Video of Walmart Altercation Admitted as Evidence

Kendall County prosecutors turned over personnel documents and surveillance video of the Feb. 5 altercation between a Montgomery man and an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff's deputy.

A security video showing an altercation between a Montgomery man and an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff’s deputy on Super Bowl Sunday will be entered into evidence, and may be shown in court, a Kendall County judge decided on Wednesday.

Jason Thurmond, 38, was charged with misdemeanor battery after an incident at the on Feb. 5 that culminated in that off-duty deputy drawing his gun. Thurmond has said he returned from the aisles to find the officer arguing with his nine-months-pregnant wife, who was in tears.

Thurmond admits to shoving the officer to keep him away from his wife, he said, and that’s when the gun was pulled and pointed at Thurmond’s chest, he said. The 911 tapes from the incident reveal that the officer only announced himself as a sheriff’s deputy after drawing his weapon.

There were no shots fired, and Oswego police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and charged Thurmond with battery.

In a brief court appearance on Wednesday, county prosecutors handed over large stacks of personnel files to Thurmond’s attorney, Richard Irvin, along with seven CDs and DVDs containing footage of the incident. Irvin said this footage actually shows the altercation taking place, and may be publicly released.

Kendall County Judge Alan Cargerman agreed not to admit a second stack of records, which Irvin said would likely be personal information about the officer, and not important to his case. None of the files were made public.

Thurmond has identified the officer as Dep. Craig French, a veteran with the department who serves as the public information officer. The sheriff’s department has not confirmed that French is the officer in question, but his name appears on the Oswego Police Department report from the incident.

He remains on active duty while the sheriff’s department conducts an internal investigation. Thurmond has filed a complaint against French with the department, and has said he plans to go forward with a lawsuit.

Cargerman set Thurmond’s next court date for June 13 at 1 p.m.

Local Resident April 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
OswegoRN: neither side has confirmed whether it was Deputy French. It only appears on incident report. I do understand that he serves as the public information officer and that he is also a veteran. However, the Judicial System allows a defendants name to be published publicly but in in this case, the police officers (French) misconduct is being protected in different ways but not limited to, public disclosure.
Andre Salles April 26, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Oswego police are not hiding the name of the officer. It's on their police report. The officer is a Kendall County Sheriff's deputy.
Julie April 26, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Here's a link to an earlier Patch article that tells more about the argument...doesn't make the officer sound like a very level-headed guy... http://oswego.patch.com/articles/sheriff-s-deputy-still-on-active-duty-after-walmart-incident
It all comes out in the wash April 26, 2012 at 05:44 PM
French was out of line pulling a weapon and not stating he was an officer or showing his police ID. After all he was in street cloths in the express line. That should have been his 1st reaction but no he pulls a gun in a public place and causes all kinds of termoil then...........................after the gun is pointed into the chest of the man who came to his wifes defence then he say's it...Truth be told he should have pulled out his police ID vs his gun. Offices are trained and this guy must have forgot all of his training. Suppose another officer in his street cloths was in another line and saw the gun being pulled...you think for one minute anyone in that store thought this lose cannon was an officer.....or some thug pulling a gun very close to the register. He was never in any danger to pull a weapon....they are trained to defuse issues not create them, they are trained when to pull a weapon and when not to. Unacceptable hot head who doesn't know how to address a person and in this case a 9 month pregnant woman. What a man....
It all comes out in the wash April 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
It all comes out in the wash April 26, 2012 at 06:12 PM
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/kendall-county-sheriffs-deputy-craig-french-pregnant-woman-jason-thurmond-gun-oswego-walmart-20120208 Mr. French, says 'What, are you guys on welfare?'" Now why would he have stated that, if he was acting in a respectful professional way? This comment was another example of him inciting a problem vs cotroling it.
Local Resident April 26, 2012 at 06:20 PM
@Andre: Then why refuse to confirm Deputy French as the officer involved in the incident? Why do the general public not share the same right? Its a double standard and unfair to everyone who enter the judicial system.
mecando April 26, 2012 at 06:33 PM
So I take it that you were there?
mecando April 26, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Were you there? All is hearsay until all sides are heard in a court of law and not on the street............
Local Resident April 26, 2012 at 06:51 PM
In any case, this supposed investigation has lasted for almost three months but the officer remains in active duty. If they are unable to conclude the investigation perhaps the presiding judge could lend a hand in identifying the rules of engagement.
Local Resident April 26, 2012 at 06:55 PM
@Mark Chandler- One does not have to be there or be involved to have an opinion. Please respect ours.
It all comes out in the wash April 26, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Mr Chandler, pulling a weapon has already been confirmed by many people that were there in line on that day. Many called 911...that information was out there when this first occured. There were several recorded calls into the police department on that day. Listen to them. That is fact...It will all come out however as I stated pulling a GUN vs his ID was not the right thing to do in a public place wihout stating he was an officer. Pulling a weapon in street cloth does not tell anyone your an officer an ID does. Perhaps if he controled his temper things would not have got out of hand. This already has been confirmed by several calls made that day seconds after he pulled the gun to the police department.
Missing34 April 26, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I didn't have to be there Mr. Chandler, I've read statements from the eyewitnesses. Was the potential jury there? or are they going to be going off the same facts that the eyewitnesses state and the video shows. Plain and simple, Mr. French thought this woman was alone and decided to be the big man and didn't expect a large man (her husband) to come to her defense. Quit sticking up your friend or colleague.
Todd Milliron April 26, 2012 at 08:15 PM
At the last Kendall County Board Meeting during the Elected Official's Report section of the KCB 4-17-2012 agenda, Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall stood up in Open Meeting and praised Kendall County Sheriff's Dept. Media Officer, Craig French for his recent good work as the Kendall County Sheriff’s Dept.'s Media Officer. As we all remember, as it is still very fresh in the public's collective memory regarding Mr. French's 2012 Super Bowl Sunday behavior in the express register aisle of the Oswego Wal-Mart. This glowing public praise of Mr. French by Sheriff Richard Randall may give the public its first clue on what has actually happened with the promised KCSD internal investigation of this scary 911 incident involving an Off-Duty and High Ranking KCSD Deputy who showed no restraint. Mr. French continues to be the Kendall County Sheriff's Department’s Media Officer.
Logansdad April 26, 2012 at 08:42 PM
If Sheriff Randall is praising Officer French, then what does that say about the Sheriff and his department. An ofd-duty officer should not be pulling his gun in a public store in a situation like this. Officers are trained on how to defuse a situation, not escalate one. I hope people remember this next time Sheriff Randall is up for re-election.
Jim Reynolds April 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I am looking forward to seeing the video.... I cannot see any reason why a firearm was brandished this officer needs to be held accountable as does the Sherrifs office..... The Sheriff needs to quit covering for a employee that overstepped his authority and violated policy.
Charles Babco April 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Maybe Walmart should have lanes just for pregnant women. This would have prevented the entire incident from occurring. jk I wonder if Mr. French was buying his Super Bowl beer. He seems to have been in quite a hurry to check-out. Just a bit of levity there. You all have some great comments and opinions.
Oswego Resident April 27, 2012 at 06:12 PM
As long as he wasn't using his County issued Amex card!
gater April 28, 2012 at 02:35 AM
the sheriffs dept is not going to to ANY THING to one of there storm troopers get used to it sexual harassment nothing buy booze on county credit cards nothing county board members stealing nothing mr thurmonds life in kendall county will be a living hell watch
Chuck Babcock April 28, 2012 at 03:49 PM
You make Kendall sound a bit like Cook County. I hope it's not getting that bad. Politicians are not to be trusted in general, as a rule. Citizens need to remain or become vigilant. Politicians are suppose to work for us. "To serve and Protect" who? Themselves ?? Lots of corruption throughout this entire state.
Anonymous April 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM
It's annoying how the media plays Thurmond and his wife to be complete victims in all this. Hopefully next time he'll think twice before inciting a fight with someone. I can only hope his frivilous lawsuit nets him absolutely nothing and he can chalk this up to a lesson learned.
gater April 29, 2012 at 01:44 PM
if you would read what happened you will find if mr french would have kept his mouth shut this would not have happened he also has the right to remain silent and should have
me April 29, 2012 at 06:43 PM
what if you had a gun shoved in your face?
Steve P. April 29, 2012 at 08:13 PM
You internet ninjas crack me up. You verbally destroy people you don't know and talk smack about things you have no first hand factual knowledge of all day long on this site, but this really takes things to a new height of hypocrisy. You're actually verbally assaulting, ridiculing and judging a guy for verbally assaulting someone!! By your own logic, he should have the right to batter you!! Should this guy have insulted the woman? No way. Does the fact that he did give the other guy legal or moral authority to attack him? No way. If any of you mouth off in public the way you do on this site and got your but kicked, you 'd be complaining to high heaven and wishing an off duty cop could have stopped it. Shame on the Patch for providing a forum that legitimizes this kind of discourse.
Charles Babco April 30, 2012 at 02:33 PM
So just how exactly did "Thurmond and his wife incite a fight with someone" ?? I'm not quite sure I follow your assumption or logic there Mr "Anonymous".
Charles Babco April 30, 2012 at 02:38 PM
You're actually verbally assaulting, ridiculing and judging a guy for verbally assaulting someone!! By your own logic, he should have the right to batter you!! What ? A 9 month pregnant woman ?? Police are taught to handle pregnant women with extra care, both physically AND psychologically. Maybe Dep. French did not realize she was pregnant. I hope he was not seriously hurt when the big mean husband pushed him. Maybe Deputy French is a bit fragile in more ways than one.
It all comes out in the wash April 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM
There are several different schools of thought where the powers of an off-duty police officer is concerned. A duly licensed law enforcement officer generally has the authority to enforce the law 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but only after establishing his or her identity as a police officer. The designation "off-duty" only means the officer is not working a regular shift for the police department, not living as a private citizen with no authority whatsoever. An off-duty police officer can be employed as a private security guard and still have the power to arrest offenders or in many circumstances carry a concealed weapon. "but only after establishing his or her identity as a police officer"...this happened After he pulled his weapon and pointed it.
It all comes out in the wash April 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM
An off-duty police officer may have proper identification and legal authority to arrest an offender, but he or she is also not considered to be on the clock, meaning there could be serious liability or insurance issues if he or she is injured during an off-duty incident or other damage occurs. This is why many off-duty police officers tend to avoid getting directly involved in minor incidents unless the offense is clearly egregious. An off-duty police officer may contact an on-duty police officer to report a minor traffic accident, but only use his or her authority to pull over an erratic driver creating a clear traffic hazard. Some people believe that an off-duty police officer not in uniform and driving an unmarked car cannot legally issue a citation, but that is not always the case. Different police departments have different policies concerning the authority of off-duty officers, but in many places an off-duty police officer does have the legal right to detain an offender until an on-duty officer arrives to finish the process. The key factor in such an action is proper identification, however. An off-duty police officer who instigates a fight or commits an illegal act has no more rights or legal protections than any other private citizen.
Charles Babco April 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM
"The Kendall County Sheriff's Department said it has launched an internal investigation to determine if the deputy's actions are consistent with the rules and regulations of the Sheriff's Office". I wonder how the investigation is going. It was "launched" back in February.
Charles Babco April 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Your last 2 posts are very accurate imo. Thanks for sharing. My main concern with this incident would be a police officer's judgement if these allegations are true. First, verbally assaulting a pregnant women over something trivial in a check-out lane. Secondly, actually pulling and pointing his weapon at a husband that comes to her aid. I have been a pro-police type all my adult life, but some behavior we should not excuse. This is one of those situations that everyone wishes had not happened. It was totally unnecessary and dangerous. Both sides should drop the charges and move on, but that will not likely happen in today's litigious society.


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