State Rep. Jeremy Durham summoned police to his Franklin home after Nashville Scene reporter Cari Wade Gervin tied to interview him there Tuesday evening about his campaign finance disclosures — and he apparently suggested to the officers that she should face criminal trespassing charges.
Excerpt from the Scene’s story:
Gervin had driven to Durham’s house to attempt to ask the former House majority whip three questions about his most recent filing. Earlier on Tuesday, Durham had not returned two phone calls and had replied to her first-ever text to him, “Please don’t text me anymore.” When Gervin rang the doorbell of Durham’s residence shortly after 8 p.m. and subsequently introduced herself, the representative screamed at her to leave his property and tried to grab her cell phone out of her hand. Soon after, because Gervin had momentarily partially stepped onto his threshold during the altercation, Durham called the police to report that she was “criminally trespassing.”
Three officers from the Franklin Police Department responded to the scene and interviewed Durham and his wife inside their home and Gervin on the public street where she was by then standing. An audio recording of the incident provided by Gervin shows a tense scene in the street.
“According to the two witnesses here, you tried to cross a threshold without being invited. That’s criminal trespass,” said Sgt. Todd Stamper.
Less than a minute later, Officer Shawn Finn asked, “Here’s the thing, alright? Do — really — do you want to go to jail for harassment?”
At that point, Gervin questioned if the officers were threatening to arrest her.
“Here’s the situation. I’ve got two witnesses that said you tried to cross the threshold of a house uninvited,” Stamper said. “By state law, that is criminal trespass. Doesn’t matter if you’re a journalist, doesn’t matter if he’s a public official. Does not matter.”
After about 15 minutes, the police made the determination to make an official investigation into the event. As of the time of publication, it was unclear whether charges would be issued.