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Batton was locked up for the better part of February before finally being released on probation. For three weeks, the only glimpse she had of the outside world was when her girlfriend came to "visit" at the Jackson County Detention Center, through a tinny video screen affixed to the cold metal of a phone booth.
"The only reason it's a shame with her is because I think she's been living here," Griddine says. "That's why it's a big deal. Now she has to find a new home." Court records, in fact, list Batton's address as "homeless."
"She will still not be able to come down here when she gets out, is what she doesn't get," Griddine continues. "If we let one unruly person do it, the next person is going to test us. And so on."
Batton blamed every moment that she spent locked up on Griddine. Outside, her mother, Denise Batton, did the same, meeting with members of the Board of Police Commissioners. She called a New York City organization called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. She met with at least three lawyers. She filed complaints with the KCPD's Office of Community Complaints, two of which are still being investigated.
The noise that Denise Batton made brought out neighbors with similar woes. She found an especially staunch ally in Peggy Bazart, whose cheerful apartment is decorated with flower patterns and butterflies. Bazart has lived in Parker Square for 35 years.
Bazart says she never had a problem with anyone. But when Griddine came along, she says, "All hell broke loose."
There was the time that Griddine threatened to tow her van, she says, forcing her to pay $3,000 in fines. She neglects to mention that she'd been riding with stolen temporary tags for more than eight years, and she hadn't paid property taxes since 2002.
Griddine also wrote her a ticket for disturbing the peace, but it hardly seems unwarranted. On the ticket for the offense, Griddine wrote that he'd heard Bazart yelling at a 4-year-old boy: "STAY OFF MY FUCKING GRASS."
Bazart's daughter and granddaughter are on the trespass list. The 11-year-old granddaughter repeatedly keyed a resident's new Cadillac, incident reports show. Her mother got in a fistfight with a tenant.
But the way Bazart tells it — and she'll tell it to anyone who listens, including the OCC — Griddine has it out for her.
"He picks on women and young men he thinks is weak," Bazart says, her voice a rasp. "Let me tell you about Officer Griddine. You'll have to excuse me, but he's nothing but a whoremonger. That's all he is."
The anti-Griddine movement at Charlie Parker Square eventually turned political, if only by accident. In January, Michael Fletcher, who unsuccessfully ran for City Council in the 3rd District, met Denise Batton and Bazart through one of his campaign workers, Keith Brown. Brown was upset because his teenage son had been banned from Parker Square.
The stories of a power-mad cop rang true to Fletcher, a lawyer who has sued the KCPD. He convened a meeting of anti-Griddine forces in his East Side campaign office. Brown brought along an attorney, Basil North, and North happened to recognize Griddine's name from an old lawsuit — a fat stack of court-stamped documents perfect for fanning some flames.