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Serious questions about UF football player's plea deal

GAINESVILLE -- On Tuesday, University of Florida freshman football player Janoris Jenkins pleaded guilty to his misdemeanor of resisting arrest in exchange for a deferred prosecution program available to first-time offenders in Alachua County. The charge will be dropped if Jenkins stays out of trouble for six months, pays some court costs and maybe does a little community service.

Or, put another way, freshman All-American Janoris Jenkins, the Florida football player who laughed off a shot from a Gainesville police Taser and kept on going, agreed to six months probation on Tuesday for his remarkable demonstration of pain tolerance.

Jenkins was arrested on May 30 for his alleged involvement in a bar brawl outside a nightclub in downtown Gainesville. Cops broke up the fight with a Taser gun. According to employees of the nightclub who wished to remain anonymous, Jenkins wasn't the only football player involved in the alleged fight. Jenkins was, however, the only person to get shot by the Taser. Jenkins went down and then everyone scattered, according to an employee of the nightclub.

According to the police report, Jenkins rolled on top of the Taser probes, effectively knocking them lose and severing the electrical current. At that point, Jenkins found his feet and took off down the block where he was quickly arrested by other officers.

The Gainesville Police Department charged Jenkins with two misdemeanors: resisting arrest without violence and affray (fighting). The fighting charge was dropped on Tuesday by the Alachua County state attorney, Bill Cervone, due to lack of evidence.

This whole incident raises some serious questions:

1. If Cervone was so quick to drop the charge for fighting, then why the heck did Gainesville police shoot Jenkins with a Taser gun in the first place? Something is fishy here. Either the Gainesville district attorney is letting Jenkins off easy or the Gainesville police should be investigated for excessive use of force.

2. If the state attorney dropped the charge for fighting, does that mean Jenkins can sue the Gainesville police for getting shot with a Taser gun for essentially doing nothing wrong?

3. If there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the fighting charge, then why is there sufficient evidence to prosecute the misdemeanor for resisting arrest?

4. Do all football players run from a fight and leave one of their teammates behind, or just Florida football players? Maybe this is why Florida coach Urban Meyer (err...I mean strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti) made the entire team run stadiums for Jenkins' arrest.

5. So most of the football players involved in the fight got away? And I thought Janoris Jenkins was fast.

-jo-

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