Police Accountability Groups Repeatedly Denied Access to Prisoner

Marion County, Florida (TFC) – In a bizarre story originating in Florida, journalists and activists working with Florida Cop Watch and South Florida Cop Block have repeatedly been denied access to a prisoner because the cops say their state issued IDs apparently aren’t legible.

The activists report that they have tried to gain permission to interview Dustin Heathman repeatedly, but on at least three separate occasions they were denied access because an official at the Marion County Jail said the information on their ID cards wasn’t clear enough. The Fifth Column was provided photos of the IDs and all information was clearly legible.

These aren’t just any police accountability activists. They are investigators that have broke several major stories, including uncovering an incident in which cops left a strip club and allegedly fired shots from the window of a moving car striking a Walgreens. Their success in past investigations is believed to be playing a part in their inability to conduct the interview.

Who is the prisoner?

The incident surrounding the prisoner makes the situation even more bizarre. Dustin Heathman was allegedly involved in a shootout with the Marion County SWAT team. He is facing multiple counts for attempted murder. The SWAT team was deployed to Heathman’s home ostensibly on the grounds of a violation of a probation warrant for a drunk driving charge. The decision to move in on Heathman was made after his father reportedly contacted the department about an alleged theft. Why an armored vehicle was deployed to deal with misdemeanor warrants is still unclear.

It should be noted that Heathman isn’t an angel. He has a criminal record, and by his own admission he initially refused to surrender for what he called a frivolous warrant.

By most versions of the story Heathman opened fire as the SWAT team moved in. The experienced shooter never hit an officer, but repeatedly struck the armored vehicle sitting outside his home. Eventually he surrendered.

Why are police accountability activists investigating this case?

Dustin Heathman after arrest.

Dustin Heathman after arrest.

Just when you thought the situation couldn’t become stranger, it does. The cops made statements that he was attempting to commit suicide by cop. Heathman adamantly denies this. The cops attempted to paint him as a Nazi because some items in his home were marked with a Swastika. It turns out that in addition to being a firearms collector, Heathman collected historical military equipment. The items had Swastikas on them because they were made 60 years ago by the Nazis. The police said Heathman’s injuries were the result of flying glass. Flying glass doesn’t typically result in a fractured eye socket.

From one of the pages supporting him:

“He surrendered, was handcuffed, and then severely beaten by several MCSO officers. He suffered a fractured eye socket, a damaged ear, and a concussion.”

This is where it gets really interesting. His supporters claim he never fired at officers. According to the police roughly 50 rounds were fired at a distance of less than thirty yards. Not a single officer was killed. Not a single officer was injured.

What do we know?

We know that a SWAT Team was deployed for some unknown reason. We know that the department misled reporters. We know that Heathman’s injuries are not consistent with the injuries suggested by the police. We know that shortly after the incident, five Marion County Deputies were suspended without pay after being accused of excessive force in an unrelated arrested. We know that the department is denying access to a group of investigators that have proven their ability to uncover police corruption.

The Fifth Column is now making its own attempts to contact Heathman.

6 comments for “Police Accountability Groups Repeatedly Denied Access to Prisoner

  1. April 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    He was terrified, can anyone blame him? He looks outside and sees a small army coming to take him away for a victimless misdemeanor traffic violation, and a questionable one at that. They should have sent a couple of cops to the door to talk. Instead, SWAT shows up. He didn’t want to come out because he thought he’d get shot. Everything he did that day, he had a right to do. The cops even admitted that the reason they used such force is because they didn’t like his so-called ‘anti-government activities.’ And yes, he does have a record, when he was a kid he and a ‘friend’ committed armed robbery with a baseball bat. No one was hurt and the victims got their stuff back. But the friend abandoned Dustin and he took the fall, it was an election year and so Dustin got 11 years in prison for it. No he’s not an angel, but he’s not a monster, either. All in all, this is a good article, and I’d like to thank Mr. Justin King for writing it and TFC for publishing it.

  2. April 11, 2015 at 6:22 am

    DUI is hardly a victimless misdemeanor traffic violation.

    I suppose you think drunk drivers should have the run of the road. Until one of your family members is ran over in a hit and run.

    I challenge you to go to any one of the thousands of funerals of the victims of drunk drivers and make that statement….
    “DUI is a victimless misdemeanor traffic violation”

    When you say dumb shit like that, you blow all of your credibility on solid issues.

  3. April 11, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    The warrant was for driving on a suspended license, NOT a DUI. MCSO likes to refer to it as a ‘violation of probation in a DUI case,’ which could mean a lot of different things. The truth of it is that he was being charged with driving w/ suspended.

  4. Douglas
    October 3, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Hope he is raped everyday in prison as he serves a life sentence. He’s a white-trash loser like his skank GF Jennifer Brown, aka “Stand With Dustin Heathman”.

  5. Douglas
    October 3, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Law enforcement acted appropriately after Dustin’s own father called law enforcement and told them he was armed. They found a stolen vehicle in his possession as well as illegal weapons. He’s a convicted felon and isn’t allowed to have any. On top of that, he’s been arrested for beating women. He’s a self-proclaimed NAZI. I have his posts and pictures saying so. He opened fire on law enforcement. That’s never allowed. Saying he was afraid is absolutely no defense. Hope he’s given a life sentence. Racist thug.

Comments are closed.