Thursday, March 11, 2010

So what?

An attorney for one of two off-duty Pennsylvania police officers who were partying with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback (and accused serial sexual batterer) Ben Roethlisberger in a Georgia nightclub at the time he is accused of molesting a 20-year-old woman is stating that his client, as well as the fellow vacationing officer, didn't see their allegedly grope-prone pal do anything wrong on the night in question.

Because, you know, people who happen to be employed as police officers never lie to protect their rich, famous and well-connected buddies, and that what they do for a living automatically makes them absolutely incapable of corruption.

Now, we aren't accusing these cops of covering for Roethlisberger; we're not arguing they're not, either.  That's for a prosecutor and jury to decide.  What we are stating is that the statements of the two men should be given the same weight as one given by any other law-abiding witness, no more and no less, especially seeing as how the pair aren't even peace officers in the state where the incident is said to have happened:

"'They were not there in their official capacity,' said [Michael] Santicola, who represents [Coraopolis, Pennsylvania Officer Anthony] Barravecchio but said [Pennsylvania State Trooper Ed] Joyner is also a longtime friend."

Then the employment status of the men should have no bearing whatsoever (whether positive or negative) on their reliability as witnesses in the case, given their close relationship to Roethlisberger and particularly given that the article implies that at least one of the two may have been drinking that night.  Barravecchio and Joyner should be viewed the same as any other possibly intoxicated person loyally sticking up for a friend who may or may not have done something very stupid, if not criminal.

Which also begs the question - if the two officers are so sure nothing untoward happened that night, why aren't they personally out there making statements clearing their friend, instead of having a paid attorney do it?  Frank the contractor friend or Tim the office worker buddy sure wouldn't think such a move necessary.

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