Police and prosecutors in New Mexico are asking New York authorities for help in gaining access to relevant material on Baldwin’s phone. We don’t know for sure, but this suggests that he hasn’t complied with a search warrant issued 3 weeks ago to turn over his cellular device as material evidence in a shooting death.
If that’s true, it’s foolhardy and smacks of obstruction. Under these circumstances, it’s smart and wise to cooperate with the very people who have the power to bring charges against you. That’s common sense. They have enormous discretion. Failing to cooperate tends to alienate and anger police and prosecutors. They begin to wonder if you did nothing wrong and have nothing to hide then why are you resisting the evidence we seek?
The material they want should have been handed over immediately. It was issued pursuant to a lawful warrant. It’s highly relevant because the phone is believed to contain key conversations related directly to what led to the prop-gun death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. This includes text messages, emails, video files and photographs. There could be statements against his own interest that are inconsistent with what he told police. There could also be information that shows he knew or should have known of safety problems on the set.
This isn’t Baldwin’s first misstep. It was risky and foolish to do a televised interview with ABC News and claim he never pulled the trigger and bears no responsibility. That can be used against him. It appears he failed to follow gun safety protocols by checking the weapon himself. He simply relied on the complete novice armorer that he hired as the on-set producer. That may constitute recklessness or gross negligence resulting in a charge of involuntary manslaughter.