A recent blog article by Michael Bigham, a veteran ex-cop, accuses the Tallahassee Police Department of “going easy” on FSU football players, to the point of willful corruption. Citing numerous cases over the course of the last few years—including sexual assault, destruction of property, and theft—the blog author implies that charges were lessened or dropped, and that casts a shadow on all law enforcement officers:
As a police veteran of over 27 years, I, along with many fine men and women in police forces across the nation along with those serving with Tallahassee Police Department, subscribe to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics which states:
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor.
When specific police officers are unfairly accused of favoritism or bias, officers across the country are rightfully angry. When the accusations are true, that breaks their hearts.
Yes. You can judge for yourselves based on the evidence he writes in the article, but it certainly seems like the Tallahassee Police Department has colluded with FSU to protect FSU football players from any criminal charges that might interfere with the football program. Hence the common insult: Florida State Criminoles (instead of Seminoles). This has been the case for years though. And not just with FSU.
Professional and collegiate stars have regularly been shielded from paying the consequences that average citizens would have to pay. Whether it’s because stars, and the programs that foster them, have the money to buy their way out of tough situations, or because organized sports have become more important to us than common lawful decency, the law has been and is being bent and broken to accommodate, and even privilege, vicious crimes.
This must stop. The main problem really isn’t the police force though. And it isn’t even the football programs. They are merely criminal associates in a much larger problem. Winning games has become so important that not even the law is allowed to interfere with victory. All is fair in love and war … and football. This is our fault—the fault of the fans. We care too much. We’re not good sports about losing, and we pump millions and millions of dollars into games. It’s a game, people! Grown men running around with pads on trying to move a leather object a few yards one way or the other. Let’s put it in its proper perspective, and put more weight on those things in our lives that are intrinsically important. Or this corruption of justice will only get worse.