With all the media stories going back and forth about Donald Trump, sometimes there are little ones that go unnoticed, and this is one of those stories.
It happened on June 18, 2016. A frail and autistic British 18 year old named Michael Sandford tried to steal a police officer’s gun at a Trump rally in Las Vegas in an attempt to kill the Presidential Nominee at the time and almost altering the course of American History.
Michael Sandford is a child of divorce, from his parents Lynne and Paul, who say he’s a loving son with countless mental health issues, including OCD, depression, anorexia, and Asperger’s syndrome.
Michael had a rough bout in his teenage years due to his issues and not fitting in at school and was constantly bullied. He wanted to get away and convinced his family to let him move to America. He found his eventual residence in New Jersey, but what he actually did in New Jersey only Michael knows. He eventually went radio silent to his family back home, but not before his behavior changed and he told his family how much he hated them. The boy they once knew was not there anymore.
Eventually, Michael made his way to Las Vegas, and with a series of security camera footage obtained by police, Micahel can be seen entering a Vegas gun range the day before the Trump Rally. He practiced shooting a rented 9mm Glock 17 pistol.
The next day, Micahel headed to a high energy Trump Rally the next day with one goal in mind. Kill Trump.
Once the rally began, you see Michael calmly walk over to a police officer on duty, and then the struggle of him trying to pry the officer’s gun from his holster. However, he’s detained in seconds. It’s easy to tell from the footage that he wasn’t in his right mind. In fact, it’s hard not to feel very sorry for him.
His lawyer went on to argue that Michael is a mentally unstable kid, who was in a “psychotic fit” and completely delusional at this point. In September 2016, Michael pleaded guilty to charges of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.
The prosecution wanted a 20-year prison sentence, and with a Republican elected judge presiding, most observers felt that a long sentence was inevitable. However, Judge James Mahan handed down a 12-month sentence to the delight of Michael Sandford and his family.
Judge Mahan told Sandford “You should not be ashamed or embarrassed about it. You need medication. You’re not a hardened criminal. You’re not evil or a sociopath like a lot of people we have.”
Another judge could have easily rendered a 20-year sentence- which is terrifying to think of, but this was a true triumph of authoritative empathy.
Sandford served five months of his year-long jail sentence in solitary confinement before being transferred back to the UK for the rest of his sentence.
If you or a loved one you know battles with any Mental Health Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.