A woman arrested for videotaping a GOP rally in Dawson County has stated that segments of her videotape were missing when she received her camera back from the Dawson County Sheriffs office.
Nydia Tisdale was arrested Aug. 23 at Burts Pumpkin Farm when she refused the property owners request to stop videotaping and to leave the property. Her camera was confiscated as evidence.
When it was returned to her six days later on Aug. 29, she said sections were missing.
Several people have watched my video of the Dawson rally and compared it to a audio recording by Brian (Pritchard) at FetchYourNews.com, Tisdale said Friday. If you play the two recordings simultaneously, they are not in alignment the part where I screamed for help and representatives in the tent are laughing at my cries for help, that part is missing.
I dont understand why. I have no answers but a lot of questions, she said.
Tisdale admittedly has not done the comparison herself.
Its upsetting for me to watch the video, she said. I have not made any allegations. I dont know what happened. I cant make any determinations. It would take the skills of a forensic investigator. It is inconceivable that I could have turned the camera off and back on with my hand behind my back while I was bent over the counter.
Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle said he would welcome an outside forensic investigation into whether Tisdales camera was altered.
To date, no investigation has been launched, Carlisle said.
Her camera was not altered; her video was not altered, he said. We downloaded it to a CD for our records.
Carlisle said the camera was treated like other evidence.
It was put in an evidence locker, he said. This case needs to be brought before the courts and let them decide the outcome of the case.
Tisdale faces felony charges of obstructing an officer and misdemeanor criminal trespass.
She is accused of elbowing and kicking Capt. Tony Wooten, who made the arrest.
For his part, Wooten was accused of inappropriately contacting Tisdale. An internal investigation lasting 48 hours cleared Wooten; however, the investigation is on-going, according to Carlisle.
No case is closed until it goes to court, Carlisle said. Anyone who witnessed the event should call us.
Additionally, Carlise stated charges against Tisdale have not been drawn up.
A CBS 46 television report on Sept. 23, however, stated Tisdales case had been turned over to the Upson County district attorney, which has proven to be inaccurate.
It has to be indicted first, Carlisle said. I dont know what theyre talking about.
Before a case is turned over to another county, the district attorney in the county where the incident occurred would have to first recuse himself.
I have taken no steps to recuse myself from this case, Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh said Monday.
Lauren Kane, spokesperson for Attorney General Sam Olens, confirmed Darraghs statements.
We have not received anything from the (Dawson County) D.A. recusing himself. If the D.A. did recuse himself, we would appoint another prosecutor, somewhere nearby.
Upson County is located seven counties south of Dawson.
Incoming Forsyth County Solicitor Bill Finch, who represents Tisdale, doesnt believe his client will be indicted before the upcoming mid-term elections in November.
Justice seems to take a backseat to politics, Finch said. We think this thing was initiated by someone trying to ingratiate himself to the governor and in doing so manufactured a case against Ms. Tisdale.
Once Finch takes office Jan. 1, 2015 as solicitor in Forsyth County, he can no longer represent Tisdale.
Gerry Weber will be taking over the case, Finch said. He is a First Amendment lawyer, and he has also handled federal civil rights violations cases. Weber teaches at Emory University and Georgia State University, according to Finch.
I thought it would be over with by now, Tisdale said. I cannot leave the state of Georgia. I cant visit my elderly mother in North Carolina or my husbands family in Tennessee without getting permission from the court.
Tisdale posted a $6,200 bond and was released from the Dawson County jail Sunday, Aug. 24.