On June 1, 2014, in Williston, Florida, Dustin Heathman was setting up his speaker system when he glanced out the window and saw a cop with a shotgun walking through the front yard. Right from the very start they were prepared to kill, all for a suspended driver's license. A SWAT team came not long after. Snipers surrounded the house, which is in the woods. Some of them wore ghillie suits.
Following a financial argument, Dustin's father had decided to call the cops on Dustin and lied to them, claiming that Dustin had stolen from him. This was his way of 'getting back' at Dustin. He also told them that there was a warrant for Dustin's arrest for the suspended license. So the Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) responded by sending in a SWAT team, as if he was holding hostages.
Multiple Supreme Court rulings have determined that traveling along public roads, including via automobile, is a Right protected by the Constitution, rather than a privilege. Licenses can only be required in commerce (delivery drivers, taxi drivers, etc). Dustin has plenty of case law to prove this. Also, American common law says that if there's no victim, there's no crime. So where's the victim? What's the crime? But even if this was a valid crime, it's a victimless misdemeanor. They chose to send in a small army and a military-grade armored vehicle over a suspended license. Who can actually blame Dustin for being scared?
Fearing for his life and knowing he hadn't actually done anything wrong, Dustin tried to avoid confrontation. He KNEW what cops are like these days. He knew it wasn't as simple as "comply with officers' demands and you won't get hurt." Look at the homeless guy who got killed in New Mexico. Or the man who was shot 16 times because he was reaching for his wallet when the cops demanded to see an I.D. Dustin KNEW about this kind of stuff. And he knew how corrupt Marion County is. He had reason to fear for his life.
So, he tried to avoid confrontation. After awhile, he got on the phone with the SWAT negotiator, who didn't do her job and failed to negotiate a thing. He said he wanted to resolve the situation peacefully. He talked about his rights, and how he knew he hadn't committed a real crime. He was not threatening to kill cops, and he as not making 'anti-government statements' the way MCSO claims he did. He never suggested that he wanted to die, or ANYTHING like that. Quite the opposite, in fact.
By their own admission, the SWAT van was moving forward to attack. The cops opened fire on the house. They used 3 cans of tear gas. Multiple windows were broken. Dustin had every right to defend himself, yet he did not hurt ANYONE in doing so. He was forced to. If he hadn't handled things the way he did, he likely would have been killed. They were the aggressors. They came prepared for war, enforcing an invalid statute, and they clearly had no interest in a peaceful resolution. But he NEVER tried to kill anyone. He had plenty of opportunities for hours to kill cops if that was his intention. And what kind of would-be cop killer would choose a bulletproof vehicle over the officers standing out in the open? He could have shot out the windows of the BearCat if he'd wanted to. The negotiator even said that he'd described all the weak spots on the BearCat. And he was inside where they couldn't see him, but he could see them. He could have killed several officers if he'd wanted to. Yet he never fired a single shot at any of them and no officers were injured.
Dustin came out and surrendered, was handcuffed, and then severely beaten by several MCSO officers. He suffered a fractured eye socket, a damaged ear, and a concussion. They told the media that he was injured by shattered glass, but of course broken glass can't explain the way he looks in his booking photo.
MCSO decided to charge him with ten counts of attempted murder on law enforcement. They lied to the media about what had happened. According to them, Dustin was making a bunch of anti-government statements and saying he wanted to kill a bunch of cops. This is NOT true. He never said anything like that. The cops claim he shot at them, however NO officers received so much as a scratch. No one was injured, no one was killed. He did not point a gun at any of the cops. And he did NOT shoot at any officers.
Marion County admitted that the reason they came for him with such force is because of his so-called "anti-government activities." Dustin has been speaking out against the growing police state and the tyranny here in the USA for a long time now. He has never committed any kind of crime in doing so. He is not anti-government; he's anti-tyranny. And it is not illegal to question the government, or to speak out against tyranny. He has never threatened to kill cops or anyone else for that matter.
The cops failed to record anything until AFTER everything was over. They don't have any dash cam or body cam footage. The phone conversation with the negotiator wasn't recorded (which would have been enough to clear his name, if it had been recorded). They record traffic stops, but not a tactical deployment? They remembered the number for the local pizza parlor, but forgot to have their cameras rolling. Mighty convenient for them, and awfully suspicious. If Dustin really had been threatening them, don't you think they would have made sure to record it? And THEY had called HIM. So they had plenty of time to set up a recording device to capture the whole conversation, but they didn't. Why?
Marion County's version of events is full of lies, contradictions, and half-truths. Their version of events raises too many questions which cannot be answered by their account. MCSO is somewhat infamous for using excessive force and for being so corrupt. They also have the highest incarceration rate in all of Florida, at 1.5 times higher than the state average.
Dustin is not the violent thug that the cops are trying to make him out to be. He's a very caring person. He has a son and two dogs that he loves. He's an animal rights activist and self-described pit bull advocate. He worked for the Humane Society for awhile. He stands for the Constitution. He's got the Betsy Ross flag tattooed on his chest and the Founding Fathers tattooed on his shoulder. He had a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence. He loves his country. Yet he is now a political prisoner because he dared to speak out against tyranny.
Dustin has done nothing wrong. He never tried to kill anyone. He is an innocent man facing ten life sentences for standing up for his rights and not hurting anyone in doing so. Please share his story. This kind of thing is going to keep happening more and more often if we fail to speak up now. We got rid of our kings in 1776.
He did what he had to do, he did what he had a right to do, but he didn't do what they say he did.