Whenever the city has anything controversial to report- promotions, demotions, bad news, good news which could be interpreted as bad news, it is usually done late Friday afternoon- between 4 and 5PM.. Either a press release is issued or a press conference is called. This is done because the story will not have time to grow legs. It is too late for the story to be a headline. All the administrative staff is gone for the weekend and whoever issued the release or held the press conference ususally just leaves and is unavailable for the weekend. The story usually dies- even in the Internet age.
Yesterday, Jody “Superintendent Fancy Pants” Weis, issued a press release announcing he would have an 8PM press conference to address an incident of police misconduct. Ah, keep those reporters in suspense. Get some maximum coverage. 8PM on Friday is a little late to hold a press conference. Those of us in the know figured it was either some major scandal or Weis was just being his normal incompetent self.
He held his press conference. He did not say too much. Then, he fled. Gun shots, press cameras, and reporters questions do that to him. According to Weis, there was some kind of incident of police brutality. It involved a “suspect in custody”- whatever that means- and a police sergeant. The sergeant was placed on desk duty until the investigation is completed. According to reports, the Independent Police Review Authority received a complaint that a victim was “battered”- again, whatever that means.
Fancy Pants made his brief remarks, mumbling that it is disturbing and if true inexcusable. “I will not tolerate brutality.” Blah, blah, blah. Then he scurried off. So, we have a Friday night press conference announcing some non-specific charge of alleged misconduct, occurring on some date this past week, against a department member by a mysterious “suspect”.
Why hold a press conference to say nothing?
Allegations of this sort happen on a daily basis. They are allegations, nothing more, nothing less. They are usually investigated. There is nothing new or news worthy here- unless this is some outlandish or outrageous conduct. Or the mystery “suspect” is someone with clout- or the lawyer is a heavy weight press hound. Or worse, it was caught on video and is about to go viral in the Internet. If so, why not just come out and say it.
Why have a night time press conference- on a Friday, no less- and give out nebulous and non-specific information, then refuse to answer questions? It makes no sense. Just like the hiring and continued employment of Weis.
Police brutality should never be condoned, excused, or accepted. But this was really ridiculous.