When it comes to the dispensation of justice in most college football towns in the South – leaving the obvious local example out of the mix for the moment – I’m as cynical as anybody. But this New York Times story on police department shenanigans in Tallahassee still managed to make me shake my head.
As far as comparisons between Tallahassee and Athens go, they might as well be on different planets. Check this story out:
When Jesus (Bobo) Wilson, an up-and-coming wide receiver, was stopped by the Tallahassee police in June while riding a stolen Bintelli Sprint motor scooter, his story was dubious: He claimed he had borrowed it from a student whose last name he did not know. But for Officer Michael Petroczky, it was convincing enough to forestall an arrest.
The officer, noting in his report that Mr. Wilson was a Florida State football player, wrote: “Wilson was not arrested today because he cooperated, showed no signs of guilt and provided a plausible story that needs to be investigated.”
According to the scooter’s owner, Mr. Wilson’s football connections weighed heavily on the case. After letting Mr. Wilson go, the officer arranged to meet the owner, a Florida State student, in a campus parking lot at night and “questioned if I was mentally stable or if I had forgotten that I lent him the scooter,” the student said in an email interview. The officer seemed deeply reluctant to charge Mr. Wilson, saying he did not want his name on the arrest report, according to the student.
“He told me that he had not arrested Wilson because he was a football player, and he did not want to ‘ruin’ his record by arresting him” if there was a chance he might be innocent, the student wrote.
Plus, anyone named Jesus deserves the benefit of the doubt, anyway, right?
At least we know that Jameis Winston wasn’t the recipient of special treatment.
Read the whole thing. You’ll be shaking your head, too.