Chief: Arrest a Miscommunication

Joe Johnson, Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia), July 7, 2010

{snip}

Cornerback Jordan Lawrence Love, 19 [a University of Georgia football player], was charged with misdemeanor obstruction, but he did not willingly try to deceive the officer, who was investigating a complaint that men were shooting off fireworks in the courtyard of McWhorter Hall, Williamson said.

“Mr. Love gave his first and last name, but he said he didn’t know his middle name, then said he kind of knew it, but didn’t know how to spell it,” Williamson [UGA police Chief Jimmy Williamson] said.

“After I spoke with family members today I could see the officer’s point of view, where he thought Mr. Love was evasive and uncooperative, but (Love’s) mother explained that he does not go by his middle name for personal reasons,” Williamson said.

{snip}

The officer who arrested Love probably decided to lock up the third-string redshirt freshman based on previous experience with deceptive and uncooperative offenders, according to Williamson.

“After multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain Love’s date of birth and the spelling of his middle name, Love was placed under arrest at (10:07 p.m.) for misdemeanor obstruction,” the officer wrote in the arrest report.

{snip}

Williamson plans to use Love’s arrest as a “learning opportunity” when training officers how to interact with the public, he said.

[For a discussion of other mundane things blacks often don’t seem to know, see “Urban Law 101” here.]

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