"I'm a constitutional f**** officer! You can't take me to jail!"
"That doesn't have to read what it f**** reads!"
At approximately 4:00 pm on November 16, 2018 Kalkaska Sheriff's Deputy Ashley VanSloten was dispatched to a location on M-66 just south of Lund Road in Garfield Township, Michigan, after multiple calls were received reporting a vehicle stopped on the side of the road with an unresponsive male slumped over the steering wheel.
VanSloten handled the call and ultimately arrested Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson, who blew a .233 on a preliminary breathalyzer test. Despite his easily having met the requirements of Michigan's "super drunk" statute - a real thing, coming into play at .17 - Stephenson tried every trick in the book to avoid jail: begging and pleading, cursing, speaking gibberish, suggesting the destruction and falsification of records, and imploring friends in high places to intervene on his behalf.
Ultimately, however, the sheriff's pleas fell on [mostly] deaf ears, and Stephenson was arrested and booked into jail for operating a vehicle while impaired.
As former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon says in this video, "It's not like the old days." That is, of course, incredibly true given what is happening right now in your life. You have the opportunity to literally replay this incident as you draw your own conclusions about it. Your court is now in session, and it's not like the old days. Which is a good thing.
Shout out to Chris Little for bringing this story to my attention.
When Chris emailed me and let me know about Stephenson's arrest the story had already been covered by a number of news media outlets, all of whom had published two to seven minutes of body worn camera footage. I generally don't cover stories that have already been published elsewhere, and with that backdrop this video almost didn't happen.
When I watched the available body cam footage, however, I noticed a lot of gaps in the time stamps. Working under the assumption that additional non-exempt footage existed, I started tangling with the Kalkaska County Sheriff's Office over the records. After two months of - frankly - obstruction, I recently received hours of exclusive additional material. The highlights from that content are in the video above.
Thanks again, Chris.
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