Author Topic: Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video or husbands' arrest  (Read 459 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video or husbands' arrest
« on: September 25, 2013, 01:50:20 PM »
Cops Accused of Forcing Woman to Delete Video of Husband’s Arrest Sparked by ‘Unloaded’ Shotgun and Trespasser on His Hunting Property – but We Have the Footage

Sep. 25, 2013 10:29am Jason Howerton


A man in Crawford County, Mich., was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon on Sunday after he called authorities about a trespassing suspect on his property, his wife tells TheBlaze. There are also serious allegations being made about officers demanding that video footage of the incident — taken by the man’s wife — be deleted.

Thomas Donald, a military veteran, was reportedly out hunting with his 11-year-old son and armed with an “unloaded” single-shot .410-gauge shotgun (his son chose to use a crossbow instead) when he confronted a man riding a dirt bike on his 10 acres of land. The man and his son then reportedly escorted the trespasser to the front of his property and told his wife, Heather, to call the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to file a “recreational trespass.”

What happened when the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department arrived shocked them both, though Sheriff Kirk Wakefield tells TheBlaze quite a different story.

In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, Heather Donald recounted what happened from the couple’s perspective. Her husband, Thomas, declined to speak with us on the advice of his attorney and due to the charges against him. His attorney also declined an interview request.

The incident

When officers with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, Heather says her husband held up the “open shotgun” with his left hand while holding the shell in his right hand to indicate the weapon was not loaded and assure officers he was not a threat.

The officers apparently didn’t see it that way. And while Heather later would start recording the incident, it should be noted that there is no footage available to show the moment deputies confronted Donald.

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One of the deputies, identified by Heather as Shawn Schnoor, “fumbled” with his pistol and trained it on Donald, ordering him to get on the ground. Heather told TheBlaze it took her husband longer than the officer wanted because he has a badly injured back but he moved as fast as he could. Donald was handcuffed before police made their way to talk to the trespassing suspect.

Police Accused of Forcing Woman to Delete Video of Her Veteran Husbands Arrest Over Unloaded Shotgun
(Credit: Heather Donald, YouTube)

Police Accused of Forcing Woman to Delete Video of Her Veteran Husbands Arrest Over Unloaded Shotgun
(Credit: Heather Donald, YouTube)

Realizing how quickly the situation had gotten out of control, Heather said she began filming the scene on her cellphone camera.

In the video provided to TheBlaze, Heather can be heard asking why her husband is being arrested.

“Because we pulled up and he had a handgun — or excuse me, a rifle,” one of the deputies says, before being corrected by Donald. “A shotgun.”

Crawford County Sheriff Wakefield told TheBlaze that detaining the man was the correct thing to do because he had a gun and they didn’t know “who was who” at that point.

The deputy makes no mention of an alleged assault in the short video while explaining why they had detained him. Under Michigan law, openly carrying firearms is legal, except at certain locations — and being on your own private property isn’t one of them.

When asked if they would take the handcuffs off, he replies: “Not right now. He’s under — for our protection.” Heather said the deputy seemed to abruptly stop short of declaring her husband was “under arrest.”

Moments before the short 36-second video ends, another officer tells Heather she “can” stop filming. When she refuses, he informs her they need to take the cellphone as “evidence” and they move to take it from her.

Police Accused of Forcing Woman to Delete Video of Her Veteran Husbands Arrest Over Unloaded Shotgun
(Credit: Heather Donald, YouTube)

“No you won’t!” Donald can be heard shouting, while still in handcuffs on the grass.

“Yep. Ma’am you’re going to be under–” one of the officers says before the video cuts off. Heather told TheBlaze the last word of that sentence was “arrest.”



Heather says she turned to walk away from the officers, but put the cellphone on the railing of her front porch after she was threatened with obstruction of justice charges. The deputies then allegedly confiscated the phone temporarily, but returned it to her before they left.

“They never told me why they needed my phone for evidence,” she added.

Recovering the footage

Heather told TheBlaze the officers later ordered her to delete the video footage she captured of the arrest. She said she complied.

However, the couple was able to recover the deleted video using recovery software, she says. The command to delete allegation has not been proven true, and Sheriff Wakefield could not confirm or deny the report because the deputies in question were not in the office and available for questioning.

If the officer took the phone for evidence, it was likely to see if any footage of the alleged assault was recorded, he claimed. The sheriff also said he doesn’t believe his deputies ordered Heather to delete it.

Heather provided the following screenshots that allegedly show the recovery software used to retrieve the video in question:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/25/cops-accused-of-forcing-woman-to-delete-video-of-husbands-arrest-sparked-by-unloaded-shotgun-and-trespasser-on-his-hunting-property-but-we-have-the-footage/
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 01:51:09 PM by rangerrebew »
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Offline happyg

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Re: Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video or husbands' arrest
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 02:00:54 PM »
Jerk cops are coming out of the woodwork. My husband was a deputy, and his son just retired as a detective, so many of my friends are cops. They don't like the attitudes of many in law enforcement. Of course my husband passed away, but even before he had Alzheimer's, he complained about the jerks he had to work with.

We have a good sheriff, but when he fires a deputy, the union gets them back. He then gives them a desk job, or a corrections, or a third shift job. He told one cop that he would never work on the streets again, hoping he would quit.

Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video or husbands' arrest
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 02:27:57 PM »
I can remember the same thing happening on my Dad's property back in the early 70s, except it was Hippies, who's wild party next door was raided by police, and he captured several who jumped over our fence. Held them at bay with nothing but a broom handle pushed into their backs, thinking it was a gun....
My Dad and the deputy that responded had a good laugh as he handcuffed the trespassers.

The vast majority of police and deputies are good and decent people that are underpaid and overworked.  But as in any profession (even our military) bad apples do slip in.    Now days with a video camera in just about everyone’s pocket, the bad ones don’t go long without being exposed.
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video or husbands' arrest
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 04:01:06 PM »


 bad apples do slip in.   

We got a whole truck load in congress. :silly:
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. Abraham Lincoln


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