Sunday, January 16, 2022

Why Alec Baldwin turned in his phone a month late: ‘Factory reset’

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“You just can’t go through your phone and take your photos or your love letters to your wife or whatever,” Baldwin had previously said

After nearly a month of waiting, investigators finally got their hands on Alec Baldwin’s cellphone when the actor turned it over to the Long Island Police Department on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Authorities had obtained an arrest warrant for the device in connection with the fatal shooting of cameraman Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust.” The 63-year-old SNL star gave up his phone just a day after police released a report highlighting Baldwin’s failure to do the same. “To date, the cell phone has not been handed over to the authorities,” the police said in the press release.

His cell phone is believed to contain untold information about the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by Baldwin after a prop cannon misfired. A stray bullet also hit the film’s director Joel Souza, but he survived the hit. The gun was later found to be loaded with live ammunition and had reportedly been used off-site for “fun” by crew members. Various sources claimed that the gun was fired even at off-clock gatherings. Recently, Hannah Guiterrez, a gunsmith from Rust, filed a lawsuit against Baldwin after being exposed to the heat for her careless handling of guns and ammo.

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Juan Rios, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, confirmed Baldwin’s phone delivery and added what the police plan to do with the phone. “They will extract the data and then hand over the phone to us. There will be some exempt information that is not considered relevant to the investigation, such as privileged spouse information,” Rios told the New York Post.

A week earlier, Baldwin shared an Instagram video explaining why he didn’t give up his phone. He noted that he wanted to protect his private communications. “Any suggestion that I’m not complying with requests or orders, or search warrants regarding my phone, that’s bullshit. That’s a lie,” he said angrily. He continued: “It’s a process that takes time. You must specify exactly what you want. You just can’t go through your phone and take your photos or your love letters to your wife or whatever. But, of course we will comply with all of this 1,000 percent, we are totally fine with that.” According to the warrant, investigators are demanding probing texts, photos, emails, videos and the actor’s browsing history from his phone.

However, part of the internet is unconvinced by the actor’s reasoning as they claim it took him a month to factory reset his phone. “Once it was scrubbed and factory reset. What a joke,” claimed one Twitter user.

A Trump-supporting page on Twitter noted: “Alec Baldwin has finally turned his phone over to the authorities. Two and a half months later. I wonder if they’ll find anything of note.” Another user tweeted, “Alec Baldwin FINALLY turned over his phone to the police investigating his accidental murder of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins a month after they requested it.. Plenty of time to wipe it clean…just saying…”

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