Man arrested after collecting signatures for neighborhood tenant's association he was starting

Ring Screenshot from Springfield Man arrested while collecting signatures
Posted at 3:53 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 17:16:35-05

SPRINGFIELD, Mich. — A Calhoun County woman's video is going viral after she captured what she said was an "unlawful" arrest of a man collecting signatures form his neighbors.

The video was initially captured on the woman's Ring camera, and then she said it started getting hostile. That's when she pulled out her phone to record the interaction between the deputies and the man.

That night she posted it on YouTube, hoping it would get to the right people.

"Based on what is going on in the world right now, he was a black man on my porch, and the police were here. I was like, ‘Okay, it’s time to roll,'" said Kimberly Totzke, the woman who posted the video to YouTube.

La'Ron Marshall said he has lived in the Wyndtree Townhomes complex in Springfield for four months, and on Jan. 2, he was out collecting signatures for a tenant's association he was starting up.

"I got almost 100 signatures. There’s 160 units out here, and you know, pretty much everyone was on board," said La'Ron Marshall, the man arrested while collecting signatures in his neighborhood.

As he was wrapping up for the day, after hours of collecting signatures, two Calhoun County deputies showed up.

"The last unit was Kimberly’s unit. That’s when the Calhoun County sheriffs came and pulled up on us," said Marshall.

The interaction between the deputies and Marshall was captured on Totzke's Ring camera.

Deputy: "You're going door-to-door."
Marshall: "Yeah."
Deputy: "And do you have a permit for it?"
Marshall: "You don't have to have a permit for it."
Deputy: "Yeah you do."
Marshall: "To go door-to-door, to do what?"
Deputy: "Come over here and talk to me."

"I turned on my house camera, and when it continued to get a little more hostile, I brought out my phone to record it. I didn’t think that my house camera would be sufficient for what was happening," said Totzke.

Totzke: "Has he broken the law? Has he broken the law?"
Deputy #1: "Soliciting without a permit."
Marshall: "Soliciting what?"
Deputy #2: "Whatever you're soliciting."
Marshall: "So, you don't even know what I'm doing?"
Deputy #2: "What are you soliciting? That's what we are trying to..."
Deputy #1: "Come over here and talk to me."

The deputies also asked Marshall for his identification, and when he didn't comply, they arrested him.

Deputy #1: *shoves him into the car* "Get in."
Jabrien: "Don't touch him motherf**ker."
Kim: "Hey! You are definitely on camera, bro."

His two kids, ages eight and thirteen, also witnessed the arrest.

"It was just hard to see because I just didn’t want my little brother to see, and I didn’t want me to see. I was crying because my dad was getting manhandled by two police officers," said Marshall's 13-year-old son Jabrien Deal.

State records show Marshall is charged with obstructing police officers. He said he spent the night in jail and is now back home.

"I want people to take away again just educate yourselves, and anytime you just come into a situation with law enforcement, just try to abide by the rules. Hopefully, things won’t escalate the way they did," said Marshall.

The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office said they are in the early stages of preliminary investigation to review the video and actions taken by the deputies.

The initial deputy, who made contact with Marshall, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

"As we are completing our initial review, we have not found anything that we are aware of that this would have prohibited this individual from completing the conduct he was completing through the neighborhood," said Calhoun County Sheriff Steve Hinkley. "We hold these deputies to a clear high standards of ethics. We treat everyone with the utmost respect. That is very much a part of this investigation," he said.

They posted this video to their Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.

The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office said they are also working with the county prosecutor's office to assess the charge against Marshall to determine if it should be dismissed.

Totzke said she is planning to go to the sheriff's office sometime on Thursday to file a complaint.

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