Saturday, December 1, 2007

The terrible tragedy involving Sean Taylor

I’m sure most of us, football fans or not, have heard the tragic story of 24-year old Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor. On Monday (November 26th), Sean Taylor was at his home, located in an affluent Miami suburb. He was with his wife and his 18-month old daughter. Because of a serious knee injury Sean hadn’t gone with his team (Washington Redskins) to Tampa Bay where they played the Buccaneers on Sunday. Washington lost that game, but when we consider what actually happened to Sean Taylor and his grieving family, the loss of a mere football game doesn't really seem to be that significant.

Sean was home recuperating from that knee injury when four subjects apparently broke into his home and then eventually shot him. The bullet hit and damaged the femoral artery in Sean's leg and this caused a significant amount of blood loss. Sean Taylor never did regain consciousness and he died Tuesday, a little more than 24 hours after he’d been shot.

Besides the obvious, that a human being’s life had suddenly and senselessly been cut short, there are other factors that make this crime also tragic. Sean Taylor grew up and lived on the so-called “mean streets” of
Miami. He apparently had some past associations he was now trying to end. People who knew him well said he had changed dramatically, ever sense the birth of his young daughter. He was now more focused and more mature. But, according to some of his friends, former Miami Hurricanes and current NFL players themselves, Sean Taylor had enemies. These were individuals who were jealous of what Taylor had become, and their envy and greed made Sean a likely target.

Yesterday (Nov. 30th) the Miami-Dade Police Department announced they had made four arrests reference the murder of Sean Taylor. It would be nice if the one who actually pulled the trigger received a death sentence, and then WAS executed. But, I can confidently predict that this will never happen. Why? Well, I'm sure Director Robert Parker (Miami-Dade Police) had very good intentions when he spoke to the media about the arrests of the four subjects. But, Director Parker, who is a 31-year veteran of the Miami-Dade P.D., broke one of the Cardinal Rules of law enforcement when he said more than he needed to, AND more than he should have.

"They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone," Director Parker reportedly said. "They were expecting a residence that was not occupied. So murder or shooting someone was not their initial motive." As an ex-homicide detective myself, I cringed in disbelief when I read these quotes from the head of the Miami-Dade Police. Where did Director Parker get this information? Well obviously, this is what the suspect(s) told the homicide detectives. Director Parker wouldn’t discuss how many of the suspects confessed, or what specifically they said, but it was obvious they were saying murder was not their original intent. But, why would the Director report what they said as if it were fact? He should not have said what he said, period!

Okay, they didn't initially intend to shoot anyone, right? Well, the media reported that Sean Taylor and his wife were awakened when they heard loud noises coming from other areas of their home.
Taylor reportedly kept a machete in the bedroom, for protection, and he grabbed it. Someone reportedly broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missed, but one also hit Sean in the upper leg. So, my question to Director Parker is this: If these four individuals "...were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone" then why did they bust down Sean's bedroom door and start shooting? When they realized that the home was occupied, and not empty as they supposedly first thought, why didn't they then just flee, instead of shooting?

When we also remember the previous burglary at Sean’s home, when the subject(s) apparently left a kitchen knife on one of Sean’s beds, it is obvious to me that there are still so many unanswered questions surrounding this tragic event. Sorry Director Parker, but you goofed badly when you made the statements you did. They will only complicate the prosecution of these individuals and I suspect if they are charged with a capital crime, and they face the death penalty, YOU will be called as a defense witness. After all, YOU have already proclaimed to the world, through the media, that they guys never did mean to kill Sean Taylor.

Final note: The Washington Redskins' web site has a nice tribute to Sean Taylor.