A father in Texas, 36-year-old Ronald Jackson, who was arrested by law enforcement officers with the Grand Prairie Police Department after he confiscated his 12-year-old daughter’s cell phone as punishment has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Jackson claims he found inappropriate text messages on his daughter’s phone back in September of 2013 and just a few hours after he took away her phone in light of the inappropriate texts, Grand Prairie officers showed up at his door and asked him to return the phone, an iPhone 4.
The young girl’s mother–Michelle Steppe, who is currently married to a law enforcement officer with the Grand Prairie Police Department–called the cops to report the alleged theft of the phone that she previously insisted belongs to her, Yahoo Parenting reported.
Jackson and Steppe have reportedly been separated for years.
When the cops showed up at his door requesting that he handover the phone, Jackson refused their request. He told KHOU that “the police don’t interfere” with his “ability to parent” his own daughter.
At that point I decided the police don’t interfere with my ability to parent my daughter
Three months after he refused to return the phone, he received a citation in the mail for property theft – for which he was offered a plea deal in January of 2014. Instead of accepting the plea deal, under which he would have been obligated to return the phone, he decided to hire an attorney and take the case to court.
After having requested a trial by jury, Jackson’s case was moved to Dallas County and without his knowledge, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In April of last year, law enforcement officers showed up at his house at around 2:00 a.m. and placed him under arrest. He was handcuffed and transported to jail. After spending just one night under lock and key, he posted his $1,500 bail and found himself released.
The case eventually went to trial and after two days, Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Lisa Green ordered the jury to find him not guilty on the grounds of insufficient evidence provided by the state in support of its case.
Cameron Gray, a defense attorney representing the father, has made apparent his intention to file a federal complaint against the arresting police department and the city attorney’s office over alleged civil rights violations, WFAA reported.
Following the incident, Jackson remains in possession of the phone. He was quoted by WFAA as having said that he’s had to “separate” himself from his daughter and her mother and that he “can’t eve have a relationship with them again.”
I have to separate myself from them […] I can’t ever have a relationship with them again.
Gray told KHOU on Wednesday that he’s “never seen anything like” the case while relating it to the Jerry Springer Show.
I’ve never seen anything like it […] You would think we were on the Jerry Springer Show.