WATCH: Heavily Armed Police Surround Man Acquitted in Whitmer Kidnap Case

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(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Brandon Caserta was found not guilty of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s governor in April 2022.

So it surprised him when heavily armed police surrounded his vehicle last August, their weapons drawn and ready to shoot—all over a minor domestic dispute, in which he’s charged with harming his ex-girlfriend “by striking her hand.” Caserta denies the allegation.

Charging documents show that Brandon Caserta is accused of striking his ex-girlfriend's hand. For that, an armed squad of officers surrounded his car and threatened to shoot himCharging documents show that Brandon Caserta is accused of striking his ex-girlfriend’s hand. For that, an armed squad of officers surrounded his car and threatened to shoot him

At the time, Headline USA contacted the Bay City Police Department last week, inquiring why a heavily armed squad was used to arrest Caserta over a relatively minor charge. This reporter specifically asked if such tactics were used because the Bay City Police Department viewed Caserta was a domestic terrorist threat.

“Yes, that’s why,” Bay City Police Lt. Irene Kjergaard said in response to that question.

However, it’s still unclear why Bay City viewed Caserta as a potential terrorist—whether police were operating from FBI intelligence, media reports or information from the then-girlfriend. Bay City Police have stopped responding to questions about the matter, and the FBI hasn’t responded to an inquiry, either.

While still short on answers about the incident, Headline USA has obtained body-camera footage showing the arrest. It largely matches the description Caserta provided to this publication last August.

According to the body-cam footage, police were on the lookout for Caserta after receiving a complaint from his girlfriend.

According to Caserta, he had been arguing with his ex-girlfriend, who had kicked him out of her Bay City, Texas house and took his phone.

Stranded in Texas, Caserta took his laptop to a local Starbucks to communicate with his mother and figure out how he’d be able to make it back to the Midwest. There, an officer saw him in a Starbucks parking lot, and called the rest of his team to move in on him.

The footage showed multiple unmarked cars pulling behind Caserta, with a marked police SUV pulling in front of him.

“Hands on the steering wheel! Hands on the steering wheel!” officers can be heard shouting at Caserta.

Later, the footage shows officers going through Caserta’s personal belongings, including his firearms and ammunition that he was planning on taking back to the Midwest.

“He looks like a prepper,” one officer remarked.

The officers discussed charging Caserta for possessing body armor, but realized they couldn’t do so because he’s not a felon.

Bad Intelligence

Local police have relied on faulty FBI data in the past to target innocent people as potential terrorist threats. Oklahoma native Saadiq Long filed a lawsuit over the matter in January 2023, after Oklahoma City police targeted him on the basis that his name appeared on a bureau watchlist.

“In the span of only two months, Saadiq Long has been repeatedly pulled over, arrested twice, held at gunpoint, and had his car searched by Oklahoma City Police Department officers. It is not because Saadiq is a criminal or suspected of being one,” Long’s lawsuit said.

“The FBI distributes its list, via the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Database, to the Oklahoma City Police Department. That is all that the FBI distributes: a list of names,” Long, who has previously successfully sued the government to have his name removed from no-fly lists, said in his lawsuit.

“The FBI keeps its reasons and evidence about the placement to itself. Because of this, the Department knows that the FBI put Saadiq Long on a watchlist, but the Department has no idea why.”

Long’s lawsuit is still pending. Meanwhile, Caserta said he’s yet to receive a court date to face the misdemeanor assault charge—which is underpinned by the allegation that he harmed his ex-girlfriend “by strking her hand.”

The exonerated Whitmer kidnap defendant said he has evidence that will also clear his name in this latest misdemeanor case. While driving back and forth from Texas to defend himself has been a hassle, he said he’s doing so mainly because striking a plea deal would mean losing his Second Amendment rights.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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