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#pounditWednesday, June 23, 2021

Florida State, Tallahassee police tried to block Jameis Winston criminal investigation

Jameis WinstonDetails of Florida State and the Tallahassee Police Department’s efforts to impede the sexual assault investigation regarding the Jameis Winston case were uncovered by FOX Sports and laid out in an informative piece published on Friday.

The suggestion that Florida State and the local police attempted to hide and hinder a criminal investigation is nothing new; the accuser’s attorney said for over a year that the police hindered the case and even tried to dissuade the accuser from moving forward with the case. In January, the accuser also sued Tallahassee police and Winston, accusing police of being “negligent” in its handling of the case.

The most notable finding by FOX’s Kevin Vaughan is that Winston’s lawyer, Tim Jansen, and FSU administrators had the police report well before the state attorney’s office did, giving them the chance to prepare their defense well ahead of time.

A look at emails showed Vaughan that campus police tried to make it difficult for reporters to obtain details about the case, and even one official told a reporter he was happy to dispel a “rumor,” even though the “rumor” was correct. Officials responded to another media inquiry by trying to investigate the reporter’s background rather than serve the reporter with the police report.

The other failings by the police dealt with the two witnesses to the alleged assault — FSU players Chris Casher and Ronald Darby.

Police did not pursue an interview Casher despite having information that a freshman football player named “Chris” was one of the witnesses. The two witnesses — Casher and Darby — swore to nearly identical statements that were notarized by someone hired by Winston’s attorney. Casher and Darby being prepped by Winston’s attorney took away the opportunity for state to surprise them with interviews.

[Related: Read Chris Casher’s affidavit]

After the state prosecutors wanted to investigate and interview Casher and Darby, FSU officials stepped in to try to prevent the two players from being interviewed.

[Also see: Alleged victim gives side of the case]

Like we said, these allegations of improper conduct by the police have been raised by the accuser for over a year. We knew all of this. Now we have more exact details to support the claims. If anything, this should help the accuser in a lawsuit against the police and school, so long as the court system doesn’t favor FSU the way the police does.

By the way, campus and local police working with the school and athletic department to cover up or impede criminal investigations regarding athletes is nothing new; it’s been going on for years across the nature. It’s nice to have some of it exposed.

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