69-Year-Old Grandma Arrested at Walt Disney World Caught on Camera
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Newly released body camera footage from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is giving us a closer look at the arrest of a grandmother with CBD oil at Walt Disney World last month.
Hester Burkhalter, 69 of Hickory, North Carolina, was arrested April 15 outside the Magic Kingdom. She maintains she has a prescription for the CBD oil, issued by her doctor.
The body cam footage shows the moment when the Narcotics unit arrived at the Magic Kingdom. It also shows them using marijuana test kits to test for THC in Burkhalter’s CBD oil.
At one point, one of the deputies said, “If we test it and it doesn’t test positive for THC, then she can have it back,” the deputy said.
The first test of Burkhalter’s CBD oil came back negative, according to the footage. But in the body cam video, deputies said they wanted to take a second test because the first one might have been tainted.
Shortly after that, one of the responding deputies can be heard saying, referring to the body cam, “I’m going to go ahead and turn it off now.”
We’ve reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for more clarification on what happened after the camera was turned off.
About 12 hours after Burkhalter was arrested at the Magic Kingdom, the State’s Attorney Office decided to drop charges, finding no basis for a case.
Spectrum News reached out the Sheriff’s Office about the body cam footage, asking why one of the responding deputies turned their body camera off, and if the second THC test was recorded.
An OCSO spokesperson told us the following: “Thank you for the questions and we will have to get back with you as the Strategic Communications Team does not have the details that you are requesting.”
Burkhalter’s attorneys Ben Crump and Michele Rayner sent Spectrum News the following statement Wednesday:
“So far, we have only seen edited police bodycam footage from the day Hester Burkhalter was arrested at Disney World, and we have requested the full, unedited bodycam video to review. However, based on the limited portion of the transcript we’ve seen, we are shocked to learn that the officers tested Burkhalter’s CBD oil twice, apparently to get to the end result they wanted. And, further, that the deputy acknowledged that the test kit was faulty and the results could not be relied upon. This officer seemed to be hell-bent on putting Ms. Burkhalter in jail. Even when faced with evidence there was no THC in the product, they re-tested and then detained her for more than 12 hours.”
CBD oil is found in cannabis plants and does not have THC, which is known to give someone a “high.”
CBD oil can be therapeutic for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, and depression, as well as general pain.
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