An open carry activist who was arrested in March during an open carry demonstration said Olmos Park police deleted his footage before returning his camera.
But Jim Everad said he was able to recover the footage with software he downloaded from the internet.
Now he plans to turn the SD card over to forensic investigators to determine when the footage was deleted, which depending on the time, could implicate the police department if it was deleted when the camera was in its possession.
Everad says he and fellow open carry activist, C.J. Grisham, who was also arrested during the March 27 demonstration are planning on filing a federal lawsuit against the police department.
“The police reports are full of lies,” Everad said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime. “One of them said the chief of police came up and told me to take the rifle off and put it on the ground, which he never did.
“And I told him no, if you want my rifle, you have to come and take it, which is a blatant lie
“All the officers’ reports are completely made up and that is a crime I itself.”
The violent arrest was captured on other video as well, including the part where Grisham was tasered, which can be found in its entirety here.
The demonstrators were protesting against a city ordinance banning the open carry of long guns without a license by anybody except police officers, which went against state law that does permit it.
The activists were charged with resisting, impeding a walkway, and interfering with the duties of law enforcement. Police also seized the pair’s cell phones along with their firearms, open carry permits and, of course, their cameras. They were released 21 hours later after posting bond. Charges against them were all dropped last week.
Everad says that Grisham, who is the Open Texas Carry president, phoned the Police Chief Rene Valinciano the day before their arrival to ensure that police would not be caught off guard and there would be no violence. The recording can be heard in the above video.
But when the two arrived with several other activists who were also recording the incident, they were met with assault rifles drawn and were ordered to lay face down on the ground.
Everad says he never expected the incident to escalate the way it did and was even more surprised with the chief slammed him on his head after he had already been handcuffed, causing a concussion. Everad also suffered broken bones in his wrist.
The two men were taken, along with activists Joanna Castro who was arrested on a warrant, to the Olmos Park police department where officers kept them for eight hours bound in handcuffs and shackles. They were eventually taken to the Bexar County jail where they were posted bond.
Everad says officers denied medical attention to both he and Grisham, who also suffered from a contusion on head.
The Olmos Park City Council repealed it’s gun ordinance, which had been in effect since 1985, two days after the protest.
Carlos Miller contributed to this report.