I told you so.

Earlier this year I took issue with one of those news reports that seemed sourced mostly from a police press release. Or, at least, a police spokesperson who wasn’t about to let the reporter ask any real questions.  By this point, I’m sure you know how much I love police press releases.  Because I know this is the internet and I know you’re part of the short-attention-span Mtv (or whatever channel is cool now) generation, I also know you’re not going to bother reading the other post. So, here were the highlights:

  1. A school principal from Johnsburg was arrested for sending “offensive” letters (as though it’s illegal to be “offensive”) to parents;
  2. Because the charges were minor and because nobody would have really known otherwise, the police decided to blab to the media about it;
  3. Because it was a school official it made the paper;

What the press release didn’t say and what did not, therefore, make the paper was that this was a bad arrest and a bogus case.  So bad, and so bogus, as a matter of fact, that anybody who has been around the criminal courts for any length of time could read right through the police babble and see it.  Of course, by anybody, I even mean me. I had this to say at the time:

Folks, this is a bad case.  How do I know?  First clue is the description of what she wrote.  Look how vague it is.  Were the letters threatening? No.  They were offensive? Yeah?  How so?  Would you have been offended by those words?  Would I have? Offensive to whom?
Go ahead and Tell me what the words were. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.  What were they?
Oh.  You‘re not going to do that?

I hate to say “I told you so,” and I won’t. I will say that the case was dismissed within 60 days of the charges being filed, though.

Where’s the police press release on that?  Where are the apologies?  Where is the “we’re sorry we over-hyped a case because of the political aspect and dragged this lady through the mud on some garbage charges”?

I’ll just sit here patiently waiting for Johnsburg to apologize.  I’m going to stock up on Cheetos and crossword puzzles first, though, because something tells me it could be a long wait.

Author: matthaiduk

Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois. He loves his dog. And pizza.

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