Maurice Jones-Drew has every right to be livid with the St. Augustine, Fla., police department.
There was an incident at a restaurant Sunday night -- nearly two days ago. The police told inquiring press earlier Tuesday that Jones-Drew was being charged with misdemeanor battery. Later Tuesday they said he had not been charged and was cooperating with their investigation.
The second press release hardly washes away the first. Being reportedly charged with a crime is not a bell that gets un-rung.
Numerous NFL fans around the country now presume based on those early reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars running back did something wrong, or at least was accused by police of doing something wrong.
(I know many will blame the media as well. That blame will be misplaced. If a police department says a guy is charged, there is no further information needed for it to be news.)
I’m not trained as a policeman. I don’t have a badge. But it certainly seems to be you either charge someone with a crime or you don’t, and that if you err early the default should be to err on the side of not charging someone.
If you initially say you’re charging someone and amend that to say, “No, no, we’re not charging him,” you appear bumbling.
And Jones-Drew has every right to be ticked off about the way this has been handled.
I’m sorry it got volume on this blog. Typically if we see reports that a player is being charged by authorities with a misdemeanor, he is in fact being charged with a misdemeanor.
Maybe there is a reason it’s not so simple here.
I’ve got a call out to the on-duty supervisor of the St. Augustine police to find out. I haven’t heard back from him yet. When I do, if I do, I will add the explanation to this post.