|The bruises on Tamarcus Porter's neck|
Thanks to some grandstanding from the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the state attorney general's office has announced it will review the now-legendary Feb. 7th fight at the Recess Lounge.
On April 4th, District Attorney Seth Williams, backed by a choir of four assistant district attorneys, announced that no charges would be filed against LeSean McCoy or any of his friends at the Recess because of insufficient evidence. But then John McNesby, the FOP president, sent an incendiary letter to the state attorney general.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, McNesby in his letter to the attorney general described the D.A.'s decision not to prosecute as "an outrageous cover-up and dereliction of duty by a public official." McNesby, according to the Inquirer, said that the only reason D.A. Williams let McCoy off the hook was "because McCoy is a prominent professional athlete." [But maybe the above photo had something to do with it.]
"I think it's completely accurate to say LeSean McCoy and anyone else allegedly involved in this incident are not totally cleared," Bruce Castor, the state's solicitor general, told Walt Hunter of CBS Eyewitness News. The state attorney general isn't the only party that plans to investigate the fight at the Recess Lounge. The NFL and the NFL Players Association are also expected to investigate as well.
McCoy's attorney, Dennis Cogan, didn't seem too worried. He said that he has a high regard for
Bruce Castor's professionalism and was confident that Castor would find no abuse of discretion by the D.A. in his decision not to prosecute.
Shady McCoy "is in the clear because he did nothing wrong," Cogan said.
"They've spent a tremendous amount of time and public resources investigating a barroom fight," said Cogan, who described the D.A.'s nine-week nvestigation of the Recess Lounge fight as "almost unprecedented."
"They interviewed 27 witnesses," Cogan said. "Their conclusions coincide with ours. Shady didn't start the fight. He didn't continue the fight. What he did for a matter of seconds was he tried to break it up."
Officer Roland Butler, according to witnesses, had former Pitt running back Tamarcus Porter pinned on the ground and the off-duty cop "had his hands around" Porter's neck, Cogan said. What was McCoy supposed to do when he saw the bigger cop on top of his friend, Cogan said.
Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said there was no time table set for his office's review of the case.
"I can't tell you exactly how long it will take," he said. "They have to interview witnesses for however long it takes."
Castor told Eyewitness News that actions to reverse prosecutors' decisions are rare, require overwhelming evidence and would have to approved by a judge.
A spokesperson for the NFL Players Association did not respond to requests for comment.
McNesby has been on the warpath over the Recess Lounge fight because it resulted in serious injuries for two off-duty officers, Butler and Darnell Jessie. But those officers, according to witnesses interviewed by investigators for both Cogan and the D.A., had been drinking earlier in the night. Those witnesses also described Officer and Butler as the aggressor, both inside and outside the club.
In addition, the officers did not call 911, the protocol for when a cop is involved in an off-duty altercation. The two officers also sought treatment for their wounds outside the city, after declining medical attention at the Recess Lounge, and also declining to press charges.
"McNesby does these officers no favors by perpetuating this stuff," Cogan said about the fight at the Recess Lounge. "He doesn't know the facts of the case. He keeps pretending that the actions of these off-duty officers, as described by witness accounts, are representative of the department," Cogan said, which is an insult to the rest of the city's cops.
McNesby, who told Eyewitness News, "There's a lot about this case that isn't known," could not be reached for comment.
McNesby also told reporters that no city police officer would be voting in any future elections for Seth Williams.
Cogan, a former assistant district attorney, took issue with that statement as well.
"I don't know how he has been able to conduct such a poll," Cogan said about McNesby. "The day after Williams' announcement a half-dozen or so police officers gave me a thumbs up when I walked into the Criminal Justice Center."