Nolte: Alec Baldwin Finally Surrenders Phone to ‘Rust’ Investigators

Alec Baldwin moments after her shot Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer on “Rust,” and director Joel Souza. Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP
Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP

Alec Baldwin has, at long last, turned his phone into the New Mexico authorities investigating the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Last October, while doing a camera rehearsal, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed Hutchins with a live round in what was supposed to be a prop gun filled with fake ammunition.

Somehow a live round found its way in the pistol, and somehow the gun went off. I say, “somehow it went off” because Baldwin claims he never pulled the trigger. That sounds absurd. Guns don’t go off on their own. But we will just have to wait for the official report before we know anything for sure.

By finally handing over his cell phone — weeks and weeks after Baldwin was subpoenaed — we are one step closer to finding out what really happened.

Per the far-left Deadline:

“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation,” the actor’s lawyer Aaron Dyer, told Deadline. “But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone,” the civil attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP added. “Alec did nothing wrong. It is clear that he was told it was a cold gun, and was following instructions when this tragic accident occurred. The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place.”

Officials in the Suffolk County cop shop declined comment today on whether or not they had the phone, citing that the investigation was under the primary jurisdiction of Santa Fe law enforcement. “The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office does not yet have physical possession of the data to be retrieved off the Baldwin phone,” Public Information Officer Juan Rios said Friday, noting that evidence was being “gathered” by Suffolk County cops. “This is in process.”

Baldwin caught a lot of criticism for waiting so long to surrender the phone even as he claimed to be cooperating. And because he’s a smug jerk with a childish temper that reeks of entitlement, he did himself no favors crybabying about the criticism, but I do see where he’s coming from.

Our whole lives are on our phones, and Baldwin is right to be concerned about his privacy and take the necessary time to ensure the scope of the search is limited to the issue at hand.

 

Think about what a phone could reveal about someone. I’m not specifically referring to Baldwin here, but just in general… A phone could reveal that you sext with your wife or hold nude photos of your wife. If you’re having an affair or are secretly gay or have some weird sex fetish, it’s probably all on your phone. Think of all the texts and emails that could reveal your private thoughts or private financial information or how you cheat on your taxes. Think about what these emails or texts might reveal about the friends and family members who sent them to you.

We all have a God-given right to privacy and the right to ensure a legal search does not become a fishing expedition. Handing your phone to the authorities without limiting the scope of that search is just foolish. And it would be especially foolish for a public figure like Baldwin, who could lose his reputation and livelihood if the authorities were to leak an embarrassing email or text, even if it was something as anodyne as industry gossip.

Alec Baldwin is a first-class jerk, but he still has rights.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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