Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why "Shady" May Walk

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It's been exactly two weeks since former Eagles running back LeSean "Shady" McCoy allegedly got involved in a Feb. 7th brawl at the Recess Lounge, supposedly over a $350 bottle of pink champagne.

It took only four days for Mayor Jim Kenney to pronounce McCoy guilty. On Friday, 12 days after the incident, John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, went on the WIP morning show to announce that the district attorney's investigation should be over by now.

"I've never waited this long, ever, to see somebody arrested," McNesby told WIP morning show host Angelo Cataldi. "So it doesn't pass the smell test. Something's funny going on. I know that they have more discovery on this case than they had in the O.J. Simpson case."

That prompted the district attorney to respond, "We're not going to rush because some people are impatient. My only goal is to get it right, not fast. The last thing we need is a rush to judgment."

So why would the district attorney be dragging his feet? The factual chronology from the previously undisclosed Shady side of the story indicates that there may be plenty of valid reasons. McNesby may be right about the case not passing the smell test, but it might be his guys who reek of too much pink champagne.

For starters, two of the three cops involved in the fracas at the Recess Lounge at 125 Second St., were seen earlier in the night partying at another night club in Old City, the Reserve Lounge on 724 Arch St. The cops, Officer Roland Butler and Sgt. Daniel Ayers, were off-duty at the time and drinking. And according to what two witnesses told investigators, both men appeared to be clearly intoxicated.

The off-duty officers were hard to miss. Ayers, known to clubbers as "Sgt. Dan," is described as a frequent barfly. And Officer Butler is the size of an NFL tight end, at 6-foot-4, and at least 250 pounds.

McCoy showed up at both nightclubs with five male friends, identified as Chris Henderson, LeVar Burhanan, former Pitt running back Tamarcus Porter, Mikal Ellis, and Ryan Brim. McCoy's party was accompanied by a pair of young women who were also known to the cops. McCoy's side of the story is that when he stopped by the Reserve Lounge, he didn't have a drink. He and his friends were going to a concert at the Sound Garden later that night.

At the Reserve Lounge, there apparently was no contact between the cops and McCoy and his friends. After McCoy and his entourage left to go to a concert, the young women stayed behind. When they left, they told the cops they were going to continue the party at the Recess Lounge, where they planned to meet up with McCoy and his friends.

The cops and the young women drove in two separate cars, but ran into a problem on their way to the Recess Lounge. When they turned off Market St. onto 2nd St., the road was blocked by a barricade and a police officer.

According to witnesses, Officer Ayres was driving. He got out of his car and flashed his badge at the cop manning the barricade. The officer on the street moved the barricade out of the way, allowing the  cops to drive down Second Street. But the officer wouldn't let the car with the two young women pass by. That's when Officer Butler got out of his car, flashed his badge at the cop, and the two young women were allowed to drive down Second Street on their way to the Recess Lounge.

Expect defense lawyers in the case to suggest that both Sgt. Ayres and Officer Butler abused their badges when they both asked the cop on the street to move the barricade. And expect the defense lawyers to ask the cop manning the barricade whether Sgt. Ayres and Officer Butler were sober enough to be driving.

At the Recess Lounge, the two young women went in while the cops waited outside. When the two cops entered the club, they were joined by a third off-duty cop, Officer Darnell Jessie. McCoy and his friends were already there. It was between 1:45 and 2 a.m. The McCoy party was joined by as many as nine women, including the two young women who had been at the Reserve Lounge earlier that night.

The cops ordered four bottles of Moet & Chandon Rose Champagne priced at $350 each. Now, we know McCoy, who makes $8 million a year, can afford a bottle of champagne at that price. But the district attorney may wonder how three Philly cops who earn an average salary of some $70,000 a year can afford a $1,400 bar tab.

At McCoy's table, he and his buddies had ordered two bottles of Moet & Chandon Rose Champagne, two bottles of Hennessy Cognac, and one bottle of Patron tequila.

A witness standing next to McCoy said that Christopher Henderson, one of McCoy's pals, stepped on his foot by mistake. The witness told investigators that Henderson was respectful and apologetic. To the point where he began sharing his drinks with the witness.

Everybody was having a nice time when a waitress came over to McCoy's table bearing a bottle of pink champagne and some sparklers. McCoy and friends were waiting for the sparklers to go out when Officer Butler showed up unannounced at their table.

Apparently, one of the four bottles of champagne that the cops had ordered was missing. It may have been deliberate; some witnesses say that Sgt. Ayers may have sent over a bottle of champagne to one of the young women at McCoy's table, who may have been celebrating a birthday.

Officer Butler, however, seemed to believe that the waitress had mistakenly delivered a bottle of his pink champagne to the wrong table. Officer Butler then grabbed the bottle of pink champagne off McCoy's table and started to leave. He got into an altercation over the bottle with McCoy's friends.

Tamarcus Porter asked Butler, what are you doing, man, and the two had words.  LeVar Burhanan tried to grab the bottle away from Butler. Butler told Burhanan words to the effect of, you touch that bottle and I'm gonna drop your ass. Burhanan, trying to calm things down, told Sgt. Ayres to come over and get his man. The sergeant showed up at McCoy's table in an attempt to diffuse the situation. But Butler made a show of taking off his coat and puffing up his chest, witnesses said, before coming right at Porter, who at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, was at a distinct disadvantage against the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Officer Butler.

Butler, according to witnesses, got in Porter's face, grabbed him by the neck and body slammed him to the ground, where he proceeded to pin Porter. Witnesses described Butler on top of Porter, holding the former Pitt star by his dreadlocks. McCoy rushed over with his friends, fell, and then got up. In a video clip of the incident, McCoy appears to be throwing a punch that may have missed its target. McCoy's story is he was attempting to pull Butler's hands off Porter's neck but was unsuccessful. A woman pulled McCoy back. Meanwhile, on the ground of the VIP lounge, Porter was able to hip toss Butler off of him.

A melee ensued. One of the men attacking Officer Butler had a bottle in his hand. Officer Butler wound up getting punched and stomped. Club bouncers rushed in.

It got ugly real fast was how one witness described it.

As McCoy was being led away from the melee, he felt someone shove him. He turned around and saw Sgt. Ayres standing beside another man.  Sgt. Ayres got shoved. Then, a witness saw Sgt. Ayres reach for his firearm, a black 9 mm pistol. The witness told McCoy that Sgt. Ayres was a cop, and pulled McCoy away.

On the police side of the story, the gun presents another problem. According to a directive from the police commissioner, off-duty officers are not supposed to carry guns inside bars. Sgt. Dan may have some explaining to do.

The club bouncers evicted the three cops and Porter. A witness outside the club saw the bouncers throw Butler hard to the ground. Uniformed cops were standing within 15 feet but didn't do anything. Butler was still protesting that he wanted to go after the guy with the dreads. McCoy came outside and told Sgt. Ayres to come get his man and take him away.

According to police procedures, after the fracas, Butler and his fellow off-duty officers should have called 911 and waited for on-duty police officers to arrive at the scene and conduct an investigation.

But what did Officer Butler do? He apparently drove past several Philadelphia hospitals on his way to checking himself in at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Upper Darby, where he was treated for a laceration to his right eye, a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb.

 Expect defense lawyers in the case to ask whether Officer Butler fled the scene and drove around in an attempt to sober up.

Officer Jesse was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital where he received eight stitches over his left eye and treatment for a possible skull fracture. Sgt. Ayers was uninjured but filed a police report two days after the altercation.

McCoy was uninjured, and no bouncer bothered to evict him from the club. McCoy's lawyer, Dennis Cogan, told the Buffalo News, "I'm telling you that McCoy did nothing wrong, nothing wrong. And he was sober. The questions will have to be asked about the conditions of the other people."

Photographs were taken of McCoy's hands right after the battle: they show he didn't have bruises or any other sign of injury.

As for Officer Butler, at 4 a.m. Feb. 7th, hours after the fracas, he posted comments on his Facebook page that said that the guys who attacked him "can't hide behind Shady." Some 96 comments were posted on Butler's page.

The next day, Officer Butler admitted to witnesses that he was drunk at the time of the altercation. He said he was going to see a civil lawyer. Subsequently, Butler's Facebook page was taken down.

So we have a big drunken cop apparently starting the altercation by grabbing one of McCoy's friends by the neck and body-slamming him to the ground. Butler is identified as one of the guilty parties by club bouncers who evict him, along with his two fellow plainclothes cops, and Porter. The bouncers let McCoy stay inside the club but he voluntarily goes outside to act as peacemaker, according to the witness outside the club.  The lawyers in the case are left to fight over whether some of Officer Butler's injuries were caused by the bouncers.

That's the Shady side of the story. No wonder the district attorney may have reservations about the case.

The D.A.'s investigation may have to explore whether Officer Butler and Sgt. Ayres abused their authority by possibly driving while intoxicated, and asking a fellow officer to twice move a barrier on Second Street. The off-duty cops may have to explain why they didn't call 911, and why Sgt. Ayres may have been packing a gun, in violation of the police commissioner's directives.

They will also have to explain their bar-hopping, and that $1,400 bar tab.

Yo Mr. Mayor and Mr. McNesby, you better be patient. This D.A.'s investigation may go on for a while.

Ralph Cipriano can be reached at ralph@bigtrial.net.

48 comments:

  1. Wow. Is this Ralph Cipriano on the side of the DA's office ?

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    1. No side taken. It's amazing how McNesby wants a rushed investigation. But when the investigation into Officer Jeffrey Cudjik, Detective O'Donnell and many other cops, it's okay for the DA's office to take months and years to arrest them.

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  2. Miracles do happen. Dennis, you just don't seem to get it. I don't try to pick sides; I go after a story. Wherever it leads. The world is a surprising place. Anything can happen out there. You're just stuck on one issue and one particular viewpoint. It's a lot more complicated than you think.

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    1. Ralph, your story is bullshit. Butler is 6 ft 180 lbs soak and wet and is about the most peaceful man I know

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  3. Another great piece by you sir. Love your work, always provides interesting insight!

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  4. Look at the pot calling the kettle black.

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  5. The mayor showed horrible judgment regardless of the outcome. He could have stood up for police without prematurely drawing conclusions.

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    1. Except that standing up for the cops would be drawing a premature conclusion

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  6. As far as the bar bill of $1400, a cop is allowed to spend money. A decent cop can make 90 to 100 k with ot. A smart unmarried cop with no children should be able to spend 400 to 500 on himself every once in a while

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  7. There's a big gap between $400 or $500 and $1400 for 4 bottles of bubbly.

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    1. Yes 1k. Show me a consistent pattern. Until then..who cares. Maybe he opened his piggy bank. One nite splurge tells me nothing. Every week blowing a gwhiz. Then yea.

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    2. 3 cops x 500 dollars = 4 bottles of bubbly

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    3. Maybe you missed this excerpt from Ralph's article above:

      The off-duty officers were hard to miss. Ayers, known to clubbers as "Sgt. Dan," is described as a frequent barfly.

      Or this excerpt:
      For starters, two of the three cops involved in the fracas at the Recess Lounge at 125 Second St., were seen earlier in the night partying at another night club in Olde City, the Reserve Lounge on 724 Arch St. The cops, Officer Roland Butler and Sgt. Daniel Ayers, were off-duty at the time and drinking. And according to what two witnesses told investigators, both men appeared to be clearly intoxicated.

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  8. A bunch of guys who don't have a pot to piss in trying to act like big shots. These guys who happen to be cops got the beat down they deserved and are now crying fail.

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  9. Before this article I thought Shady was quilty but after reading this piece I think all parties are equally at fault. Makes you wonder where the policemen get the money for $350 bottles of bubbly.

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  10. Why was the gate barricaded until a cop ordered another to open the gate? Why did that cop give another off duty cop the privilege of driving through a forbidden street? The off duty cop may not know the reason for barricading the street and took the law in his own hands to demand the gate be opened for him. Pulling out a 9MM city owned Glock in a crowded bar while intoxicated shows very poor judgment. What if the cop squeezed the gun and killed McCoy? Finally, IA will investigate why those cops decided to spend $1400 by charging to credit cards expensive liquor. If married, scorned wife will go out on a shopping spree to spite husband. Investigating more may well blow away another potential scandal of illegal behavior nobody is aware of.

    DA is stuck. If he prosecutes Shady McCoy, he runs the risk of losing the case and McCoy looking better than ever. Nothing good ever happens at a nightclub where boys are looking for women. Reputable gentlemen look for women to become their wives in much nicer places, not nightclubs unless you are looking for a one night stand.

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  11. Obviously your story is a little tainted and biased. I was really expecting a fair and impartial version by you but you shocked me again. This fantasy that you are describing is neither fair nor impartial and is absolutely horrible. Either you are friends with McCoy's attorney or your hoping that he provides you with season tickets. I'm assuming you didn't see the video because you are telling a great tale and that is very different from what my eyes actually see in a video. And just so I'm clear...are you saying its ok to assault someone (especially a police officer) because they were able to gain access to an area that was blocked off? I would hope McCoy doesn't hire you nor have his attorneys utilize any of your thought provoking questions because none of what you addressed actually comes into play in court. Are victims of crimes who receive injuries not allowed to go to any hospital they choose? If the injuries incurred are not life threatening, why wouldn't you go to a hospital that you are familiar with or that is in close proximity to your residence? To me that is common sense but to you it alleges something shady. Oh and how dare police officers spend money treating themselves...I guess that is only for attorneys and professional athletes. If police officers spend money on themselves they must be guilty. I would suggest you try and watch the video in its entirety without your prejudices and try and act like they are all just John Doe's. However, if you can't separate the participants from the names you honestly can't be trusted to write an unbiased opinion.

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    1. I agree with this guy. Ralph, typically I like your articles but, this one, not so much. The video from inside the bar clearly negates what Shady and his crew have alleged, as do the witness statements in their entirety (i.e.- not just Shady's people's witness statements). Also, who are you to judge how much anyone spends of their own, earned money and what they spend it on? Just because the one cop is described as a "barfly", doesn't by any means, imply that he regularly spends $1,400 at said bar(s). If your stats are correct, the average income between the three officers involved is @ $210,000, without overtime. $1,400 seems a paltry sum if you're comparing it to average earned income of these officers. In fact, it's about 0.6% of their combined income. Should the one officer described as "Sgt. Dan" be a sergeant, he makes more than the $70,000 average. But, again, who cares?? It's neither my money nor is it yours nor is it a crime to spend money.
      If the street was blocked off and the cops were able to get through with a badge, on what merit did Shady get through? Was is because, perhaps, he's Shady MacCoy? I think that's useless fodder and has nothing to do with this particular incident.
      Are we to question EVERY victim of a crime from this point forward based solely on sobriety? Does their intoxication make them any less of a victim? The fact that this officer allegedly had his gun in a drinkinging establishment is also not a crime, but a departmental violation. It is said that the officer reached for his gun? Not shown on the video, nor have any other witnesses (independent of Shady's entourage)states this happened. In fact, not one witness stated in any of their statements that any officer had reached for their guns.Oh and are you so sure that the officer carries a Glock 9MM and not one of the other calibre weapons(.40 and .45) allowed by the city? You put in in writing as fact that it was a 9MM, but is it? Not making a report immediately? Also not a crime but a departmental violation. Going to a hospital not near the scene? As this poster above has essentially said... Who Cares? Should this guy's skull be fractured maybe he wasn't thinking clearly? Maybe he didn't know the severity of his wounds until a period had lapsed between the incident?
      Why is it that, accodring to this scumbag DA (and now apparently you)cops are presumed guilty until proven innocent? Watch the video, Ralph.

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    2. Yo idiots this is McCoy's side of things as it clearly states...

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    3. Apparently, I was censored on my first reply. Well done, editors of bigtrial.net. Oh and to the guy above this...read ALL of the opinion based statements by Ralph.

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    4. Seriously, Dude? The phone video tells you another story? The phone videos don't show crap....nothing. Nothing except the tail end of a melee. Nothing as to who started what. Nothing as to who caused what damage to who. Nothing about who got tossed from the club and how. And nothing about the intoxicated state of anyone involved. Obviously, you're a low information lemming that latches on to the first headline that you see and then close your eyes, ears, and mind from then on.

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    5. Seriously, Dude? The phone video tells you another story? The phone videos don't show crap....nothing. Nothing except the tail end of a melee. Nothing as to who started what. Nothing as to who caused what damage to who. Nothing about who got tossed from the club and how. And nothing about the intoxicated state of anyone involved. Obviously, you're a low information lemming that latches on to the first headline that you see and then close your eyes, ears, and mind from then on.

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    6. The DA would have filed charges already if he had any evidence that would have held up at trial. C'mon man. Be real.

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  12. Is there any way you can write a comparison between the officers statement of the events and this one.

    From what I had read and heard prior to this, it seemed as though one of Shady's crew had started the fight at the bar starting with a sucker punch. This is a vastly different story. and it's easy to see why the DA is taking their time.

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    1. There are other videos in play here that will come out if and when this hits the courts. Look, the FOP's version of this story is already known, as is the mayor's. But the DA keeps dragging his feet. Why? I was able to add a new chapter to this saga, McCoy's side of the story, which I state at the top of the story.

      I wasn't there. I don't have all the witness statements and I don't know who's going to hold up under cross-examination and who's not. This is an evolving story. But it's clear to me why the DA isn't rushing those arrest warrants -- the cops have some problems. Nobody's saying McCoy and his friends are choir boys. But I think now we have some insight into why the DA hasn't arrested anybody yet.

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    2. A few things. First, why is the stomping limited to one sentence? Shouldn't there be context around that? Second, Officer Jesse ended up in a hospital with a fractured skull yet doesn't even appear in your bar account until after he's injured. Seems like the most critical detail of the entire account as that's what's likely to lead to the felonious assault charge, yet the circumstances around that injury aren't detailed

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    3. In an after hours club drinking at 3am...problems galore. Really breaking news.

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  13. As a retired "cop" (federal), this case reeks of a couple of cops making some bad (alcohol induced) decisions. Their badging got them into trouble. Then trying to badge their way out may have made it worse. Looks like the football players did nothing wrong and even displayed remarkable restraint. Mr. Butler has some serious explaining to do, and probably should be charged with assault and being a dumbass in a no dumbass zone.

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    1. I agree with you ( retired federal "cop" ). Why is the FOP involved when the incident occurred when the officers were off duty? Are they trying to influence the DA, just like the mayor has tried? Why wait so long to get medical attention? Why wait so long to report the incident to law enforcement? Bad decisions from a number of individuals. The only reason this is even news is because it involves a professional athlete. Obviously there are 2 sides (or more ) to this incident.

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  14. I really don't think McCoy is guilty. The evidence is in his favor.

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  15. I like to see what mayor Kenny is gonna do with the Johnny Doc situation since He whats people arrested quickly

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  16. Whiskey, wine, woman, cops with guns, football players, after hour club,
    political people , union people , daa. a no brainer again

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  17. I don't think the cops had guns on them... it would of showed in the fracas

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    1. Dude pulled his service revolver.

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    2. You are the only person thus far who has said that...is that a theory or did you read that somewhere?

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  18. There still is no proof of any fractured skull. Possible means its not fractured but looking for leverage in a civil suit.

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  19. If a service weapon is on a peace officer at a drinking establishment during off duty it must result in immediate suspension and investigation. No if ands or buts. BUT the above and all other illegal activities the Police were involved in will just be swept under the rug as usual. I'm not siding with the Police nor the McCoy boys here. Both the Police and the Athletes get special treatment and can afford the best defense but the average Joe never can never afford the price of true justice in most cases. What gets me pissed off is how arrogant the Police and Union are in this matter. If this goes to trial there is NO WAY this is a sure fire win for the Police. MOVE ON because the longer this goes on the longer the Cops will look like thugs themselves.

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  20. Really glad I found this website. Great piece, dude.

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  21. Lucky Johnny Doc wasn't there in the next booth wit His boys ordering the same Champagne..Lot of complications there. The cops would of got arrested

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  22. The good days are there for Shady, but one day, he may be lying on the street begging for a bottle of water while remembering how he spent $350 each on bottles of pink champagne that he drank like water. People who save their money are offended when one of their kind spends money like they will live this lifestyle forever which is not the case due to shortened football career average of two years for most football players.

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  23. Anything on les Bowens report and buffalo news reports?

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  24. The Buffalo News report appears to be pure speculation that was denied publicly by the D.A. Obviously, the D.A. is still investigating and no decisions have been made.

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  25. This is Hilarious...Butler ended up getting His ass kicked..

    I don't know why the FOP is pursuing this. These cops could be charged ,isn't the FOP there to insulate cops from things. Maybe the FOP don't like butler ....my advise to Butler is don't come to any Italian bars in South Philly..lol

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  26. Isn't nothing goanna happen here , this thing is gonna blow away in the wind like dried shit....THINK ABOUT IT.....YOU DO NOT HEAR THE COPS INVOLVED IN THIS CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE>>>THEY WANT IT TO GO AWAY

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  27. Help me understand how the hell OFF DUTY cops are still protected by the FOP???

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