Photo: A.J. Matcht, Colts.com
In yet another pathetic attempt by ESPN's Shaun Assael to play Nancy Drew, we have a report that former-Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison was stopped by police recently for a somewhat routine traffic violation. From the way Assael's article reads, it appears Philadelphia police were
harassing following Harrison, looking for any reason to pull him over. When they did, they asked him to step out of the vehicle, and searched his car.
Routine stop, my ass.
Anyway, after searching his car, they found a gun. No surprise because Harrison is an avid gun collector. Last I checked, that was still a legal thing to do (and if you live and work in the poor neighborhood Marvin grew up in, owning a kin is about as akin to protecting oneself as breathing oxygen).
According to the report, Harrison had the correct registration and permit for the gun.
Despite proper documentation for the handgun and no disorderly conduct by Harrison, the Philly police confiscated the weapon. According to Assael's police source, Harrison's confiscated gun will be routinely tested.
Yes, I think it all sounds rather fishy.
The Philly police said they had probable cause to search Harrison's car after they questioned Harrison on the scene following the traffic stop as to whether he had a weapon in the car. Harrison supposedly said "No," but since the police were so completely convinced he did have a weapon (how, we don't really know), they searched it anyway.
As he has done whenever Philadelphia police have
harassed asked for his cooperation in relation to alleged gun activity, Harrison allowed himself to be questioned the Philadelphia Police Department's special investigations unit Wednesday evening. He was released. No word as to whether or not his lawyer was with him when they questioned him.
So, yeah. Exciting, huh? A whole lot of nothing about a whole lot of nothing.
This, of course, does not stop the peanut gallery from passing judgment. My favorite is the somewhat closet racism of Yahoo Sports' MJD:
What's there to say? The surprise that Marvin Harrison isn't the quiet little choir boy we all thought he was has long since worn off. It's not illegal for Harrison to have a gun, of course, but why is he lying to police about it? Particularly when he has all the permits and paperwork in order? Legally, he's guilty of nothing, but my goodness ... everything around him seems so shady. If nothing else, I'd classify Harrison as a scary guy.
So, he classifies a a black man from a poor neighborhood in Philly who carries a registered handgun and is a "person of interest" in the eyes of the police department as a "scary guy?" Yeah, don't ever go to south Philly, MJD. Or The Bronx. Or 125th Street in Manhattan. Or 38th Street in Indianapolis. Or pretty much anywhere outside of, maybe, Boston Common. You might run into more "scary people" that police view as "persons of interest" who look like this.
As to why he might have lied: Gee, maybe it was because he thought they might actually take his property.
And I don't know anyone who ever considered Marvin Harrison a "choir boy" when he played. All he did was put forth a Hall of Fame career on the field and did very little (if anything) to draw attention to himself. He didn't call out teammates or make goofy, irritating touchdown dances after scoring. He just handed the ball to the ref, walked to the sidelines, and waited for the next offensive series.
If that's what defines a "choir boy" in the NFL, that says an awful lot about the league's professionalism (or lack thereof).
If anything, I would think someone like MJD or Mike Florio should be praising Harrison for how he handled himself yesterday. This has got to be the first time in recent history that an NFL player was stopped by cops, a weapon was produced, and said weapon was actually registered properly and the player had the permit on him. That has to earn some kind of media brownie points, right?
Just FYI: Over two years after the late-Dwight Dixon was shot at by someone outside a bar owned by Marvin Harrison, Marvin Harrison still has not been arrested or charged with any sort of crime. All we have is some rather creepy police officers following Harrison, searching his car, confiscating his property, questioning him, and then releasing him.
I don't know if folks like MJD, Florio, or Assael realize this or not, but this story is fastly becoming more about how media report stories and how police harass citizens than it is about Harrison allegedly shooting a convicted felon and known liar two years ago. Obviously, if new evidence emerges that results in an arrest and conviction of Marvin Harrison for the shooting for Dwight Dixon, I will laud folks like Assael for sticking to their instincts despite any evidence backing them up.
However, right now, all I see is a lot of fingers getting pointed without any facts.