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.

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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