Even though the magistrate is required by law to notify a gun owner who has had charges dismissed or acquitted after trial that he is entitled to have his gun returned to him, if the magistrate fails to follow the law and doesn’t sent a notice to the gun owner within 60 days, the law enforcement agency holding the gun can request an order to have the gun destroyed, sold, or forfeited! You heard that right: if a judge doesn’t do his lawful duty to inform you that you’re entitled to your gun, the police can legally steal it from you. It is vitally important that you request, in writing, that your gun be returned to you. It is better if your attorney does this in a legal memo, but it’s not required. A simple letter requesting the return of your firearm is all you need. Experience has shown that law enforcement agencies will play games with those who request to have their gun returned and don’t have an attorney. The reason is simple: there isn’t a penalty for ignoring the law. However, if the judge ignores the law and your gun is destroyed or forfeited, you may have a civil claim to recover the cost of that gun and any costs incurred trying to get it back.
Before I close, I want to surprise you even more with a little good news. Even if you are convicted of whatever crime you were arrested for (or given deferred adjudication), it is likely you are still entitled to have your gun returned to you. If you are convicted of an offense under Penal Code Chapter 46 – the chapter that covers most firearms laws – you are still ENTITLED to get your gun back upon written request to the court provided you meet the following criteria:
(1) You request the gun within 60 days of the conviction or placement on deferred adjudication;
(2) You have not been previously convicted of an offense under Chapter 46;
(3) The gun is not a prohibited weapon;
(4) The offense you were convicted of was not committed on the premises of a playground, school, video arcade facility, or youth center as defined in Section 481.134, Health and Safety Code;
(5) The court has not determined that your prior criminal history and circumstances surrounding the offense for which the weapon was seized would pose a threat to the community or one or more individuals; or
(6) You are not convicted of an offense involving the use of a weapon.
In Tafel, the defendant was a county commissioner who was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors, one of which was for carrying a handgun to a county commission meeting. The court refused to return his .22 caliber North American Arms revolver and .45 caliber Kimber Ultra CDP II and instead forfeited them to the State of Texas. The State argued that since Tafel was convicted under Chapter 46, the court was allowed to forfeit the guns instead of return them. Tafel appealed to the Texas Supreme Court which rightly found that the handguns were NOT subject to forfeiture under Section 18.19 based solely on the conviction and reversed the judgment.
I have personally handled dozens of these cases where law enforcement agencies refused to return guns to people who were falsely arrested or had charges dropped. It’s not a difficult process…if you know the process. Self Defense Fund will help our members get their guns back even if the alleged charges don’t fall under our terms of service as covered activities. INSERT SDF CONTACT INFORMATION HERE. We hope you never need us, but we’re here if you do.
Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 231 (1983).
United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417-418 (1981).
Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 175 (1949).
United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 554 (1980).
California v. Hodari D., 499 U.S. 621, 626 (1991).
See Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 146 (1972); Ybarra v. Ill., 444 U.S. 85, 92-93 (1979); and Mich. v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1048 (1983).
Tafel v. State, 536 S.W.3d 517 (Tex. 2017).
Posted on March 18, 2022
In Wyatt v. Cole, 504 U.S. 158 (1992), the Supreme Court wrestled with the question of qualified immunity and its purpose. The main issue was whether qualified immunity constituted “immunity from suit rather than a mere defense to liability.” Id. at 166. In determining whether qualified immunity should be applied, the Court noted that the purpose of qualified immunity was to “safeguard government, and thereby protect the public at large, not to benefit its agents.” Id. at 168. This case was about a seizure of property that was part of a dissolved partnership. After a judge ordered the sheriff to seize the property and turn over to the seizers, the state court ordered the seized property returned. The lower courts granted the seizers qualified immunity, but the Supreme Court found that the seizers were not entitled to qualified immunity because they were private parties and did not hold an office requiring them to exercise discretion; nor were they concerned with enhancing the public good. Note: On remand the 5th Circuit affirmed the lower court decision denying qualified immunity to private defendants.
The Court expanded on this in Richardson v. McKnight, 521 U.S. 399 (1997), by looking to both history and to “the special policy concerns involved in suing government officials” in deciding whether or not private defendants were entitled to immunity. Richardson 521 U.S. at 404. In Richardson, the Court was asked to decide whether private prison employees were entitled to qualified immunity. The guards argued that their duties support immunity whether their employer is private or public. The Court found that historically, private parties were not entitled to immunity. Looking at Wyatt, the Richardson Court reiterated that the doctrine’s purpose was to protect “government’s ability to perform its traditional functions” by providing immunity where “necessary to preserve” the ability of government officials “to serve the public good or to ensure that talented candidates were not deterred by the threat of damages suits from entering public service.” 521 U.S. at 408 (citing Wyatt, 504 U.S. at 167).
In 2012, the Supreme Court held that “the common law did not draw a distinction between public servants and private individuals engaged in public service in according protection to those carrying out government functions.” Filarsky v. Delia, 566 U.S. 377, 387 (2012). For example, early law enforcement was often contracted and privately funded to do public policing. They were entitled to qualified immunity. Candidates for public office are not public officials who are engaged in “carrying out government functions.” They are private citizens seeking election to public office. The State of Texas does not, as far as I can find searching through Texas Statutes, provide armed security for candidates unless the candidate is, of course, the incumbent.
Recently, the 9th Circuit tackled this issue and addressed “the general availability of qualified immunity to off-duty police officers acting as private security guards.” Bracken v. Okura, 869 F.3d 771, 777 (9th Cir. 2017). The court used the Richardson test to determine whether protecting off-duty employment as a private security guard had a “firmly rooted tradition of immunity.” Id. The Court found that there was no historical record that qualified immunity was available to private security guards.
The 10th Circuit also refused to give qualified immunity to an off-duty officer who violated a plaintiff’s § 1983 rights while he was serving as a security guard for a store. Baptiste v. J.C. Penney Co., 147 F.3d 1252 (10th Cir. 1998).
The case law I found that allowed for qualified immunity to an off-duty police officer working as a security guard only applied when the off-duty officer was detaining a criminal suspect. A police officer’s “off-duty” status is not a limitation upon the discharge of police authority in the presence of criminal activity. Wood v. State, 486 S.W.2d 374, 774 (Tex.Crim.App. 1972) (off-duty police officer who observes crime immediately becomes on-duty police officer). Whether a police officer is acting under color of law does not depend on his on-or off-duty status at the time of the alleged violation. United States v. Tarpley, 945 F.2d 806, 809 (5th Cir.1991). In other words, while working as a privately employed security guard, the case law grants immunity when the off-duty officer recognizes a criminal act and shifts into his role to that of a law enforcement officer to stop or investigate it. Miller v. SS Hosp. Grp., LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103160 (N.D. Tex., June 20, 2018).
In determining the status of a police officer, the court analyzes the capacity in which the officer acted at the time he committed the acts for which the complaint is made. Blackwell v. Harris County, 909 S.W.2d 135, 139 (Tex.App.—Houston 1995). “If the officer is performing a public duty, such as the enforcement of general laws, the officer’s private employer incurs no vicarious responsibility for that officer’s acts, even though the employer may have directed the activities. If the officer was engaged in protecting the employer’s property, ejecting trespassers, or enforcing rules and regulations promulgated by the employer, however, the trier of fact decides whether the officer was acting as a public officer or as a servant of the employer.” Mansfield v. C.F. Bent Tree Apartment Ltd. P’ship, 37 S.W.3d 145, 150 (Tex. App.–Austin 2001).
Posted on January 20, 2022
I just finished an interview with a journalist for my thoughts on the recent hostage situation that occurred at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, near Fort Worth. While no one was shot or killed besides Pakistani-Brit, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, the fact he had a gun has given the left a rally cry once again to attack gun rights and demand more legislation. The fact is that we had plenty of legislation that should have stopped him.
Within hours of Akram being identified, the British government had detained two individuals suspected of being involved in the plot. Akram was from an industrial city in northwest England called Blackburn. His family said he was “suffering from mental health issues.” He entered the United States on a tourist visa about two weeks earlier and spent time in Dallas-area homeless shelters before the temple attack. In just two weeks, Akram either purchased or was given a firearm, despite being essentially homeless for two weeks. He had help. I’ve lived in this country my whole life and if I wanted to buy a gun on the black market, even I don’t know where to go, but Akram was able to acquire one within two weeks of arrival. He said he had been praying about and planning the event for two years.
British media have reported that Akram was investigated by MI5 as a possible “terrorist threat” in 2020, but authorities concluded that he posed no danger, and the investigation was closed. Allegedly, our government did the same thing and concluded that it “did not have any derogatory information” on Akram. However, he was convicted of theft and harassment in 2012. On September 12, 2001, Akram was banned from the Blackburn courts after he was accused of remarking to Lancashire court ushers, “You should have been on the fucking plane,” according to a letter written by Peter Wells, the deputy justice clerk, to the Lancashire magistrates’ committee.
This was a failure of government, not gun laws. Akram was not qualified to have a gun since he was only here on a tourist visa. There are laws against providing guns to prohibited persons, yet he got one. This wasn’t a “private sale” as the media keeps reporting it in order to push for more restrictions on gun rights and more restrictive laws like “universal background checks,” as if whoever gave Akram the gun would have done so if such a law were in place. This was a criminal sale, not a private sale. The transfer was likely pre-planned before he even got to Texas – assuming that is where he acquired it.
So, what could have stopped this? What laws do we need to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Nothing. Current laws need to be enforced, including immigration laws. It makes no sense to crack down on gun sales in America while our borders are wide open and guns can flow in unimpeded. The only way to prevent these is by becoming a hard target.
The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue is a “gun-free zone.” The rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, bans guns in his building. Additionally, Cytron-Walker has written and given sermons and speeches pushing for more gun control. Yet, he had the ultimate gun control at his synagogue and it didn’t help anyone.
The fact is that criminals don’t care about laws or signs. The only people that obey them – and are victimized by them – are law abiding, peaceable citizens who are left defenseless. It was sad to hear that the rabbi coordinated with the FBI for training on how to…run away and hide in the event of a shooting or threat when they could have had self-defense training that was more helpful. However, Rabbi Cytron-Walker is a leftwing ideologue and anti-gun zealot. He has called Israel an “apartheid state” despite the fact that anyone can live there, including Muslims. In an email he sent out a few years ago, he included some ways to help push gun control:
Take Action and End Gun Violence with NFTY in 4 different ways:
1. Join over a dozen cities organizing mayor visits
2. Incorporate gun violence awareness into Shabbat on June 3
3. Contact your members of Congress
4. Wear Orange on June 2 and share on your favorite social media platform
The “wear orange on June 2” is a campaign created and pushed by anti-gun socialists Moms Demand Action. Now, none of this is to say that what happened was in any way the rabbi’s fault. The only person to blame is Akrom. Not guns, not legislators, not Republicans, and not Jews. Just Akrom. However, there were things that he could have done that would have either ensured Akrom never targeted them or that it would have ended quicker. This includes allowing – at a minimum – licensed gun owners to carry concealed. Churches are not safe spaces where a magic forcefield protects people from bad actors. It’s time everyone understood this.
Updated on October 14, 2021
While the case we filed in 2020 is still ongoing (COVID slowed things down), we have come across information that led us to file a second lawsuit against the city and police chief. The case was filed in the Western District of Texas in the San Antonio Division. You can follow the case on Pacer using Case No.: 5:21-cv-00983. Here is the text:
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
Plaintiffs James Everard and Christopher Grisham (“Plaintiffs”), by and through their attorneys, complain of Defendants and respectfully allege as follows:
I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. This is a civil rights action in which Plaintiffs seek relief for the violation of their rights secured by 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
2. Jurisdiction of this Court is found upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331 since this action arises under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
3. Venue is proper in the Untied States District Court for the Western District of Texas because the majority of events complained of occurred in this district.
4. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and other applicable laws, the Court may award nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as equitable relief against Defendants for the violations of Plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights and harm caused by Defendants’ action and inaction.
1. Plaintiff, JAMES EVERARD (“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Everard”) is a law-abiding citizen of the State of Texas.
2. Plaintiff, CHRISTOPHER GRISHAM (“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Grisham”), is a law-abiding citizen of the State of Texas.
3. Defendant, RENE VALENCIANO is a Texas resident and at all times relevant to this complaint, was the Chief of Police for the City of Olmos Park Police Department.
4. Defendant, CITY OF OLMOS PARK, is a municipality in the State of Texas.
III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
5. In February 2018, Chief Valenciano became aware that open carry activists publicly opposed the City of Olmos Park’s ordinance banning the open carry of rifles. Activists alleged the ordinance was inconsistent with state law.
6. Chief Valenciano opposed the viewpoint that the ordinance was unlawful and chose to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that was provided to law enforcement officials on local, state, and federal levels. The PowerPoint compared open-carry activists to mass-murders and cop killers.
7. On March 1, 2018, Chief Valenciano made his presentation to many law enforcement officials on local, state, and federal levels. On March 5, 2018, he disseminated this information to many other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
8. Chief Valenciano emphasized in the PowerPoint that there was at least one open-carry protest planned within the City of Olmos Park. He likely wanted to put law enforcement agencies on alert to the potential protests with alleged mass-murders and cop killers.
9. Weeks after providing the PowerPoint to many law enforcement entities—including the FBI and Secret Service—Plaintiff CJ Grisham emailed Defendant City and then called Defendant Chief to inform them that their handling of open-carry individuals violated the law, and that he would be protesting within the City.
10. On March 27, 2018, Plaintiffs were open carrying firearms in the City of Olmos Park and were protesting the ordinance. Defendant Chief learned before arriving at the scene from dispatch that it was “the Second Amendment” people. Defendant Chief arrived on scene, and within seconds, fired his taser at Plaintiff Grisham, arrested him, and arrested Plaintiff Everard.
11. During this incident, Plaintiffs informed Chief Valenciano that a lawsuit would be forthcoming.
12. On March 29, 2018, the City of Olmos Park and other local governments removed ordinances pertaining to open carrying rifles that were inconsistent with state law.
13. In April 2018, Defendants learned that prosecutors declined to prosecute Plaintiffs as all charges brought were dismissed within weeks.
14. Chief Valenciano recognized his credibility was on the line, so he wanted to do everything within his authority to also ruin Plaintiffs’ credibility.
15. Despite charges being dismissed, Chief Valenciano solicited, gathered, and collected private information, historical data, and other information from various sources. He obtained the type of information that is usually only available to law enforcement agencies for a lawful purpose.
16. Chief Valenciano continued to build a dossier on Plaintiffs without any legitimate purpose other than to deter them from continuing to engage in their constitutionally protected conduct.
17. Chief Valenciano portrayed Plaintiff Grisham as being the center of a web of “agitators.”
18. Chief Valenciano highlighted that Plaintiffs (lawfully) purchased guns (all after the charges were dismissed).
19. Chief Valenciano, in his official capacity, shared this information with Defendant City and law enforcement agencies on local, state, and federal levels.
20. Chief Valenciano sought to negatively impact Plaintiffs by causing possible investigations and creating a false perception of Plaintiffs that would impact future interactions between Plaintiffs and law enforcement.
21. Chief Valenciano knew that Plaintiffs interact with law enforcement officials, and that Plaintiffs regularly protest unlawful activity and prosecute claims arising from constitutional violations. Chief Valenciano wanted Plaintiffs to stop—especially when his credibility was implicated from the incidents surrounding March 27, 2018.
22. On March 26, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Defendants and other officers alleging violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 stemming from the March 27, 2018, incident (the “first lawsuit”).
23. Chief Valenciano recognizing that the first lawsuit was coming, did, in both his individual and official capacity, use resources available to him only in his official capacity as the Chief of Police, and with the consent or deliberate indifference from the City of Olmos Park, continued to put forth efforts to chill Plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to petition for redress of grievances.
24. Without any lawful basis, in response to recognizing that Plaintiffs were going to file a lawsuit (and then did so), Defendants conducted or caused to be conducted investigations into Plaintiffs, their known associates, and one or more of their civil rights attorneys.
25. Defendants gathered private information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, location information, financial transaction records, and even obtained photographs and videos of Plaintiffs at various locations—all without any legitimate or lawful basis.
26. This information was gathered after Defendants unlawfully represented that the information was for an official purpose. However, the sole reason Defendants gathered this information was to target Plaintiffs and to retaliate against them for planning to file, and then filing the first lawsuit against Defendants.
27. Defendant Valenciano’s conduct went beyond gathering private information. Defendants repeatedly presented and shared this private information with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
28. Defendant Valenciano’s dossier, as of May 2021, grew to at least 160 pages.
29. Defendant Valenciano repeatedly labelled Plaintiffs as anti-government individuals, agitators, and sovereign citizens.
30. Defendant Valenciano went through great lengths to compare Plaintiffs to mass murderers and cop killers. Defendant Valenciano also suggested that Plaintiffs are linked to various criminals.
31. Defendant Valenciano repeatedly presents and shares his version of findings and conclusions with law enforcement agencies on the local, state, and federal levels.
32. Defendant Valenciano’s purpose for going after Plaintiffs in this manner was to attempt to get different agencies to initiate investigations against Plaintiffs, and to punish Plaintiffs for filing the lawsuit against them.
33. Defendant Valenciano’s other purpose is to negatively influence future law enforcement interactions with Plaintiffs. Defendant Valenciano’s unlawful collection of information and improper and incorrect portrayal of Plaintiffs as potential mass murders and cop killers absolutely impacts Plaintiffs’ability to peacefully protest as they have done in the past.
34. Defendants’ conduct would chill a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to engage in similar First Amendment activity, and Defendants’ adverse actions were substantially motivated by the constitutionally protected conduct.
IV. CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANTS
VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. 1983
(First Amendment – Retaliation for Protected Conduct)
35. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
36. At all times relevant, Defendant Chief Valenciano was acting under color of State law.
37. Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to peacefully protest and petition for redress of grievances.
38. Plaintiffs were engaging in constitutional protected conduct of petitioning for redress of grievances.
39. In retaliation for engaging in protected conduct, Defendant Valenciano targeted Plaintiffs in vast unlawful investigations; labeled Plaintiffs to other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as anti-government, agitators, and being on par with mass murders and cop killers; unlawfully and without any lawful or other legitimate basis, collected private data and surveillance on Plaintiffs, known associates, and their attorneys; and attempted to get other law enforcement agencies to initiate or assist in unlawful investigations into Plaintiffs, and to impact future law enforcement interactions with Plaintiffs.
40. At all relevant times, Defendant Valenciano was required to obey the laws of the United States.
41. Defendant Valenciano’s actions caused Plaintiffs to suffer an injury that would chill a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to engage in that activity.
42. Defendant Valenciano’s adverse actions was substantially motivated by Plaintiffs petitioning the government for redress of grievances.
43. Defendant Valenciano had (and has) his credibility on the line, and will do whatever necessary to make sure Plaintiffs are negatively impacted as a result of filing the first lawsuit against him.
44. Defendant Valenciano intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, reckless, unreasonably, and grossly negligently retaliated against Plaintiffs for engaging in protected conduct.
45. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant Valenciano’s unlawful actions, Plaintiffs were harmed.
MUNICIPAL LIABILITY 42 U.S.C. 1983
46. Defendant Valenciano’s actions, and the actions of the City of Olmos Park, demonstrate a policy, practice, or custom to retaliate against Plaintiffs and other open carry activists for engaging in their protected First Amendment activity. Defendants’ actions and inactions constitute an impermissible policy, practice, or custom that deprive Plaintiffs of their right to be free from retaliation for protected conduct.
47. At all relevant times, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from unlawful policies, practices, and customs, as well as a right to petition for redress of grievances.
48. Defendant City was aware of Chief Valenciano’s retaliatory conduct and did nothing to prevent it. Defendant City showed a deliberate indifference for the constitutional rights of Plaintiffs and other open carry activists.
49. Defendant City had a copy of one or more versions of Chief Valenciano’s dossier, but did nothing to stop his conduct.
50. Defendant City was regularly briefed by Chief Valenciano on his unlawful data gathering, but did nothing to stop his conduct.
51. The City showed a deliberate indifference and ratified Chief Valenciano’s conduct.
52. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant City’s unlawful actions, Plaintiffs were harmed.
53. Plaintiffs reallege the material facts alleged in the preceding paragraphs against Defendants. Defendants deprived Plaintiffs of their federal constitutional rights to freedom of expression without the fear of retaliation, causing irreparable harm to Plaintiffs. Through continued application and enforcement of their policies, practices, and custom, written or unwritten, that seek to collect, retain, and surveil law-abiding citizens for no lawful purpose or practice, Defendants threaten further violations of these same rights. Plaintiffs are thus entitled to a declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2201 that his rights arising under the Constitution have been violated by the actions of the Defendants and their policies, practices, and custom, written or unwritten, that seek to collect, retain, and surveil law-abiding citizens for no lawful purpose or practice—are facially unconstitutional and unconstitutional as applied to the activities of Plaintiffs.
54. Plaintiffs reallege the material facts alleged in the preceding paragraphs against Defendants. Plaintiffs continue to be deprived of his federal constitutional rights under the First Amendment, causing him irreparable harm and threatening additional, immediately impending irreparable injuries. Defendants, in an ongoing manner, violate Plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights by maintaining their policies, practices, and custom of collecting, retaining, and surveilling Plaintiffs and individuals who lawfully exercise their First Amendment rights, and then portraying this information with other law enforcement agencies to cause harm to Plaintiffs and attempt to deter them from engaging in constitutionally protected activities, which is in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
55. Plaintiffs are thus entitled to an injunction preventing Defendants from further enforcement of their policies, practices, and custom, written or unwritten, that seek to collect, retain, and surveil law-abiding citizens for no lawful or other legitimate purpose or practice that is only sought to deter constitutionally protected activities. Defendants should be enjoined from using their policies, practices, and custom, written or unwritten, surveil Plaintiffs, collect personal information on Plaintiffs, or retain personal information of Plaintiffs, if they are not committing any crime and otherwise following all ordinances, statutes, and law.
ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS
56. It was necessary for Plaintiffs to hire the undersigned attorneys to file this lawsuit. Plaintiffs seek the recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred in the pursuit of this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988(b) and expert fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988(c). Plaintiffs also seek recovery of their expenses and costs of court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1920.
57. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiffs suffered damages for violations of the First Amendment including retaliation for petitioning the government for the redress of grievances.
58. Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury of all triable issues, per Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b).
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs, Christopher Grisham and James Everard, demands judgment and pray for the following relief, against Defendants, either individually or jointly, and severally:
a. A Declaration that Defendants’ conduct, policies, practices, and custom, written or unwritten, that seek to collect, retain, and surveil law-abiding citizens for no lawful purpose or practice, and then share this information with others, is in retaliation for exercising their Constitutional rights, violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution;
b. Injunctive relief barring Defendants conduct and from maintaining their policies, practices, and custom of collecting, retaining, and surveilling Plaintiffs and individuals who lawfully exercise their First Amendment rights, and then sharing this information without any lawful or legitimate purpose, which is in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
c. Nominal Damages for retaliation by Defendants for Plaintiffs’ exercise of their First Amendment rights of free expression and petitioning for the redress of grievances, as the Court finds appropriate, from one or more Defendants;
d. Punitive damages from one or more Defendants;
e. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest from one or more Defendants;
f. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of this action; and
g. Any such other relief as appears just and proper.
Posted on January 10, 2021
The left and its propaganda wing want you to think that Trump invited the violence that occurred on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Here the speech in its entirety. I challenge you to show me exactly where he invited anything. On the contrary, I offer this excerpt:
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Donald Trump: (02:44)
The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd. Even I, when I turned on today, I looked, and I saw thousands of people here, but you don’t see hundreds of thousands of people behind you because they don’t want to show that. We have hundreds of thousands of people here, and I just want them to be recognized by the fake news media. Turn your cameras please and show what’s really happening out here because these people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer. Go ahead. Turn your cameras, please. Would you show? They came from all over the world, actually, but they came from all over our country. I just really want to see what they do. I just want to see how they covered. I’ve never seen anything like it. But it would be really great if we could be covered fairly by the media. The media is the biggest problem we have as far as I’m concerned, single biggest problem, the fake news and the big tech. Big tech is now coming into their own. We beat them four years ago. We surprised them. We took them by surprise and this year, they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before. By the way, last night, they didn’t do a bad job either, if you notice. I’m honest. I just, again, I want to thank you. It’s just a great honor to have this kind of crowd and to be before you. Hundreds of thousands of American patriots are committed to the honesty of our elections and the integrity of our glorious Republic. All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats, which is what they’re doing and stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.
Donald Trump: (04:42)
Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal. Today I will lay out just some of the evidence proving that we won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election. I say sometimes jokingly, but there’s no joke about it, I’ve been in two elections. I won them both and the second one, I won much bigger than the first. Almost 75 million people voted for our campaign, the most of any incumbent president by far in the history of our country, 12 million more people than four years ago. I was told by the real pollsters, we do have real pollsters. They know that we were going to do well, and we were going to win. What I was told, if I went from 63 million, which we had four years ago to 66 million, there was no chance of losing. Well, we didn’t go to 66. We went to 75 million and they say we lost. We didn’t lose.
Donald Trump: (06:08)
By the way, does anybody believe that Joe had 80 million votes? Does anybody believe that? He had 80 million computer votes. It’s a disgrace. There’s never been anything like that. You could take third world countries. Just take a look, take third world countries. Their elections are more honest than what we’ve been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. Even when you look at last night, they’re all running around like chickens with their heads cut off with boxes. Nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.
Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!
Donald Trump: (07:11)
Thank you. I’d love to have, if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed, the military, the secret service, and we want to thank you, and the police law enforcement. Great. You’re doing a great job, but I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them come up, please? Rudy, you did a great job. He’s got guts. You know what? He’s got guts, unlike a lot of people in the Republican party. He’s got guts, he fights. He fights, and I’ll tell you. Thank you very much, John. Fantastic job. I watched. That’s a tough act to follow, those two. John is one of the most brilliant lawyers in the country, and he looked at this and he said, ” What an absolute disgrace, that this could be happening to our constitution.” He looked at Mike Pence, and I hope Mike is going to do the right thing.
Donald Trump: (08:09)
I hope so. I hope so because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All he has to do. This is from the number one or certainly one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country. He has the absolute right to do it. We’re supposed to protect our country, support our country, support our constitution, and protect our constitution. States want to revote. The States got defrauded. They were given false information. They voted on it. Now they want to recertify. They want it back. All Vice-President Pence has to do is send it back to the States to recertify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people.
Donald Trump: (09:08)
I just spoke to Mike. I said, “Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage,” and then we’re stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years. We’re just not going to let that happen. Many of you have traveled from all across the nation to be here, and I want to thank you for the extraordinary love. That’s what it is. There’s never been a movement like this ever, ever for the extraordinary love for this amazing country and this amazing movement. Thank you.
We love Trump! We love Trump! We love Trump!
Donald Trump: (09:59)
By the way, this goes all the way back past the Washington monument. Do you believe this? Look at this. Unfortunately, they gave the press the prime seats. I can’t stand that. No, but you look at that behind. I wish they’d flip those cameras and look behind you. That is the most amazing sight. When they make a mistake, you get to see it on television. Amazing, amazing, all the way back. Don’t worry. We will not take the name off the Washington monument. We will not. Cancel culture. They wanted to get rid of the Jefferson Memorial, either take it down or just put somebody else in there. I don’t think that’s going to happen. It damn well better not. Although with this administration, if this happens, it could happen. You’ll see some really bad things happen.
Donald Trump: (10:54)
They’ll knock out Lincoln too, by the way. They’ve been taking his statue down, but then we signed a little law. You hurt our monuments, you hurt our heroes, you go to jail for 10 years and everything stopped. Did you notice that? It stopped. It all stopped. They could use Rudy back in New York City. Rudy, they could use you. Your city is going to hell. They want Rudy Giuliani back in New York. We’ll get a little younger version of Rudy. Is that okay, Rudy?
Donald Trump: (11:25)
We’re gathered together in the heart of our nation’s Capitol for one very, very basic and simple reason, to save our democracy. Most candidates on election evening, and of course this thing goes on so long, they still don’t have any idea what the votes are. We still have congressional seats under review. They have no idea. They’ve totally lost control. They’ve used the pandemic as a way of defrauding the people in a proper election. But when you see this and when you see what’s happening, number one, they all say, “Sir, we’ll never let it happen again.” I said, “That’s good, but what about eight weeks ago?” They try and get you to go. They say, “Sir, in four years, you’re guaranteed.” I said, “I’m not interested right now. Do me a favor, go back eight weeks. I want to go back eight weeks. Let’s go back eight week.” We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.
Donald Trump: (12:34)
For years, Democrats have gotten away with election fraud and weak Republicans, and that’s what they are. There’s so many weak Republicans. We have great ones, Jim Jordan, and some of these guys. They’re out there fighting the House. Guys are fighting, but it’s incredible. Many of the Republicans, I helped them get in. I helped them get elected. I helped Mitch get elected. I could name 24 of them, let’s say. I won’t bore you with it, and then all of a sudden you have something like this. It’s like, “Gee, maybe I’ll talk to the president sometime later.” No, it’s amazing. The weak Republicans, they’re pathetic Republicans and that’s what happens. If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country. But just remember this. You’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.
Donald Trump: (13:45)
The weak Republicans, and that’s it. I really believe it. I think I’m going to use the term, the weak Republicans. You got a lot of them, and you got a lot of great ones, but you got a lot of weak ones. They’ve turned a blind eye even as Democrats enacted policies that chipped away our jobs, weakened our military, threw open our borders and put America last. Did you see the other day where Joe Biden said, “I want to get rid of the America first policy.” What’s that all about, get rid of …? How do you say, “I want to get rid of America first?” Even if you’re going to do it, don’t talk about it. Unbelievable, what we have to go through, what we have to go through and you have to get your people to fight. If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. You primary them. We’re going to let you know who they are. I can already tell you, frankly.
Donald Trump: (14:39)
But this year using the pretext of the China virus and the scam of mail-in ballots, Democrats attempted the most brazen and outrageous election theft. There’s never been anything like this. It’s a pure theft in American history, everybody knows it. That election, our election was over at 10:00 in the evening. We’re leading Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes, and then late in the evening or early in the morning, boom, these explosions of and bullshit, and all of a sudden. All of a sudden it started to happen.
Donald Trump: (15:35)
Don’t forget when Romney got beat. Romney. I wonder if he enjoyed his flight in last night? But when Romney got beaten, he stands up like you’re more typical. Well, I’d like to congratulate the victor, the victor. Who was the victor, Mitt? I’d like to congratulate. They don’t go and look at the facts. Now I don’t know. He got slaughtered probably, maybe it was okay. Maybe it was that’s what happened. But we look at the facts and our lecture was so corrupt that in the history of this country, we’ve never seen anything like it. You can go all the way back. America is blessed with elections all over the world. They talk about our elections. You know what the world says about us now? They said we don’t have free and fair elections and you know what else? We don’t have a free and fair press.
Donald Trump: (16:25)
Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech, and it’s become the enemy of the people. It’s become the enemy of the people. It’s the biggest problem we have in this country. No third world countries would even attempt to do what we caught them doing and you’ll hear about that in just a few minutes. Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer, and we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. We’re going to have to fight much harder and Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. If he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our constitution. Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.
Donald Trump: (18:16)
We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. Our country has been under siege for a long time, far longer than this four-year period. We’ve set it on a much straighter course, a much … I thought four more years. I thought it would be easy. We created-
Donald Trump: (19:03)
Four more years, I thought it would be easy. We created the greatest economy in history. We rebuilt our military. We get you the biggest tax cuts in history. We got you the biggest regulation cuts. There’s no President, whether it’s four years, eight years, or in one case more, got anywhere near the regulation cuts. It used to take 20 years to get a highway approved. now we’re down to two. I want to get it down to one, but we’re down to two. And it may get rejected for environmental or safety reasons, but we got it down the safety. We created Space Force. Look at what we did. Our military has been totally rebuilt. So we create Space Force, which by in of itself is a major achievement for an administration. And with us, it’s one of so many different things.
Donald Trump: (19:52)
Right to try. Everybody know about right to try. We did things that nobody ever thought possible. We took care of our vets. Our vets, the VA now has the highest rating, 91%, the highest rating that it’s had from the beginning, 91% approval rating. Always you watch the VA, when it was on television. Every night people living in a horrible, horrible manner. We got that done. We got accountability done. We got it so that now in the VA, you don’t have to wait for four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, four months to see a doctor. If you can’t get a doctor, you go outside you get the doctor, you have them taken care of. And we pay the doctor. And we’ve not only made life wonderful for so many people, we’ve saved tremendous amounts of money, far secondarily, but we’ve saved a lot of money.
Donald Trump: (20:49)
And now we have the right to fire bad people in the VA. We had 9000 people that treated our veterans horribly. In primetime, they would not have treated our veterans badly. But they treated our veterans horribly. And we have what’s called the VA Accountability Act. And the accountability says if we see somebody in there that doesn’t treat our vets well, or they steal, they rob, they do things badly. We say, “Joe, you’re fired. Get out of here.” Before you couldn’t do that. You couldn’t do that before.
Donald Trump: (21:24)
So we’ve taken care of things. We’ve done things like nobody’s ever thought possible. And that’s part of the reason that many people don’t like us, because we’ve done too much, but we’ve done it quickly. And we were going to sit home and watch a big victory. And everybody had us down for a victory. It was going to be great. And now we’re out here fighting. I said to somebody, I was going to take a few days and relax after our big electoral victory. Ten o’clock, it was over. But I was going to take a few days.
Donald Trump: (21:52)
And I can say this, since our election, I believe, which was a catastrophe when I watch and even these guys knew what happened, they know what happened. They’re saying, “Wow, Pennsylvania’s insurmountable. Wow, Wisconsin, look at the big leads we had.” Even though the press said we were going to lose Wisconsin by 17 points. Even though the press said Ohio is going to be close, we set a record. Florida’s going to be close, we set a record. Texas is going to be close. Texas is going to be close, we set a record. And we set a record with Hispanic, with the Black community. We set a record with everybody.
Donald Trump: (22:36)
Today, we see a very important event though, because right over there, right there, we see the event going to take place. And I’m going to be watching, because history is going to be made. We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether or not we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity, they’ll be ashamed. And you know what? If they do the wrong thing, we should never ever forget that they did. Never forget. We should never ever forget. With only three of the seven states in question, we win the presidency of the United States.
Donald Trump: (23:21)
And by the way, it’s much more important today than it was 24 hours ago. Because I spoke to David Perdue, what a great person, and Kelly Loeffler, two great people, but it was a setup. And I said, “We have no back line anymore.” The only back line, the only line of demarcation, the only line that we have is the veto of the president of the United States. So this is now what we’re doing, a far more important election than it was two days ago.
Donald Trump: (23:59)
I want to thank the more than 140 members of the House. Those are warriors. They’re over there working like you’ve never seen before, studying, talking, actually going all the way back, studying the roots of the Constitution, because they know we have the right to send a bad vote that was illegally got, they gave these people bad things to vote for and they voted, because what did they know? And then when they found out a few weeks later… Again, it took them four years to devise history. And the only unhappy person in the United States, single most unhappy, is Hillary Clinton because she said, “Why didn’t you do this for me four years ago? Why didn’t you do this for me four years ago? Change the votes! 10,000 in Michigan. You could have changed the whole thing!” But she’s not too happy. You notice you don’t see her anymore. What happened? Where is Hillary? Where is she?
Donald Trump: (24:57)
But I want to thank all of those congressmen and women. I also want to thank our 13 most courageous members of the US Senate, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Shadowless, Kelly Loeffler. And Kelly Loeffler, I’ll tell you, she’s been so great. She works so hard. So let’s give her and David a little special head, because it was rigged against them. Let’s give her and David. Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue. They fought a good race. They never had a shot. That equipment should never have been allowed to be used, and I was telling these people don’t let them use this stuff. Marsha Blackburn, terrific person. Mike Braun, Indiana. Disinvested, great guy. Bill Hagerty, John Kennedy, James Lankford, Cynthia Lummis. Tommy Tuberville, to the coach. And Roger Marshall. We want to thank them, senators that stepped up, we want to thank them.
Donald Trump: (26:04)
I actually think though it takes, again, more courage not to step up. And I think a lot of those people are going to find that out, and you better start looking at your leadership because the leadership has led you down the tubes. “We don’t want to give $2000 to people. We want to give them $600.” Oh, great. How does that play politically? Pretty good? And this has nothing to do with politics. But how does it play politically? China destroyed these people. We didn’t destroy. China destroyed them, totally destroyed them. We want to give them $600, and they just wouldn’t change. I said, “Give them $2000. We’ll pay it back. We’ll pay it back fast. You already owe 26 trillion. Give them a couple of bucks. Let them live. Give them a couple of bucks!”
Donald Trump: (26:57)
And some of the people here disagree with me on that. But I just say, look, you got to let people live. And how does that play though? Okay, number one, it’s the right thing to do. But how does that play politically? I think it’s the primary reason, one of the primary reasons, the other was just pure cheating. That was the super primary reason. But you can’t do that. You got to use your head.
Donald Trump: (27:19)
As you know the media is constantly asserted the outrageous lie that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. You ever see these people? “While there is no evidence of fraud…” Oh, really? Well, I’m going to read you pages. I hope you don’t get bored listening to it. Promise? Don’t get bored listening to it, all those hundreds of thousands of people back there. Move them up, please. Yeah. All these people don’t get bored. Don’t get angry at me because you’re going to get bored because it’s so much. The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation.
Donald Trump: (27:57)
But it used to be that they’d argue with me, I’d fight. So I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. Boop-boop. You’d believe me, you’d believe them. Somebody comes out. They had their point of view, I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called suppression. And that’s what happens in a communist country. That’s what they do. They suppress. You don’t fight with them anymore, unless it’s a bad. They have a little bad story about me, they’ll make it 10 times worse and it’s a major headline. But Hunter Biden, they don’t talk about him. What happened to Hunter? Where’s Hunter? Where is Hunter? They don’t talk about him.
Donald Trump: (28:34)
Now watch all the sets will go off. Well, they can’t do that because they get good ratings. The ratings are too good. Now where is Hunter? And how come Joe was allowed to give a billion dollars of money to get rid of the prosecutor in Ukraine? How does that happen? I’d ask you that question. How does that happen? Can you imagine if I said that? If I said that it would be a whole different ball game. And how come Hunter gets three and a half million dollars from the Mayor of Moscow’s wife, and gets hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit on an energy board even though he admits he has no knowledge of energy, and millions of dollars up front, and how come they go into China and they leave with billions of dollars to manage? “Have you managed money before?” “No, I haven’t.” “Oh, that’s good. Here’s about 3 billion.”
Donald Trump: (29:29)
No, they don’t talk about that. No, we have a corrupt media. They’ve gone silent. They’ve gone dead. I now realize how good it was if you go back 10 years. I realized how good, even though I didn’t necessarily love him, I realized how good it was like a cleansing motion. But we don’t have that anymore. We don’t have a fair media anymore. It’s suppression and you have to be very careful with that. And they’ve lost all credibility in this country. We will not be intimidated into accepting the hoaxes and the lies that we’ve been forced to believe over the past several weeks. We’ve amassed overwhelming evidence about a fake election. This is the presidential election. Last night was a little bit better because of the fact that we had a lot of eyes watching one specific state, but they cheated like hell anyway.
Donald Trump: (30:27)
You have one of the dumbest governors in the United States. And when I endorsed him, I didn’t know this guy. At the request of David Perdue. He said, “A friend of mine is running for Governor, what’s his name.” And you know the rest. He was in fourth place, fifth place. I don’t know. He was way… He was doing poorly. I endorsed him. He went like a rocket ship and he won. And then I had to beat Stacey Abrams with this guy, Brian Kemp. I had to beat Stacey Abrams and I had to beat Oprah, used to be a friend of mine. I was on her last show. Her last week she picked the five outstanding people. I don’t think she thinks that anymore. Once I ran for president, I didn’t notice there were too many calls coming in from Oprah. Believe it or not, she used to like me, but I was one of the five outstanding people.
Donald Trump: (31:17)
And I had a campaign against Michelle Obama and Barack Hussein Obama against Stacey. And I had Brian Kemp, he weighs 130 pounds. He said he played offensive line in football. I’m trying to figure that. I’m still trying to figure that out. He said that the other night, “I was an offensive lineman.” I’m saying, “Really? That must’ve been a really small team.” But I look at that and I look at what’s happened, and he turned out to be a disaster. This stuff happens.
Donald Trump: (31:50)
Look, I’m not happy with the Supreme Court. They love to rule against me. I picked three people. I fought like hell for them, one in particular I fought. They all said, “Sir, cut him loose. He’s killing us.” The senators, very loyal senators. They’re very loyal people. “Sir, cut him loose. He’s killing us, sir. Cut him loose, sir.” I must’ve gotten half of the senators. I said, “No, I can’t do that. It’s unfair to him. And it’s unfair to the family. He didn’t do anything wrong. They’re made up stories.” They were all made up stories. He didn’t do anything wrong. “Cut him loose, sir.” I said, “No, I won’t do that.” We got him through. And you know what? They couldn’t give a damn. They couldn’t give a damn. Let them rule the right way, but it almost seems that they’re all going out of their way to hurt all of us, and to hurt our country. To hurt our country.
Donald Trump: (32:40)
I read a story in one of the newspapers recently how I control the three Supreme Court justices. I control them. They’re puppets. I read it about Bill Barr, that he’s my personal attorney. That he’ll do anything for me. And I said, “It really is genius,” because what they do is that, and it makes it really impossible for them to ever give you a victory, because all of a sudden Bill Barr changed, if you hadn’t noticed. I like Bill Barr, but he changed, because he didn’t want to be considered my personal attorney. And the Supreme Court, they rule against me so much. You know why? Because the story is I haven’t spoken to any of them, any of them, since virtually they got in. But the story is that they’re my puppet. That they’re puppets. And now that the only way they can get out of that, because they hate that, it’s not good on the social circuit. And the only way they get out is to rule against Trump. So let’s rule against Trump, and they do that. So I want to congratulate them.
Donald Trump: (33:41)
But it shows you the media’s genius. In fact, probably, if I was the media, I’d do it the same way. I hate to say it. But we got to get them straightened out. Today, for the sake of our democracy, for the sake of our Constitution, and for the sake of our children, we lay out the case for the entire world to hear. You want to hear it?
Donald Trump: (34:06)
In every single swing state, local officials, state officials, almost all Democrats made illegal and unconstitutional changes to election procedures without the mandated approvals by the state legislatures, that these changes paved the way for fraud on a scale never seen before. And I think we’d go a long way outside of our country when I say that.
Donald Trump: (34:34)
So just in a nutshell, you can’t make a change on voting for a federal election unless the state legislature approves it. No judge can do it. Nobody can do it, only a legislature. So as an example in Pennsylvania or whatever, you have a Republican legislature, you have a Democrat mayor, and you have a lot of Democrats all over the place. They go to the legislature, the legislature laughs at them. Says, “We’re not going to do that.” They say, “Thank you very much.” And they go and make the changes themselves. They do it anyway. And that’s totally illegal. That’s totally illegal. You can’t do that.
Donald Trump: (35:13)
In Pennsylvania, the Democrat Secretary of State and the Democrat State Supreme Court justices illegally abolished the signature verification requirements just 11 days prior to the election. So think of what they did. No longer is there signature verification. Oh, that’s okay. We want voter ID by the way. But no longer is their signature verification, 11 days before the election! They say, “We don’t want it.” You know why they don’t want it? Because they want to cheat. That’s the only reason. Who would even think of that? We don’t want to verify a signature? There were over 205,000 more ballots counted in Pennsylvania. Now think of this. You had 205,000 more ballots than you had voters. That means you had 200… Where did they come from? You know where they came from? Somebody’s imagination. Whatever they needed. So in Pennsylvania you had 205,000 more votes than you had voters! And it’s the number is actually much greater than that now. That was as of a week ago. And this is a mathematical impossibility, unless you want to say it’s a total fraud. So Pennsylvania was defrauded.
Donald Trump: (36:35)
Over 8000 ballots in Pennsylvania were cast by people whose names and dates of birth match individuals who died in 2020 and prior to the election. Think of that. Dead people! Lots of dead people, thousands. And some dead people actually requested an application. That bothers me even more. Not only are they voting, they want an application to vote. One of them was 29 years ago died. It’s incredible.
Donald Trump: (37:05)
Over 14,000 ballots were cast by out-of-state voters. So these are voters that don’t live in the state. And by the way, these numbers are what they call outcome determinative. Meaning these numbers far surpass… I lost by a very little bit. These numbers are massive. Massive. More than 10,000 votes in Pennsylvania were illegally counted, even though they were received after Election Day. In other words, “They were received after Election Day, let’s count them anyway!” And what they did in many cases is they did fraud. They took the date and they moved it back, so that it no longer is after Election Day. And more than 60,000 ballots in Pennsylvania were reported received back. They got back before they were ever supposedly mailed out. In other words, you got the ballot back before you mailed it!
Donald Trump: (38:03)
… they were supposedly mailed out, in other words, you got the ballot back before you mailed it, which is also logically and logistically impossible. Think of that one. You got the ballot back. Let’s send the ballots. Oh, they’ve already been sent. But we got the ballot back before they were sent. I don’t think that’s too good.
Donald Trump: (38:23)
Twenty-five thousand ballots in Pennsylvania were requested by nursing home residents, all in a single giant batch, not legal. Indicating an enormous illegal ballot harvesting operation. You’re not allowed to do it. It’s against the law. The day before the election, the State of Pennsylvania reported the number of absentee ballots that had been sent out. Yet this number was suddenly and drastically increased by 400,000 people. It was increased. Nobody knows where it came from by 400,000 ballots. One day after the election, it remains totally unexplained. They said, “Well, we can’t figure that.” Now that’s many, many times what it would take to overthrow the state. Just that one element. 400,000 ballots appeared from nowhere, right after the election.
Donald Trump: (39:16)
By the way, Pennsylvania has now seen all of this. They didn’t know because it was so quick. They had a vote, they voted, but now they see all this stuff. It’s all come to light. Doesn’t happen that fast. And they want to re certify their votes. They want to re certify. But the only way that can happen is if Mike Pence agrees to send it back.
Donald Trump: (39:43)
Mike Pence has to agree to send it back. And many people in Congress want it sent back, and take of what you’re doing. Let’s say you don’t do it. Somebody says, “Well, we have to obey the constitution.” And you are, because you’re protecting our country and you’re protecting the constitution, so you are. But think of what happens. Let’s say they’re stiffs and they’re stupid people. And they say, “Well, we really have no choice.” Even though Pennsylvania and other states want to redo their votes, they want to see the numbers. They already have the numbers. Go very quickly and they want to redo their legislature because many of these votes were taken as I said, because it wasn’t approved by their legislature. That in itself is illegal and then you have the scam and that’s all of the things that we’re talking about. But think of this: if you don’t do that, that means you will have a president of the United States for four years, with his wonderful son.
Donald Trump: (40:50)
You will have a president who lost all of these states, or you will have a president to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these things. You will have an illegitimate president, that’s what you’ll have. And we can’t let that happen. These are the facts that you won’t hear from the fake news media. It’s all part of the suppression effort. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it. In fact, when I started talking about that, I guarantee you a lot of the television sets and a lot of those cameras went off and that’s how a lot of cameras back there. But a lot of them went off, but these are the things you don’t hear about. You don’t hear what you just heard. And I’m going to go over a few more states. But you don’t hear it by the people who want to deceive you and demoralize you and control you, big tech, media.
Donald Trump: (41:48)
Just like the suppression polls that said, we’re going to lose Wisconsin by 17 points, well we won Wisconsin. They don’t have it that way because they lose just by a little sliver. But they had me down the day before Washington Post, ABC poll, down 17 points. I called up a real pollster. I said, “What is that?” “Sir, that’s called a suppression poll. I think you’re going to win Wisconsin, sir.” I said, “But why do they make it four or five points?” “Because then people vote. But when you’re down 17, they say, ‘Hey, I’m not going to waste my time. I love the president, but there’s no way.’” Despite that, we won Wisconsin, you’ll see. But that’s called suppression because a lot of people, when they see that, it’s very interesting. This pollster said, “Sir, if you’re down three, four or five people vote. When you go down 17, they say, ‘Let’s save, let’s go and have dinner, and let’s watch the presidential defeat tonight on television darling.’”
Donald Trump: (42:49)
And just like the radical left tries to blacklist you on social media, every time I put out a tweet, even if it’s totally correct, totally correct. I get a flag. I get a flag. And they also don’t let you get out. On Twitter, it’s very hard to come on to my account. It’s very hard to get out a message. They don’t let the message get out nearly like they should, but I’ve had many people say, “I can’t get on your Twitter.” I don’t care about Twitter. Twitter is bad news. They’re all bad news. But you know what? If you want to get out of message. And if you want to go through big tech, social media, they are really, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a Republican, if you have a big voice, I guess they call it shadow ban. Shadow ban. They shadow ban you and it should be illegal. I’ve been telling these Republicans get rid of Section 230.
Donald Trump: (43:47)
And for some reason, Mitch and the group, they don’t want to put it in there. And they don’t realize that that’s going to be the end of the Republican party as we know it, but it’s never going to be the end of us, never. Let them get out. Let the weak ones get out. This is a time for strength. They also want to indoctrinate your children in school by teaching them things that aren’t so. They want to indoctrinate your children. It’s all part of the comprehensive assault on our democracy and the American people to finally standing up and saying, “No.” This crowd is again a testament to it. I did no advertising. I did nothing. You do have some groups that are big supporters. I want to thank that Amy and everybody, we have some incredible supporters, incredible, but we didn’t do anything. This just happened.
Donald Trump: (44:39)
Two months ago, we had a massive crowd come down to Washington. I said, “What are they there for.” “Sir, they’re there for you.” We have nothing to do with it. These groups, they’re forming all over the United States. And we got to remember, in a year from now, you’re going to start working on Congress. And we got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them. We got to get rid of them. She never wants a soldier brought home. I’ve brought a lot of our soldiers home. I don’t know, some like it. They’re in countries that nobody even knows the name. Nobody knows where they are. They’re dying. They’re great, but they’re dying. They’re losing their arms, their legs, their face. I brought them back home, largely back home, Afghanistan, Iraq. Remember I used to say in the old days, “Don’t go into Iraq. But if you go in, keep the oil.” We didn’t keep the oil. So stupid. So stupid, these people. And Iraq has billions and billions of dollars now in the bank. And what did we do? We get nothing. We never get. But we do actually, we kept the oil here. We did good. We got rid of the ISIS caliphate. We got rid of plenty of different things that everybody knows and the rebuilding of our military in three years, people said it couldn’t be done. And it was all made in the USA, all made in the USA. Best equipment in the world. In Wisconsin, corrupt Democrat run cities deployed more than 500 illegal unmanned, unsecured drop boxes, which collected a minimum of 91,000 unlawful votes. It was razor thin the loss. This one thing alone is much more than we would need, but there are many things.
Donald Trump: (46:29)
They have these lockboxes and they pick them up and they disappear for two days. People would say, “Where’s that box?” They disappeared. Nobody even knew where the hell it was. In addition, over 170,000 absentee votes were counted in Wisconsin without a valid absentee ballot application. So they had a vote, but they had no application. And that’s illegal in Wisconsin. Meaning those votes were blatantly done in opposition to state law. And they came 100% from Democrat areas, such as Milwaukee and Madison, 100%. In Madison, 17,000 votes were deposited in so-called human drop boxes. You know what that is, right? Where operatives stuff thousands of unsecured ballots into duffel bags on park benches across the city in complete defiance of cease and desist letters from state legislature. The state legislature said, “Don’t do it.” They’re the only ones that could approve it. They gave tens of thousands of votes.
Donald Trump: (47:37)
They came in in duffel bags. Where the hell did they come from? According to eyewitness testimony, postal service workers in Wisconsin were also instructed to illegally backdate approximately 100,000 ballots. The margin of difference in Wisconsin was less than 20,000 votes. Each one of these things alone wins us the state. Great state, we love the state, we won the state. In Georgia, your secretary of state, I can’t believe this guy’s a Republican. He loves recording telephone conversations. I thought it was a great conversation personally, so did a lot of other … people love that conversation, because it says what’s going on. These people are crooked. They’re 100% in my opinion, one of the most corrupt. Between your governor and your secretary of state. And now you have it again last night, just take a look at what happened, what a mess and the Democrat party operatives entered into an illegal and unconstitutional settlement agreement that drastically weakened signature verification and other election security procedures.
Donald Trump: (48:53)
Stacey Abrams, she took them to lunch and I beat her two years ago with a bad candidate, Brian Kemp. But the Democrats, took the Republicans to lunch because the secretary of state had no clue what the hell was happening, unless he did have a clue. That’s interesting. Maybe he was with the other side, but we’ve been trying to get verifications of signatures in Fulton County. They won’t let us do it. The only reason they won’t is because we’ll find things in the hundreds of thousands. Why wouldn’t they let us verify signatures and Fulton County? Which is known for being very corrupt. They won’t do it. They go to some other county where you would live. I said, “That’s not the problem. The problem is Fulton County.” Home of Stacey Abrams. She did a good job. I congratulate her, but it was done in such a way that we can’t let this stuff happen.
Donald Trump: (49:53)
We won’t have a country of it happens. As a result Georgia’s absentee ballot rejection rate was more than 10 times lower than previous levels, because the criteria was so off, 48 counties in Georgia with thousands and thousands of votes rejected zero ballots. There wasn’t one ballot. In other words, in a year in which more mail-in ballots were sent than ever before, and more people were voting by mail for the first time, the rejection rate was drastically lower than it had ever been before. The only way this can be explained is if tens of thousands of illegitimate votes were added to the tally, that’s the only way you could explain it. By the way, you’re talking about tens of thousands. If Georgia had merely rejected the same number of unlawful ballots, as in other years, there should have been approximately 45,000 ballots rejected, far more than what we needed to win, just over 11,000.
Donald Trump: (50:59)
They should find those votes. They should absolutely find that just over 11,000 votes, that’s all we need. They defrauded us out of a win in Georgia, and we’re not going to forget it. There’s only one reason the Democrats could possibly want to eliminate signature matching, oppose voter ID and stop citizenship confirmation. Are you in citizenship? You’re not allowed to ask that question. Because they want to steal the election. The radical left knows exactly what they’re doing. They’re ruthless and it’s time that somebody did something about it. And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories. In Fulton County, republican poll Watchers were rejected in some cases, physically from the room under the false pretense of a pipe burst.
Donald Trump: (52:03)
Water main burst, everybody leave. Which we now know was a total lie. Then election officials pull boxes, Democrats and suitcases of ballots out from under a table. You all saw it on television, totally fraudulent. And illegally scanned them for nearly two hours totally unsupervised. Tens of thousands of votes, as that coincided with a mysterious vote dump of up to 100,000 votes for Joe Biden, almost none for Trump. Oh, that sounds fair. That was at 1:34 AM. The Georgia secretary of state and pathetic governor of Georgia … although he says, I’m a great president. I sort of maybe have to change. He said the other day, “Yes, I disagree with president, but he’s been a great president.” Oh, good. Thanks. Thank you very much. Because of him and others. Brian Kemp, vote him the hell out of office, please.
Donald Trump: (53:05)
Well, his rates are so low, his approval rating now, I think it just reached a record low. They’ve rejected five separate appeals for an independent and comprehensive audit of signatures in Fulton County. Even without an audit, the number of fraudulent ballots that we’ve identified across the state is staggering. Over 10,300 ballots in Georgia were cast by individuals whose names and dates of birth match Georgia residents who died in 2020 and prior to the election. More than 2,500 ballots were cast by individuals whose names and dates of birth match incarcerated felons in Georgia prison. People who are not allowed to vote. More than 4,500 illegal ballots were cast by individuals who do not appear on the state’s own voter rolls. Over 18,000 illegal ballots were cast by individuals who registered to vote using an address listed as vacant, according to the postal service. At least 88,000 ballots in Georgia were cast by people whose registrations were illegally backdated.
Donald Trump: (54:18)
Each one of these is far more than we need. 66,000 votes in Georgia were cast by individuals under the legal voting age. And at least 15,000 ballots were cast by individuals who moved out of the state prior to November 3rd election. They say they moved right back. They move right back. Oh, they moved out. They moved right back. Okay. They miss Georgia that much. I do. I love Georgia, but it’s a corrupt system. Despite all of this, the margin in Georgia is only 11,779 votes. Each and every one of these issues is enough to give us a victory in Georgia, a big, beautiful victory. Make no mistake, this selection stolen from you, from me and from the country. And not a single swing state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots. This should absolutely occur in every single contestant state before the election is certified.
Donald Trump: (55:21)
In the State of Arizona, over 36,000 ballots were illegally cast by non-citizens. 2000 ballots were returned with no address. More than 22,000 ballots were returned before they were ever supposedly mailed out. They returned, but we haven’t mailed them yet. 11,600 more ballots and votes were counted more than there were actual voters. You see that? So you have more votes again than you have voters.
Donald Trump: (55:51)
150,000 people registered in Maya Copa County after the registration deadline. 103,000 ballots in the county were sent for electronic adjudication with no Republican observers. In Clark County, Nevada, the accuracy settings on signature verification machines were purposely lowered before they were used to count over 130,000 ballots. If you signed your name as Santa Claus, it would go through. There were also more than 42,000 double votes in Nevada. Over 150, 000 people were hurt so badly by what took place. And 1500 ballots were cast by individuals whose names and dates of birth match Nevada residents who died in 2020, prior to November 3rd election. More than 8,000 votes were cast by individuals who had no address and probably didn’t live there. The margin in Nevada is down at a very low number. Any of these things would have taken care of the situation. We would have won-
Donald Trump: (57:03)
Any of these things would have taken care of the situation. We would have won Nevada also. Every one of these we’re going over, we win. In Michigan quickly, the secretary of state, a real great one, flooded the state with unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, sent to every person on the rolls, in direct violation of state law. More than 17,000 Michigan ballots were cast by individuals whose names and dates of birth matched people who were deceased. In Wayne County, that’s a great one. That’s Detroit. 174,000 ballots were counted without being tied to an actual registered voter. Nobody knows where they came from. Also in Wayne County, poll watches observed canvassers re-scanning batches of ballots over and over again, up to three or four or five times. In Detroit, turnout was 139% of registered voters. Think of that. So you had 139% of the people in Detroit voting. This is in Michigan, Detroit, Michigan.
Donald Trump: (58:08)
A career employee of the Detroit, City of Detroit, testified under penalty of perjury that she witnessed city workers coaching voters to vote straight Democrat, while accompanying them to watch who they voted for. When a Republican came in, they wouldn’t talk to him. The same worker was instructed not to ask for any voter ID and not to attempt to validate any signatures if they were Democrats. She also told to illegally, and was told backdate ballots received after the deadline and reports that thousands and thousands of ballots were improperly backdated. That’s Michigan. Four witnesses have testified under penalty of perjury that after officials in Detroit announced the last votes had been counted, tens of thousands of additional ballots arrived without required envelopes. Every single one was for a Democrat. I got no votes.
Donald Trump: (59:10)
At 6:31 AM, in the early morning hours after voting had ended, Michigan suddenly reported 147,000 votes. An astounding 94% went to Joe Biden, who campaigned brilliantly from his basement. Only a couple of percentage points went to Trump. Such gigantic and one-sided vote dumps were only observed in a few swing states and they were observed in the states where it was necessary. You know what’s interesting, President Obama beat Biden in every state other than the swing states where Biden killed him. But the swing States were the ones that mattered. There were always just enough to push Joe Biden barely into the lead. We were ahead by a lot and within the number of hours we were losing by a little.
Donald Trump: (01:00:03)
In addition, there is the highly troubling matter of Dominion voting systems. In one Michigan County alone, 6,000 votes were switched from Trump to Biden and the same systems are used in the majority of states in our country. Senator William Ligon, a great gentleman, chairman of Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, Senator Ligon, highly respected on elections has written a letter describing his concerns with Dominion in Georgia.
Donald Trump: (01:00:40)
He wrote, and I quote, “The Dominion voting machines employed in Fulton County had an astronomical and astounding 93.67% error rate.” It’s only wrong 93% of the time. “In the scanning of ballots requiring a review panel to adjudicate or determine the voter’s interest, in over 106,000 ballots out of a total of 113,000.” Think of it, you go in and you vote and then they tell people who you’re supposed to be voting for. They make up whatever they want. Nobody’s ever even heard. They adjudicate your vote. They say, “Well, we don’t think Trump wants to vote for Trump. We think he wants to vote for Biden. Put it down for Biden.” The national average for such an error rate is far less than 1% and yet you’re at 93%. ” The source of this astronomical error rate must be identified to determine if these machines were set up or destroyed to allow for a third party to disregard the actual ballot cast by the registered voter.”
Donald Trump: (01:01:44)
The letter continues, “There is clear evidence that tens of thousands of votes were switched from President Trump to former Vice President Biden in several counties in Georgia. For example, in Bibb County, President Trump was reported to have 29, 391 votes at 9:11 PM Eastern time. While simultaneously Vice President Joe Biden was reported to have 17,213. Minutes later, just minutes, at the next update, these vote numbers switched with President Trump going way down to 17,000 and Biden going way up to 29,391.” And that was very quick, a 12,000 vote switch, all in Mr. Biden’s favor.
Donald Trump: (01:02:31)
So, I mean, I could go on and on about this fraud that took place in every state and all of these legislatures want this back. I don’t want to do it to you because I love you and it’s freezing out here, but I could just go on forever. I can tell you this…
Speaker 1: (01:02:52)
We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you. We love you.
Donald Trump: (01:03:03)
So when you hear, when you hear, “While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing,” this is the most fraudulent thing anybody’s… This is a criminal enterprise. This is a criminal enterprise and the press will say, and I’m sure they won’t put any of that on there because that’s no good, do you ever see, “While there is no evidence to back President Trump’s assertion,” I could go on for another hour reading this stuff to you and telling you about it. There’s never been anything like it. Think about it, Detroit had more votes than it had voters. Pennsylvania had 205,000 more votes than it had more, but you don’t have to go any… Between that, I think that’s almost better than dead people, if you think, right? More votes than they had voters, and many other States are also.
Donald Trump: (01:03:56)
It’s a disgrace that the United States of America, tens of millions of people are allowed to go vote without so much as even showing identification. In no state is there any question or effort made to verify the identity, citizenship, residency, or eligibility of the votes cast. The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight, they want to play so, “Sir, yes, the United States, the constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the States.” Well, I say, “Yes, it does because the constitution says you have to protect our country and you have to protect our constitution and you can’t vote on fraud,” and fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to. It is also widely understood that the voter rolls are crammed full of non-citizens, felons and people who have moved out of state and individuals who are otherwise ineligible to vote. Yet Democrats oppose every effort to clean up their voter rolls. They don’t want to clean them up, they are loaded. And how many people here know other people that when the hundreds of thousands and then millions of ballots got sent out, got three, four, five, six, and I heard one who got seven ballots. And then they say, “You didn’t quite make it, sir.” We won. We won in a landslide. This was a landslide.
Donald Trump: (01:05:43)
They said, “It’s not American to challenge the election.” This is the most corrupt election in the history, maybe of the world. You know, you could go third world countries, but I don’t think they had hundreds of thousands of votes and they don’t have voters for them. I mean, no matter where you go, nobody would think this. In fact, it’s so egregious, it’s so bad, that a lot of people don’t even believe it. It’s so crazy that people don’t even believe it. It can’t be true. So they don’t believe it. This is not just a matter of domestic politics, this is a matter of national security. So today, in addition to challenging the certification of the election, I’m calling on Congress and the state legislatures to quickly pass sweeping election reforms, and you better do it before we have no country left. Today is not the end. It’s just the beginning.
Donald Trump: (01:06:37)
With your help over the last four years, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country and nobody even challenges that. I say that over and over, and I never get challenged by the fake news, and they challenge almost everything we say. But our fight against the big donors, big media, big tech and others is just getting started. This is the greatest in history. There’s never been a movement like that. You look back there all the way to the Washington Monument. It’s hard to believe. We must stop the steal and then we must ensure that such outrageous election fraud never happens again, can never be allowed to happen again, but we’re going forward. We’ll take care of going forward. We got to take care of going back. Don’t let them talk, “Okay, well we promise,” I’ve had a lot of people, “Sir, you’re at 96% for four years.” I said, “I’m not interested right now. I’m interested in right there.”
Donald Trump: (01:07:33)
With your help we will finally pass powerful requirements for voter ID. You need an ID to cash your check. You need an ID to go to a bank, to buy alcohol, to drive a car. Every person should need to show an ID in order to cast your most important thing, a vote. We will also require proof of American citizenship in order to vote in American elections. We just had a good victory in court on that one, actually. We will ban ballot harvesting and prohibit the use of unsecured drop boxes to commit rampant fraud. These drop boxes are fraudulent. There for, they get… They disappear and then all of a sudden they show up. It’s fraudulent. We will stop the practice of universal, unsolicited mail-in balloting. We will clean up the voter rolls that ensure that every single person who cast a vote is a citizen of our country, a resident of the state in which they vote and their vote is cast in a lawful and honest manner. We will restore the vital civic tradition of in-person voting on election day so that voters can be fully informed when they make their choice. We will finally hold big tech accountable and if these people had courage and guts, they would get rid of Section 230, something that no other company, no other person in America, in the world, has.
Donald Trump: (01:09:10)
All of these tech monopolies are going to abuse their power and interfere in our elections and it has to be stopped and the Republicans have to get a lot tougher and so should the Democrats. They should be regulated, investigated and brought to justice under the fullest extent of the law. They’re totally breaking the law. Together we will drain the Washington swamp and we will clean up the corruption in our nation’s capital. We have done a big job on it, but you think it’s easy, it’s a dirty business. It’s a dirty business. You have a lot of bad people out there. Despite everything we’ve been through, looking out all over this country and seeing fantastic crowds, although this I think is our all time record. I think you have 250, 000 people. 250,000.
Donald Trump: (01:10:05)
Looking out at all the amazing patriots here today, I have never been more confident in our nation’s future. Well, I have to say we have to be a little bit careful. That’s a nice statement, but we have to be a little careful with that statement. If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal when the votes are illegal, when the way they got there is illegal, when the States that vote are given false and fraudulent information. We are the greatest country on earth and we are headed, and were headed, in the right direction. You know, the wall is built, we’re doing record numbers at the wall. Now they want to take down the wall. Let’s let everyone flow in. Let’s let everybody flow in.
Donald Trump: (01:10:52)
We did a great job in the wall. Remember the wall? They said it could never be done. One of the largest infrastructure projects we’ve ever had in this country and it’s had a tremendous impact and we got rid of catch and release, we got rid of all of the stuff that we had to live with. But now the caravans, they think Biden’s getting in, the caravans are forming again. They want to come in again and rip off our country. Can’t let it happen. As this enormous crowd shows, we have truth and justice on our side. We have a deep and enduring love for America in our hearts. We love our country. We have overwhelming pride in this great country, and we have it deep in our souls. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Donald Trump: (01:11:44)
Our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9:00 in the evening and say, “I want to thank you very much,” and they go off to some other life, but I said, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.” And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.
Donald Trump: (01:12:21)
Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans for our movement, for our children and for our beloved country and I say this, despite all that’s happened, the best is yet to come.
Donald Trump: (01:12:43)
So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.
Donald Trump: (01:13:19)
So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Posted on August 24, 2020
Houston, TX–Veteran Chaunté Hall has partnered with employers, training programs, and veteran groups to form the Victory Trades Alliance (VTA) to increase veteran hiring in the MEP trades (Mechanical [Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning “HVAC”], Electrical, and Plumbing). VTA will bring together veterans, transitioning military members, training programs, and employers for their mutual benefit.
Since 2012, the MEP trades have experienced significant demand for skilled tradesmen, and this demand is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This high demand has caused considerable difficulties for the construction and MEP service industries as companies have struggled to find suitably trained workers. This shortage of workers has persisted despite average salaries in the trades which are above those of college-educated workers of similar ages.
Chaunté Hall said in a statement:
“The Victory Trades Alliance is working to bring transitioning military personnel and veterans together with employers in the MEP trades, through MEP training programs and schools. VTA is there to make employers and potential MEP employees aware of the training opportunities that exist, to everyone’s benefit.
“When we’re looking at the post-COVID world, what are the economic opportunities going to look like? How are we going to ensure, in an increasingly competitive global environment, that we have that backbone of highly skilled individuals, that highly-skilled workforce, that America’s economic strength and stability absolutely depend on?
“As more employers realize the benefits of having us work from home, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing are more important than ever. I personally can’t go outside and look at my AC unit and fix it. So, these essential personnel are going to continue to be highly valued post-COVID.
“It’s an opportunity for those that are interested. The whole purpose of the Victory Trades Alliance is to debunk the myths that are associated with the trades. There are over 200 skilled trades within the construction, transportation, manufacturing, and mechanical sectors that need well-trained workers.
“Employers know that veterans make some of their best employees, but many haven’t realized that it’s in their best interest to help veterans get the training they need to become successful MEP tradesmen. At the same time, veterans and transitioning military often have difficulty in re-entering civilian life, and having a path to an in-demand, good-paying job is one of the best ways to make this transition easier.
“What we’re doing with the Victory Trades Alliance is a win-win for everyone involved. Employers have access to a pool of dedicated, disciplined, skilled tradesmen. Veterans and transitioning military personnel have a clear pathway to good jobs that will allow them to support themselves and their families. Training programs can enroll, train, and place graduates in good positions across the country.
“I’m simply honored that I get to be a voice and an advocate for the trades. And, as a veteran, I’m excited to be able to give something back to my fellow vets, while helping strengthen our country’s economy.”
Chaunté Hall is a 15-year USAF veteran and Co-Founder and CEO of the Centurion Military Alliance, an organization that facilitates the transition from active duty service to civilian life by working with the DoD, veterans, families, spouses, nonprofits and industry leaders across the U.S. Her service experience as well as her experience in assisting transitioning servicemen and women make her an ideal candidate to head the VTA.
For more information about the Victory Trades Alliance, or to arrange an appearance or interview with Chaunté Hall, go to https://www.victorytradesalliance.com
Updated on August 24, 2020
On November 28, 1945, doctors in Stamford Hospital intensely worked to save new born Richard Flaherty’s life. His mother didn’t know at the time of his birth that her blood type was Rh-negative which may lead to serious health problems—and death—in a second born fetus. Richard’s future therefore was sealed before he took his first breath. The complications caused a hormonal imbalance which stunted his growth. Medically speaking, Richard would be considered a proportionate dwarf. He was expected to only grow to the height of 4’ 7” but Richard proved them wrong as he grew to 4’ 9.” He later later proved many others wrong by achieving the impossible and becoming a Green Beret Captain.”
At 4’ 9” and 97 pounds, Richard J. Flaherty was the smallest and most unconventional man to ever serve in the U.S. military and needed a congressional waiver just to enlist in the Army. Bullied and ridiculed at boot camp, Flaherty nonetheless achieved the kind of stature that’s only dreamed of: He became a Green Beret Captain, earning the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his actions in Vietnam.
His decommission due to the RIF in 1971 was unexpected and devastating, and Flaherty sank into the murky world of mercenary work. But he gained a reputation for intelligence, and the CIA recruited him to supply the Contras in Central America. So began a wild adventure involving guns, cash, cocaine and HALO jumps into the Everglades. All of that ends when he’s arrested for possession. Abandoned by the CIA, Flaherty discloses a smuggling ring stealing tons of explosives including weapons of mass destruction from inside a U.S. Army base and signs on to a new master, the ATF. The real mission however is for Flaherty to recover a recently declassified weapon of mass destruction that’s about to be sold on the black market (SADM).
After Flaherty’s death, Yuzuk kept digging, researching and confirming. He located witnesses and found documentation in a storage unit that revealed that even while homeless, Flaherty was still conducting clandestine missions around the world — Cambodia, Iraq, Jordan, Venezuela — but who was he working for? The CIA? Private contractors? Or were his missions something much darker?
“My three-year journey of discovery dragged me down the rabbit hole of CIA conspiracies and the hunt for stolen classified weapons — stretching from the bloody jungles of Vietnam to the dangerous streets of Iraq and Venezuela, all in search of the peripatetic Green Beret Captain Richard J. Flaherty.
For his actions in Vietnam Flaherty earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star W/Valor Bronze Star (3OLC), Purple Heart (1OLC), Purple Heart, Air Medal, Gallantry Cross W/Silver Star, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, 3 Overseas Bars, Sharpshooter Badge W/Rifle Bar, Air Medal, Parachutist Badge, Vietnam Service Medal W/Bronze Service, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
#1 New York Times best seller author Doug Stanton– “You are holding in your hands an amazing journey into a world of puzzles, intrigue, and mystery. Giant Killers are among us– author David Yuzuk walked with one and returned with this tale.”
The high rating is in recognition of the author’s near-perfect objective treatment of the life of one of our unrecognized heroes, a story that leaves it up to the reader to paint Richard Flaherty with wings or not. The biography leaves the reader to ponder the harsh irony that rewards real military heroes with homelessness and anonymity. The book is well written and should be a welcome as a unique addition to the library of Vietnam era enthusiasts.
– Lisa Hambry
Updated on March 28, 2020
This week, we filed our lawsuit against Olmos Park Police Chief Rene Valenciano, his henchmen, and the City of Olmos Park. Here is a copy of the complaint. For questions or comments, please contact my attorneys. To see the video of events described herein,
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
IN THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SAN ANTONIO DIVISION
CHRISTOPHER GRISHAM; JAMES
RENE VALENCIANO; J. LOPEZ;
HECTOR RUIZ; A. VIERA; CITY OF
Solomon M. Radner
Attorney for Plaintiff
26700 Lahser Road,
Southfield, MI 48033 (866) 939-2656
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
Plaintiffs, CHRISTOPHER GRISHAM and JAMES EVERARD, by and through their attorneys, EXCOLO LAW, PLLC, complaining of Defendants, respectfully allege as follows:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. This is a civil rights action in which Plaintiffs seek relief for the violation of their rights secured by 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the First, Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
2. Jurisdiction of this Court is found upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331 since this action arises under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
3. Venue is proper in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas because the majority of events complained of occurred in this district.
4. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and other applicable laws, the Court may award nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as equitable relief against all of the Defendants in their individual capacity, for the violations of Plaintiffs Constitutional rights and harm caused by their actions/inactions.
5. Plaintiff, CHRISTOPHER GRISHAM, (“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Grisham”), is a law-abiding citizen of the State of Texas.
6. Plaintiff, JAMES EVERARD, (“Plaintiff” or “Mr. Everard”), is a law-abiding citizen of the State of Texas.
7. Upon information and belief, all defendants are Texas residents and are being sued in their individual, supervisory, and/or Official capacities as permitted by law.
8. Defendant, RENE VALENCIANO, (herein after Defendant Valenciano or Defendant police chief Valenciano) was a Texas resident at all times relevant to this complaint and acted as a direct supervisor to City of Olmos Police Department employees as the Chief of police. He is being sued in his individual, supervisory, and official capacity.
9. Defendant, OFFICER J. LOPEZ, was a Texas resident at all times relevant to this complaint and acted as an Olmos Police Officer. He is being sued in his individual capacity.
10. Defendant, HECTOR RUIZ, was a Texas resident at all times relevant to this complaint and acted as an Olmos Police Officer. He is being sued in his individual capacity.
11. Defendant. A. VIERA was a Texas resident at all times relevant to this complaint and acted as an Olmos Police Officer. He is being sued in his individual capacity.
12. Defendant, CITY OF OLMOS PARK, is a municipality in the State of Texas.
13. On March 26, 2018, Plaintiff Grisham called Olmos Park Police and asked whether he would be approached by police if he or others were open carrying their firearms. He was assured by Chief of Police Defendant Valenciano that Plaintiffs and others who were open carrying pursuant to Texas state law would not be approached by police officers.
14. On March 27, 2018, Plaintiffs were walking on public sidewalk while open carrying. Plaintiff Grisham had a handgun strapped to his waist, and Plaintiff Everard had an unloaded rifle slung across his chest. Plaintiffs were both holding video cameras and recording the public view.
15. Upon information and belief, a witness called 911 and explained that someone was carrying a gun. The witness further explained that the men carrying the guns did not seem dangerous; rather, they looked like they just wanted the attention. The 911 dispatcher said something to the effect of “those are the second amendment people.”
16. Prior to arriving on the scene, the Olmos Park officers were made aware the call was regarding “the second amendment people.” Officers arrived, and Plaintiffs began recording the interaction with the officers.
17. Defendant Officer Lopez began yelling at Plaintiff Everard stating, “lay on the ground and disarm yourself or we will fucking disarm you.” At this point, Plaintiff Grisham moved to the corner where Plaintiff Everard was standing, and he continued to film the interaction with the officers from that angle. Several other citizens were recording this interaction as well. Several cars drove past the scene. At one point, a lady stopped to chat with Plaintiff Grisham, and a bicyclist casually strolled past the scene. An image of the scene can be found below.
18. Plaintiff Everard continued to ask the officers what crime he had committed. When asked to lay on the ground, he said he would comply if he was told why he was being detained.
19. Then, Defendant Valenciano and Defendant Officer Viera approach Plaintiffs. At this point, Defendant Officer Viera begins reaching for Grisham. Here, Grisham placed his hands in the air and took several steps back. Defendant Valenciano, without prior warning, shot Plaintiff Grisham with his taser while Defendant Viera shoved Plaintiff in his chest. An image of the scene can be found below.
20. The tasing caused Plaintiff Grisham to fall backward onto the pavement and smack his head on the pavement. Soon thereafter, it becomes apparent Plaintiff is bleeding and seriously injured. Plaintiff Grisham suffered a concussion and a serious abrasion to the back of his head. An image of the scene can be found below.
21. While Plaintiff Grisham is being assaulted by Defendant Valenciano and Defendant Viera, Plaintiff Everard is placed under arrest by Defendant Officer Ruiz. Once Defendant Ruiz had Plaintiff Everard cuffed, he took Plaintiff Everard’s camera and threw it into the street. Then, Defendant Officer Ruiz pushed Plaintiff Everard onto his knees. Once Plaintiff Everard was on his knees, Defendant Valenciano and Defendant Ruiz shoved Plaintiff Everard face first into the pavement for no lawful reason. Images from the scene can be found below.
22. Defendant Officers Lopez and Viera attempted to lift Plaintiff Grisham to his feet. Clearly disoriented and bleeding from the head, Plaintiff Grisham was unable to gain solid footing. In response, Defendant Officer Lopez and Defendant Officer Viera dragged Plaintiff by his arms and legs to the police car. Soon after EMS arrived and Defendant Valenciano waived them away, denying medical treatment for Plaintiff’s serious injuries. An image of the scene can be found below.
23. Valenciano had witnessed Plaintiff Grisham struggle to gain his footing, and saw that Plaintiff had to be dragged to the police vehicle. Nevertheless, he waived away EMS, who could have provided Plaintiff Grisham with the needed medical Care. Defendant Valenciano then directed Defendant Officers to take a longer route back to the police station in order to further delay Plaintiff Grisham’s necessary medical treatment.
24. Plaintiff Grisham suffered a serious abrasion to his head, a concussion, aggravated
PTSD symptoms, and chronic migraines due to his injuries.
25. Due to being thrown to the ground and face shoved into pavement, Plaintiff Everard suffered a fractured wrist and a serious shoulder injury. Thereafter, Plaintiff Everard underwent shoulder surgery to repair the damage caused by the unlawful arrest.
26. When Defendant Valenciano removed Plaintiff Everard from the squad car, he used excessive force causing injury, ligament damage to Plaintiff’s wrist and his hand. Valenciana used force on Everard once again when he asked about Plaintiff Grisham’s injuries.
27. After Defendants arrested Plaintiffs, Defendant Valenciano called over the radio that he has “squashed the rebels.”
28. Once Defendant Officers had Plaintiff’s detained at the police station, they proceeded to destroy Plaintiffs’ property. Specifically, the SD cards from the videocamera and GoPro and cellphones of both Plaintiffs were deleted.
29. Moreover, officers made false statements that Everard’s gun was loaded, that Mr. Everard’s gun was equipped with armor piercing ammunition, a felony in Texas, and that Mr. Everard refused to display his identification. None of these statements are true. Mr. Everard had done nothing unlawful.
30. While at the station, Plaintiff Everard was held at taser point and forced into leg shackles while being called derogatory names such as “retard” by Defendant Officers.
31. Plaintiffs were both held in a small room for 8 hours in handcuffs and shackles.
One officer tried to remove the shackles once they arrived at the station, per standard practice, but Defendant Chief Valenciano required the shackles remain on Plaintiffs. At no point were Plaintiffs combative or a flight risk to Defendants. The shackles were not used for legitimate safety reasons, instead Chief did so for maximum pain and discomfort as well as humiliation. The shackles were tight and caused pain to Plaintiffs.
32. Plaintiffs were refused food, phone calls, and answers to their questions. Several officers intentionally ate food in front of Plaintiffs.
33. Plaintiff Grisham requested and was denied a phone call to his attorney.
34. When they were finally transferred to San Antonio, they were held as taser point and in full physical restraints, to sign their property paperwork.
35. Upon information and belief, Defendant Officers were acting or otherwise responding to the scene pursuant ordinance 24-84. This order is unconstitutional and is superseded by state law.
36. There is a lengthy history of Olmos Officers harassing Second Amendment demonstrators. In fact, several other videos online depict similar instances of police misconduct being perpetrated by some of the same officers who were present and involved in the March 27, 2018 incident.
37. Plaintiff Grisham was charged with Interference with Duties of a Public Servant,
Obstruction of a Passageway/Roadway, Resisting Arrest, and Assault.
38. Plaintiff Everard was charged with Interference with Duties of a Public Servant,
Obstruction of a Passageway/Roadway, and Disorderly Conduct.
39. Two days later, on March 29, 2018, Olmos City Council repealed ordinance 24-84, explaining that it violated state law.
40. Later, all charges against Plaintiffs were dropped.
41. Upon information and belief, the Olmos Park police department, its Officers, and Defendant Police Chief Valenciano have communicated with other surrounding police departments in an effort to stop Second Amendment activists from exercising their first Amendment rights.
42. Upon information and belief, Defendant Chief Valenciano and Defendant officers have constructed and carried out plans to get Second Amendment activists off of the public sidewalk.
43. Olmos Park Officers are trained to forcefully pressure second amendment
protestors to stop protesting even when protestors are compliant with state and federal law.
44. On multiple occasions, Defendants have cited Second Amendment activists with bogus charges. Such charges are typically dropped prior to trial as they are meritless.
COUNT I VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Fourth Amendment – Excessive Force)
45. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in
all prior allegations.
46. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of State law.
47. Defendants use of force was objectively unreasonable.
48. Defendants never gave Plaintiffs a lawful order. Defendants did not have reasonable suspicion to detain Plaintiffs. Defendants did not have probable cause to arrest plaintiffs.
49. At no point did Plaintiff Everard resist officers. Nevertheless, officers unreasonably cuffed and shoved Plaintiff Everard. Plaintiff Everard never exhibited any signs of violence, nor did officers suspect Plaintiff Everard of being a violent criminal.
50. Defendants acted unreasonable when they tased and shoved Plaintiff Grisham for backing away from an officer who was unlawfully attempting to detain or otherwise seize Plaintiff Grisham. Plaintiff Grisham exhibited no signs of violence, and he was not suspected of being a violent criminal. Defendants used unreasonable force when holding Plaintiff’s at taser point once
in full body restraints.
51. Defendants were not in a high-pressure situation that would require split second decisions.
52. Defendants used so much force on Plaintiffs so as to cause Plaintiff Grisham to sustain a concussion and a serious abrasion to his head.
53. Defendants used so much force on Plaintiff Everard that they broke his wrist and caused him a significant shoulder injury for which he may be required to receive surgery for.
54. At all times relevant, Defendants were required to obey the laws of the United States.
55. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from excessive force of this nature.
56. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently used excessive force on Plaintiffs.
57. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment.
COUNT II VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Fourth Amendment – Unlawful Arrest)
58. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
59. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of state law.
60. Defendants acted unreasonably and unlawfully when they arrest Plaintiffs absent probable cause.
61. A reasonably officer in the Defendants’ situation would have understood that probable cause did not exist for an arrest.
62. At all times relevant, Defendants were required to obey the laws of the United
63. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from arrest absent probable cause.
64. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently furthered malicious prosecution against Plaintiffs.
65. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their mental, emotional, and physical injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT III VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (First Amendment – Unlawfully Preventing Protected Conduct)
66. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
67. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of state law.
68. Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to be present on public sidewalks.
69. Plaintiffs have a statutory right to be present on public sidewalks in Texas while open carrying a firearm.
70. Plaintiffs were engaged in constitutionally protected conduct when they were recording while open carrying on a public sidewalk.
71. Defendants tased, shoved, and arrested Plaintiffs while they were exercising their First Amendment right to record officers on a public sidewalk.
72. Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, and/or unreasonably prevented Plaintiffs from recording police officers conducting their duties.
73. Plaintiffs had a clearly established constitutional right to record the police.
74. The Defendants’ acts deprived Plaintiffs of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to citizens of the United States by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
75. As a proximate cause of the illegal and unconstitutional acts of the Defendants,
Plaintiffs were harmed and suffered damages as a result.
COUNT IV VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (First Amendment – Retaliation for Protected Conduct)
76. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
77. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of state law.
78. Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to be present on public sidewalks.
79. Plaintiffs have a statutory right to be present on public sidewalks in Texas while open carrying a firearm.
80. Plaintiffs were engaged in constitutionally protected conduct when they were recording while open carrying on a public sidewalk.
81. Defendants have frequently targeted Plaintiffs and others engaged in similar displays as Plaintiffs.
82. In retaliation for engaging in protected conduct, Defendants arrested Plaintiffs for carrying firearms and recording the public view on a public sidewalk.
83. Officers had no knowledge or information that would lead a reasonable officer in their situation to believe that there was probable cause to arrest Plaintiffs.
84. At all times relevant, Defendants were required to obey the laws of the United States.
85. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and grossly negligently retaliated against Plaintiffs for engaging in protected conduct.
86. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT V VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Fourth Amendment – Unlawful Search and Seizure)
87. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
88. At all times relevant here in, Defendants were acting under color of state law.
89. Defendants did not have reasonable suspicion to stop Plaintiffs.
90. Defendants never gave Plaintiffs a lawful order.
91. Defendants did not have probable cause to arrest and search Plaintiffs items.
92. At all times relevant Defendants were required to obey the laws of the United States.
93. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from unlawful search and seizures of this nature.
94. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently unlawfully searched and seized Plaintiffs.
95. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT VI VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Failure to Intervene)
96. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in
all prior allegations.
97. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of State law.
98. Defendants observed excessive force and other constitutional violations being committed by their counterparts.
99. Defendants had the opportunity and the means to prevent harm from occurring.
100. Defendants stood by and let the harm unfold.
101. The events did not unfold over a matter of moments, giving defendants ample opportunity and time to intervene.
102. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from state actors’ failure to intervene.
103. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently allowed their fellow officers to use excessive force against Plaintiffs and otherwise violate Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights.
104. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT VII VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(Fourteenth Amendment – Deprivation of Property)
105. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in
all prior allegations.
106. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of State law.
107. Defendants deprived Plaintiffs of their property without due process of law when they threw and destroyed Defendant Everard’s camera, when they wiped the memory cards of Plaintiffs’ go pro, and cellphones.
108. Defendants seized and destroyed Plaintiffs’ property without a court order, or without a hearing where Plaintiffs’ could be meaningfully heard.
109. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right not to have their property seized and destroyed absent a warrant or court order.
110. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently deprived Plaintiffs’ of their property without due process of law.
111. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for the loss of their property as well as their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT VIII VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Fourteenth Amendment – Failure to Provide Medical Care)
112. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in
all prior allegations.
113. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of State law.
114. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires state officials to provide medical care to individuals injured in their custody.
115. As discussed herein, both Plaintiffs were severely injured by the force used by Defendants.
116. Instead of promptly providing medical attention, Defendant Chief Valenciano waved away the EMS vehicle and first responders who had arrived at the scene to take Plaintiffs to the hospital. They were told to keep it moving instead of providing treatment. After denying proper medical attention, Defendant Valenciano later instructs his officers to take a longer than necessary route, for no reason other than to prolong Plaintiffs suffering.
117. At the police station, Defendant Valenciano ordered WMS to stay back and not provide care to Plaintiff Grisham who was nearly passing out. He could not stand up on his own nor did he know the date.
118. Defendant Valenciano intentionally delayed, denied, and interfered with medical treatment when Plaintiffs were obviously severely injured.
119. Defendants’ acts and omissions demonstrate deliberate indifference to Plaintiffs serous medical needs in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
120. As a proximate result of the illegal and unconstitutional acts of Defendants, Plaintiff was harmed and suffered damages for his physical, mental, emotional injury and pain, fright and shock, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
121. As a proximate result of the illegal and unconstitutional acts of Defendants, Plaintiff was harmed and suffered damages for his physical, mental, emotional injury and pain, fright and shock, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
COUNT IX VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Malicious Prosecution)
122. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference each and every allegation set forth in all prior paragraphs.
123. At all times relevant herein, Defendants were acting under color of state law.
124. Defendants played an integral part in the prosecution of Plaintiffs when the cited
Plaintiffs with tickets that were wholly unsupported by any legal basis or probable cause.
125. Defendants prosecuted Plaintiffs with malice when they cited Plaintiffs despite any legal basis to do so in order to stop Plaintiffs from exercising their First Amendment and statutorily protected rights.
126. Defendants prosecuted Plaintiffs with malice when they made false statements regarding the conduct of Plaintiffs and the ammunition possessed by Plaintiffs.
127. Defendants demonstrated malice in prosecuting Plaintiffs through various other dishonest actions previously stated.
128. Defendants did not have probable cause for citing Plaintiffs because Defendants never had reasonable suspicion to stop Plaintiffs, Defendants never gave Plaintiffs a lawful order, and Plaintiffs never engaged in any conduct which a reasonable officer would believe gave him or her probable cause to cite Plaintiffs.
129. Plaintiffs’ proceedings terminated in their favor.
130. At all times relevant, Defendants were required to obey the laws of the United States.
131. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from malicious prosecution.
132. At all times relevant, Defendants intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, recklessly, unreasonably, and/or grossly negligently furthered malicious prosecution against Plaintiffs.
133. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages for their physical, mental and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
MUNICIPAL LIABILITY 42 U.S.C. § 1983
134. Defendants Officers actions, and the actions of the Olmos Park Police Department in previous open carry instances demonstrate a policy practice or custom to deprive Plaintiffs and other open carry activists of their first amendment rights. On multiple occasions, individual Defendants and the Olmos Park police department have detained, arrested, or otherwise charged Second Amendment activists for open carrying per Texas State Law.
135. Time and time again, Defendants have cited second amendment activists with meritless charges, only to have these charges dropped prior to trial.
136. Despite the fact that these charges are frequently dropped, Defendants continue to cite Second Amendment activists in hopes to curtail the activists from exercising their First Amendment Rights.
137. Defendants’ actions and inactions constitute an impermissible policy practice or
custom that deprive Plaintiffs of their right to be free from retaliation for protected conduct.
138. At all times relevant, Plaintiffs had a clearly established right to be free from unlawful policies, practices, and customs.
139. Ordinance 24-84 was unlawful as it conflicted with Texas law permitting the open carry of fire arms. Thus, it was an unlawful policy or custom which was the moving force behind Plaintiffs’ injuries.
140. The City Council is a final policy maker for Defendant City.
141. Even if Ordinance 24-84 was not unlawful, it was an officially adopted policy that had plainly obviously consequences resulting in a constitutional violation.
142. Further, the City had notice of such recurring constitutional violations stemming from Ordinance 24-84.
143. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant City’s unlawful actions, Plaintiffs suffered damage for their physical, mental, and emotional injury, and for pain, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs, Christopher Grisham and James Everard, demands judgment and prays for the following relief, jointly and severally, against all Defendants.
a. Full and fair compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by a jury;
b. Punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a Jury;
c. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of this action; and
d. Any such other relief as appears just and proper.
Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury of all issues so triable, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
Updated on March 13, 2020
If you’re a conservative – and especially if you’re a conservative student – you know that higher education is packed with liberalism and leftist ideologies. It’s everywhere. It’s pervasive. And it’s doing a disservice to society. It’s not just conservatives that have problems when they leave the service and make a commitment to achieve or complete a college degree.
Just prior to retiring from the Army, I decided to go back to school. It wasn’t entirely of my own desire. As I was transitioning, I conducted many very promising interviews with companies interested in my skills as a counterintelligence special agent. Because my main function was the protection of our country’s most sensitive and classified information, I interviewed with several companies to safeguard their trade secrets, manage their security operations, or work in project management. The interviews went well and would everything was pointing to a quick and easy transition into civilian life, except…
Keep on reading!
Posted on March 11, 2020
I finally shut down my Facebook page. I got fed up with all the nonsense and snowflakes there that couldn’t handle the opinions of other people. There’s this mentality on Facebook that everyone has to engage in groupthink and anyone that doesn’t get in line needs to be shut down – by any means necessary. I’m tired of being censored and having my opinions used against me. So, I’m restarting this blog on an active basis.
I have several goals for moving forward with A Soldier’s Perspective. When I first started this page, I was an active duty Soldier and talked about my experiences in the military. It began as an uncensored, honest view of life and what goes through the minds of Soldiers – at least, this Soldier. I was able to share my thoughts on many topics that were relative to the military life. Now that I’m a retired veteran, I still have those perspectives and they have crafted who I am.
After retiring from the Army, I went back to college and finished up my undergrad degree at Texas A&M. After graduation, I took a year off and started hosting a radio show until I decided to go to law school after seeing firsthand how difficult it is to get access to justice unless you’re rich, powerful, and/or connected. I saw how the system really works to create criminals in a system that is geared towards punishing the poor and weak. The system isn’t geared towards justice, but towards conviction rates. Prosecutors are not rewarded for ensuring that justice is served, but on how many cases they can win – whether or not those wins are justified. The name of the game is: Get a Plea Deal!! A plea deal = conviction. Conviction = re-election and promotion!
In addition to sharing my law school journey, I’m going to focus this blog on my activism for the second amendment and other civil rights issues. I plan to focus my legal career on defending people who are wronged by government agents, mainly bad cops, but also the education system and other government agencies. I’ve already purchased my law firm’s website which will not be live until I pass the bar exam and get cleared to practice law in Texas and Oklahoma: www.ISueBadCops.com!! I will be focusing my practice on criminal defense and civil rights litigation for ANYONE who has had their rights violated regardless of their political affiliation. I will also be updating my readers here on the status of my litigation against Olmos Park Police Department.
As before, I’m also going to be introducing some other writers. In the past, a few dozen writers populated these pages. They have all moved on but are always welcome to come back and maintain accounts here. However, I’m bringing on a variety of veterans to talk about what they do and see in their lives and how their veteran status has shaped what they do in civilian life. Stay tuned as I introduce them in the coming weeks and months.
I’m back, but what I don’t be continuing is my work on those Nigerian Military Dating Scams, which still continues. I simply don’t have the time to keep up with all of that, but I am willing to provide legal services to the victims of those scams and hopefully help to restore those people’s money to some degree. However, that is more of a political issue at this point and I encourage everyone to contact their representatives to address this issue and withhold foreign aid from countries where these scammers operate.
You can also follow me on YouTube where I will be making videos from time to time about various topics of interest.
Updated on December 3, 2019
Some words from a second amendment activist and law STUDENT (key word is “student”; I am NOT an attorney). Forgive the length, but hopefully appreciate the education because this case has never been overturned and currently the common law of the land.
Richmond Democrats will begin the process of dismantling the second amendment and Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution by passing what I call “ban everything” legislation. The legislation will make the number one hunting and self-defense rifle (and many others) “illegal.”
However, the Supreme Court has already ruled on these weapons and determined they were specifically protected. In United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C.S. § 1132. In this case, the defendants, Jack Miller and Frank Layton, were arrested for possession of a double-barreled shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches in length (a short-barreled shotgun). The defendants claimed that the law violated the 2nd amendment and the district court agreed, throwing out the case. However, the feds appealed to the Supreme Court.
The court made several statements that are important to today’s fight. First of all, the court reiterated what and who is meant by the first clause of the 2nd amendment – “a well-regulated militia.” The court affirmed that the militia is comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “In a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character; and in this distinction seems to consist the essential difference between those two different species of military force.” Miller, 307 U.S. at 179 (quoting Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. 1).
The Virginia Constitution is even more clear than the 2nd Amendment. Article I, Section 13, defines the militia as “composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.” It doesn’t say “some people” or “military people.” It says the “body” of the people. You and me. If the second amendment only applied to the military, as those on the left suggest, then it would have been redundant. Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 of the US Consitution already gives Congress the authority to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia.” If Congress already had the authority under Article I to arm the militia, the second amendment would have been unnecessary to give the militia the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution already provided that.
However, the second amendment isn’t just about the militia. There are two clauses: the right to form a well-regulated militia AND the right of the people to keep and bear arms. So, now we get to the question of which arms are the people entitled to keep and bear. The Miller court answered that question.
The General Assembly of Virginia, October, 1785, (12 Hening’s Statutes) declared, “The defense and safety of the commonwealth depend upon having its citizens properly armed and taught the knowledge of military duty.” The CITIZENS, not the military! However, the court also noted that it is our responsibility to be proficient in the use of arms in defense of ourselves and our state.
Ultimately, the feds won their appeal and the case was sent back to trial. But, why, CJ? Here is where we get the answer as to exactly what is protected by the Second Amendment (thank you for being patient). The defendants, as I noted at the beginning, were charged with possession of short-barreled shotguns (sawed-off shotguns) in violation of federal law. The court determined that their shotguns were not protected because they were not “any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” Miller, 307 U.S. at 178.
In 1939, the short-barreled shotgun was not a part of the military compliment of arms. The court reasoned that because the military didn’t employ such short-barreled weapons in its common inventory, that they were not necessary for the common defense. The specific right that the court acknowledged were those arms that were “ordinary military equipment.”
As we all know, the main military rifles used in the United States military was the Enfield, Springfield, M14, and M1 Garand Rifles. The 1911 pistol was also “ordinary military equipment.” In 1966, the US military began issuing the M16 (which was based off the Armalite AR-15). Since 1966, the M16 and its M4 successor have been the “ordinary military equipment” of the US military. Since 1966, the AR-15 has been specifically protected under the Second Amendment as “necessary for the common defense.”
I would argue that the Miller court decision also protects short-bareled rifles and shotguns today. During WWI, the US military was the only military that issued a combat shotgun, a modified Winchester Model 1897, known officially as the Model 1917 Trench Shotgun. However, the Model 1917 wasn’t a short-barreled shotgun. Today, the US Army employs the Mossberg Model 590A1 shotgun, which has a 14″ barrel. Every infantry squad and other units have these assigned to every team. I would argue that today the Miller precedent would actually protect these firearms in a way that they weren’t protected in 1939 because they are now in “”ordinary military equipment.”
Let me finally add that when Democrats lose on the gun control agenda, they will no doubt shift to trying to regulate ammunition. The Miller court also recognized that ammunition is just as vital under the 2A as the firearms themselves. “The possession of arms also implied the possession of ammunition, and the authorities paid quite as much attention to the latter as to the former.” Miller, 307 U.S. at 180 (quoting “The American Colonies In The 17th Century,” Osgood, Vol. 1, ch. XIII).
I hope you learned something! If not, at least I got a short break from studying.
Note: I am not giving legal advice. I am not an attorney. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney.
Updated on October 9, 2019
Note: this post deals predominantly with open carry. Concealed carry is legal without a license anywhere in a vehicle in Texas.
I’ve seen a lot of debate among people about whether Texas law allows a person to carry a holstered firearm on the seat next to him or in a cupholder or some other place that is not directly on the person. Before I go any further, I want to make very clear that I am NOT giving legal advice. I am not an attorney.
Texas Penal Code 46.02(a)(1) states that “A person commits an offense if the person…intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun…” The code then goes on to state that the exception to this is having a license to carry. Section 46.02(a-1)(1) discusses handguns in a vehicle: “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which…the handgun is in plain view, unless the person is licensed to carry a handgun.”
The point of contention is the part where the law says the gun has to be “carried” in a way that is “on or about the person.” People unfamiliar with legal language and common law can’t grasp the concept that, under the law, you don’t have to physically bear the weight of something to “carry” it. This should be obvious in the way the law is worded. It doesn’t just say carried “on the person.” It adds the clause “about the person.” If “on” and “about” meant the same thing, the legislature wouldn’t have included both words. But it did, and people are confused for some reason still.
Remember that during Reconstruction the Democrats were really worried about armed black people. The 1876 Texas Constitution was worded to include ways with which the legislature could potentially restrict firearms – “with a view to prevent crime.” Just prior to our Constitution being ratified, the Democrats passed the first law to ban open and concealed carry to keep the “newly freed slaves and Mexicans” from arming themselves. The law was titled “An Act to Regulate the Keeping and Bearing of Deadly Weapons, Law of April 12, 1871, ch. 34, §1, 1871 Tex. Gen. Laws 25.” The law specifically banned “any person [from] carrying on or about his person, saddle, or in his saddle bags, any pistol, dirk, dagger, slung-shot, sword-cane, spear, brass-knuckles, bowie-knife, or any other kind of knife manufactured or sold for the purposes of offense or defense.” This law remained relatively unchanged until 1995 when the concealed carry law was passed.
In 1909, a man was convicted for having a pistol under the seat of his buggy. He wasn’t carrying it, but it was about his person. See Leonard v. State, 56 Tex. Crim. 84, 119 S.W. 98 (1909). In 1914, a man was also convicted and fined for having a pistol under his seat because the State considered it “carried” on his buggy. See Mayfield v. State, 75 Tex. Crim. 103, 170 S.W. 308 (1914).
There were also a few cases that were contrary to these cases. An 1897 conviction was overturned when the Court found that having a pistol in the front end of a wagon in which defendant was riding was not ‘about’ the person. See Hardy v. State, 37 Tex. Crim. 511, 40 S.W. 299 (1897). Another case held that having a pistol in a wagon about half-way between the seat and the rear end is not carrying ‘about the person.’ See Thompson v. State, 48 Tex. Crim. 146, 86 S.W. 1033 (1905). So, obviously this issue needed to be resolved.
In 1916, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the Supreme Court in Texas for criminal cases) heard a Houston case that addressed the very language of what constituted “on or about the person.” Wagner v. State, 80 Tex. Crim. 66, 188 S.W. 1001 (1916). Wagner was charged with carrying a pistol about his person and at his jury trial was found guilty and fined $100. Now, I won’t get into the defendant’s story about how it got there because it’s irrelevant to this discussion. Wagner appealed the sufficiency of the evidence.
His main argument was that he was never seen with the gun and never picked it up, so he wasn’t “carrying” it. Witnesses testified that they had not seen him with the gun either. The Wagner court finally settled the issue of what constituted “about the person”:
The Legislature must have meant something when it used the words ‘or about the person,’ and on principle using the word ‘about’…be held to mean, within the pistol statute, near by, close at hand, convenient of access, and within such distance of the party so having it as that such party could without materially changing his position get his hand on it…
When applied to persons occupying vehicles, the phrase “on or about the person” has been expanded to include the area “near by, close at hand, convenient of access, and within such distance of the party so that, without materially changing his position, the party could get his hand on it.” See Courtney v. State, 424 S.W.2d 440, 441 (Tex. Crim. App. 1968). In 1993, this definition was again used as cannon. Contreras v. State, 853 S.W.2d 694 (Tex. App. 1993).
So there you have it. The law allows you to openly carry a holstered handgun that is carried on or about the person in your vehicle. The courts have already held that this applies to the holstered handgun being on the seat or anywhere in one’s vehicle provided he doesn’t “materially chang[e] his position get his hand on it.” In other words, a court would likely find that an openly holstered handgun in the third row of a minivan probably isn’t “about the person.” But, having a holstered handgun in the seat next to you, between the seats, in the cupholder, on the dashboard, etc., fit perfectly within Texas common law for “on or about the person.”
Posted on September 14, 2019
This right here is why I oppose “red flag” laws.
First of all, NEVER answer questions from a cop or any government official on your doorstep unless you called them and then only answer questions specifically related to the reason you called them. NEVER talk about whether you have guns or how many are in your home. NEVER allow police into your home without a warrant. NEVER. I got this from a friend’s recent Facebook post:
From before red flag laws. Can you imagine the abuse with red flag laws? Why do I oppose “Red Flag” laws?
About 15 years ago, my former spouse was in a very bad spot. We had been divorced for 14 years and she was in the process of getting her home foreclosed on. With little and no job, she facing homelessness. Our divorce was much like our marriage, bitter. She had custody of my oldest son and knew that I would likely sue her for custody when I found out that she was homeless. She did two things. She arranged a move into a family homeless shelter, and she dropped a bomb on me.
My Ex-wife filed a petition for a restraining order against me, not for anything that I did to her, but for what she alleged that I did to my son 2 years earlier. She said that I hit him during an argument. For the record, I have never abused any of my children. She knew that the Department of Children and Families wouldn’t investigate me as too much time had passed and that they wouldn’t find any evidence to support her claim, anyways. She found out that by filing for a restraining order, her location would become secret, and that I wouldn’t be able to serve her, much less get her in front of a Judge if there was an active restraining order against me. It was a perfect plan to keep custody of our son, to continue to collect child support, and to stick it to me bad. She set out to Red Flag me.
A Sheriff’s Deputy knocked on my door. When I answered, I honestly thought that I was being served with papers for an increase in child support from her as I didn’t even know her situation, much less her allegations against me. This was a Monday afternoon, and my son had just spent the weekend with me, going home just 20 hours before. I had no clue. The Deputy presented the papers to me, and I was floored. She asked me if I had any firearms in the house. I was an FFL holder at the time, and told her so. I was asked to step outside. She made a call. Within 5 minutes, I had 3 additional police cars in front of my house. A total of 5 officers were in my home. I was ordered to open my safes and hand in my Log Book. They confiscated over 100 firearms, and more than 25k rounds of ammunition. After they loaded up everything that could find, I was given a court date to appear in front of a Judge in 14 days. My Concealed Weapon License was suspended, and the ATF was notified that my firearms and Log book were confiscated. I contacted an attorney, and told to wait until the court date as there was nothing that could be done until the hearing in two weeks.
I appeared in court for the hearing. There was zero evidence against me. My son wasn’t even allowed to testify for or against me. My fate relied totally on credibility. It turned out that I had more than her when I showed my spotless criminal record, my military record, my FBI background check results, and my numerous bonds from my employer. The Judge had no choice but to dismiss her petition, and relieve me of the restraining order. I was in for a rude wakening when I found out that it didn’t end there.
After the hearing, I took the dismissal notice, and the inventory sheet to the Sheriff’s office so that I could retrieve my firearms and ammo. They told me that they couldn’t “Just give them to me” and that I would have to sue them for my guns back. So, back to the attorney’s office I went. I filed a petition with the court against the Sheriff’s Office. A blazing fast 8 weeks later, I was able to get in front of a Judge again. He reviewed the case and granted my petition. The Sheriff’s Office had 30 days to return my property. On day 29, I got the call that I was good to go, and could pick up my stuff. Five of my guns and about 5k rounds of ammo disappeared while in custody. All my firearms had been fired for ballistics testing. None were cleaned. All were beat up, scratched, dinged, and marked with paint markers. I was told that I could file a claim with the County. I was told by my attorney that the Sheriff’s Office never loses and it would cost $5-10k in fees to try. This would have been in addition to the $2500 I had already spent.
In short, my Ex-Wife abused the system to her advantage, and used the court system to deny me my rights. My family and I were left defenseless for 3 months. The entire interaction with the police could have turned very bad in a hurry. Had this same thing happened in today’s political environment, I would have likely been served by a SWAT team. Yeah, I oppose “Red Flag” laws. It’s personal to me. I have been Red Flagged before. It is a process without any due process where all it takes is an unfounded allegation to destroy another person’s life.
Updated on August 31, 2019
I’m writing this after viewing this video by James Freeman.
This kind of stuff is why I’m in law school. In Texas, there is a statute still the books that makes it a “crime” to use “abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace” (Penal Code Section 42.01(a)(1)).
In Cohen v California (403 U.S. 15), the Supreme Court addressed a nearly identical California statute where a man was prosecuted for wearing a shirt that said “Fuck the Draft” and “Stop War.” The court held in that 1971 case that it
“cannot indulge the facile assumption that one can forbid particular words without also running a substantial risk of suppressing ideas in the process. Indeed, governments might soon seize upon the censorship of particular words as a convenient guise for banning the expression of unpopular views. We have been able, as noted above, to discern little social benefit that might result from running the risk of opening the door to such grave results.
“It is, in sum, our judgment that, absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display here involved of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense.”
And yet, in 1993, when the state of Texas restructured it’s penal code, it failed to remove or clarify this statute that had already been essentially nullified by common law.
While 42.01(a)(1) hasn’t been deemed unconstitutional as a whole, it has been determined via several cases to only apply to the narrowly constricted “fighting words” exception. In S v. Hazlewood, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50983 the district court heard a case involving a dispute between a husband and wife in which the wife was telling cops to “fuck you” and calling them “motherfucker.” The cops arrested her for disorderly conduct. The state argued that because “bank employees and passersby were disrupted from their daily routines because of Mrs. Hazlewood’s behavior,” was was in violation of 42.01(a)(1). The court found differently under the “fighting words” requirement. Several court findings have limited the scope of this section to “fighting words.” See Duran v. Furr’s Supermarkets, Inc., 921 S.W.2d 778; Jimmerson v. State, 561 S.W.2d 5; and Estes, 660 S.W.2d at 875. Hazelwood specifically found that the use of “fuck” does not invite the public (nor officers, who are held to a higher standard) to violence as required by the statute (though not specifically stated in the plain language).The language uttered must specifically do that.
Yet, the officer himself said this isn’t the case. He specifically said that, “when you’re displaying these signs and people are calling because that is offensive to them, that is a crime.” Actually no it’s not. The cases above make that perfectly clear. Offensive speech is specifically protected as shown in Cohen above unless it incites the public to violence. Obviously, this wasn’t the case here because merely called allegedly because they were offended.
In this video, the initial cop even makes a statement that “I’ve already heard you say a cussword [sic] once, so…” as if using profanity in the presence of a cop were also a crime. The police fall under a much higher standard than the public for what constitutes disorderly conduct and “fighting words.” They are expected to take a higher level of verbal abuse than the general public by the nature of their jobs. “The First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.” City of Houston, Tex. v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451, 461. The 5th Circuit endorsed Hill by highlighting that “[A] properly trained police officer may reasonably be expected to ‘exercise a higher degree of restraint’ than the average citizen, and thus be less likely to respond belligerently to ‘fighting words.'” Enlow v. Tishomingo County, 962 F.2d 501, 509 (5th Cir. 1992). See also Lewis v. City of New Orleans, 415 U.S. 130, 94 S. Ct. 970, 39 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1974), which quoted Hill affirming yet another case.
The problem we have in Texas is (1) a lack of training and (2) a lack of attention by the Texas legislature to incorporate Court ruling into a revised and unimplied statute. In the Estes case mentioned above, the court found that “[t]he generally accepted definition of breach of the peace, and the one used by the court in this case, includes the admonition to the jury that cactual or threatened violence is an essential element of a breach of the peace.'” Quoting Woods v. State, 152 Tex. Crim. 338, 213 S.W.2d 685 (1948). The “fighting words” exception to the 1st Amendment was adopted in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S. Ct. 766, 86 L. Ed. 1031 (1942). Then, in Woods v. State, 152 Tex. Crim. 338, 213 S.W.2d 685, 687 (1948) the court held that “actual or threatened violence is an essential element of a breach of the peace.” Using these cases, the Estes court didn’t completely invalidate 42.01(a)(1), but instead simply clarified that only “fighting words” and “actual or threatened violence” constituted a violation of the statute, not mere profanity or the existence of an offended person in public. The Hazelwood court applied these standards to speech against cops and added the element that cops are held to an even higher standard. So, the fact that Otto uttered a profanity in the presence of the cop is irrelevant.
Cops aren’t generally very intelligent about the law. They don’t concern themselves with precedents and what courts are doing until their higher powers drill it into their heads or the legislature changes the plain language of the law. They are not paid to understand the law; they’re paid to read it. They subscribe to the philosophy not of doing the right thing, but “you may beat the rap, but you won’t beat the ride.” They cannot stomach being offended, the law be damned. They will use their power to get you one way or the other.
The solution is simple here. The state needs to fix the disorderly conduct statute in many ways and also the failure to ID statute. The other solution is that CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas), those utterly despicable excuses for humanity, needs to train law enforcement departments about the common law related to 42.01(a)(1).