Lake Odessa, Michigan – On September 21, 2022, in Lake Odessa, Michigan, Joan Jacobson was visiting homes to express her concern over Ballot Proposal 3 and to urge people to vote no on the proposal. She had been to approximately a dozen homes, handed out literature, had friendly conversations with folks, and then came to the door of Sharon and Richard Harvey. That is when her day suddenly turned dangerous. Upon finding out Joan was opposed to Proposal 3, Ms. Harvey immediately became hostile, belligerent, and antagonistic. She yelled and screamed at Ms. Jacobson and refused to listen to anything she tried to say. Ms. Jacobson, a five-foot tall, 84-year-old, 120 pound, retired nurse, never raised her voice, yelled at Ms. Harvey, or threatened her in any way.
After a few minutes, Ms. Harvey ordered Ms. Jacobson to get off her property. Ms. Jacobson complied and began walking away. Ms. Harvey followed her down the porch onto the sidewalk and continued her verbal assault of Ms. Jacobson. Her husband, Richard Harvey, joined her in the yard and was carrying a loaded .22-caliber rifle. He never said a word to Ms. Jacobson, and she said nothing to him. He admitted that he fired a “warning shot” and then claimed he “accidently” shot Ms. Jacobson with a second shot. She was not threatening either Mr. Harvey or his wife, did not use her clipboard as a weapon, and was shot without any provocation. She had turned to ask Ms. Harvey to stop yelling at her, and she was shot from the side as the bullet entered the top of her right shoulder and exited out her upper back near her spine.
Ms. Jacobson said she was “stunned” upon realizing she had been shot and, fearing for her life, continued to her car and was able to drive to a nearby police station for help. She believed Mr. Harvey intended to shoot her and that he might shoot her again if she did not leave the scene and get help. Neither Sharon nor Richard Harvey expressed any concern for Ms. Jacobson, offered her any assistance, or said one word to her after she was shot. Ms. Harvey, who had her cell phone in her hand as she had earlier threatened to call the authorities, made no offer to call 911 after Ms. Jacobson was shot. Ms. Jacobson made it to the police station and was transported to a hospital in Grand Rapids for treatment. She is recovering from her wounds.
David Kallman, Senior Legal Counsel for Great Lakes Justice Center, stated, “There was no justification for shooting Ms. Jacobson. Mr. Harvey admitted firing a warning shot, so he knew the gun was loaded when he pointed it at my client. If it was truly an accident, why did neither of the Harvey’s express any remorse or even offer to assist Ms. Jacobson or call 911 immediately after shooting her? The answer is obvious: it was not an accident and Mr. Harvey should be held accountable.”