« Gators coach Will Muschamp releases statement in response to DT Sharrif Floyd's suspension | Main | 10 Things Florida Must Do To Beat Alabama »

The Dee Finley Saga -- Why You Shouldn't Expect A Suspension

When news first broke Monday that Gators backup linebacker Dee Finley was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony charge of resisting arrest with violence, troubling visions came to mind. Did Finley hit a police officer? Did he get Tased? What the hell happened? 

Actually, it was nothing like that. Finley is not a felon and should not be labeled or treated as such. 

And with the news Tuesday that the State Attorney has reduced Finley's charges, it would not surprise me to see little or no punishment come his way. 

Before you explode, let me explain.

Mark Long of the Associated Press is reporting that his felony charge has been reduced to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence. Reading the initial police report, it seemed a little fishy to me, and this reduction does not surprise me at all.

Here's why: The University Police Department, and the arresting officer in particular, has quite a checkered past.

From accusations of officers egging hookers, to fighting motorists in a fit of road rage, to threatening to shoot a kid during a traffic stop, the UPD has never been the beacon of upstanding and honorable law enforcement. The case is no different with Dee Finley

The arresting officer in Finley's case, William Sasser, was one of five UPD officers involved in the shooting of UF doctoral student Kofi Adu-Brempong in 2010. Sasser was a part of the UPD's Critical Incident Response Team — their version of S.W.A.T.  But he was reassigned (read: demoted) following the incident.  He was also reprimanded in February 2010 for handcuffing a student to a stop sign. He's been suspended, crashed multiple police vehicles and he even admitted to taking speed and getting a DUI. Stand-up guy, eh? Read more about Sasser here.

From reading the vague police report, and this is purely speculation at this point, the area where Finley was stopped is very close to the access ramp to the football locker rooms and training areas. While through traffic is not allowed past the barricade that Finley supposedly avoided, players and football staff generally are. Most players park their scooters under the ramp to go to meetings, workouts or class, and they must pass the barricade to get there.

Now, before you accuse me of defending Finley outright, let me say this. Nothing can change the simple fact that Finley should not have been driving. I don't care if it's just a scooter on campus. The man has four — FOUR! — tickets in three years for driving on a suspended license or a similar charge. His license is suspended in Florida and his home state of Alabama. He has an open case for one of those charges. He knows he shouldn't be driving. 

But if you watch the video that recently resulted in a UPD officer's overdue firing, and you consider the questionable reputation of Sasser, it's not hard to envision a different scenario than the one he filed in his report (see below). 

The fact that the State Attorney reduced the charge to a misdemeanor offense means he disagrees with Sasser's assessment of the crime, if indeed a crime really was committed. With Gators Super Attorney Huntley Johnson on the case, I wouldn't be surprised if the resisting arrest charge is dropped completely.

“The State Attorney reviewed the case and decided to treat it as a misdemeanor,” Johnson told the Gainesville Sun. “I did not see resisting with violence in the description in the police report.”

Me either, Huntley. Me either.

I also don't expect Finley to be publicly disciplined for his alleged misconduct. Players are very rarely, if ever, suspended for traffic violations, which, at the end of the day, is what this whole saga is about. 

I'll say it again: Finley is not a felon and should not be labeled or treated as such. 

Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 11.44.46 AM


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Dee Finley Saga -- Why You Shouldn't Expect A Suspension:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If this officer Sasser is as you say, what the heck is he doing in the UPD, fire him.
Finley should not be driving either way, he should be reprimanded asdn punished for that. I understand this is about a minor traffic incident, but rules are rules.

How many times does the guy have to get busted for driving with a suspended license before he decides to obey the law? No, he didn't do anything violent, but he has no respect for the law. Stop making excuses for really poor and dumb behavior.

Keep up the immature banter and I will simply turn the comments off. How hard is it to stay on topic and discuss something without insulting someone, cursing or being racist? Grow up, people.

I'm with you Matt. Keep up the stories, we're readin'. The ridiculous haters are messing the comments up for everybody. Perhaps a moratorium (spelling?) is in order on the comments for a few weeks.

Update us on the O-line, I think we are going to live and die with the grinders up front. Any thoughts from the coaches on how the current line-up is performing?

Matt, what was immature or off topic about my comment (singular)?

I in fact supported your position.

Gator Mike, I'll do something more in-depth on the line next week. But the coaches are talking pretty highly of the group right now. They have yet to allow a sack (although that's not saying much considering the competition) and have opened lanes for the run game. They're playing better than I anticipated. But the real test is Saturday.

Five Titles, I don't recall your comment. It's possible it got lost in the shuffle. If you have an opinion on the post, feel free to let it be known. But keep it clean.

My comment was that this case deserved to be reduced for the same reason that the Cane player that got accused of assault was reduced. In both cases, the officer initiated contact, was never assualted, but needed to justify the arrest, so they "enhanced" the charges. In both cases, they were reduced "after further review" (to use a football term).

Was agreeing with you and disagreeing with others that this was a Huntley Johnston trick. This would have been dropped without any lawyer involved.

Coach needs to do something since this player was driving without a license. UF needs to fire the officer it sure appears that they have plenty of reason. Perhaps a union is involved making it impossible to fire him?

You mention "it was nothing like that", well the article I read stated that Finley when stopped told Sasser that "I dont have time for this, im late" and tried to leave. Have you ever told or even thought about telling a police officer after being pulled over that "you dont have time for this or youre late" and driving off? What do you think would happen to you or I if we did that? This post IS in fact a full fledged pardon of Finley and an outright attack on UPD who to the best of my knowledge does not have a "long history" of outright attrocities against the public. Furthermore, charges are FREQUENTLY lowered or dismissed depending on several mitigating factors. You in fact have NO proof that this charge was reduced due to Officer Sasser's history. You are talking out of your anus on this one.

Brett, read the police report at the bottom of my post. That's the only information anybody is reporting on this case. My point is: Can we really take what this officer says as the truth? His past indicates that he's not exactly a stable and rational thinker, like most people who end up in law enforcement. We haven't heard Finley's side and likely won't, meaning the only commentary on this will be speculative.

And, as far as the UPD goes, did you not follow all the links I provided in my post? The UPD does, in fact, have a long past of questionable behavior and sketchy arrests. They hire people that would not make it onto a reputable force, and then they show why they should not have been hired. Of course, this isn't an indictment of everyone at the UPD, as I have met and had interactions with some standup individuals from there. But all the evidence we have available points to Sasser as not being one of those individuals. That's the point.

As far as a pardon of Finley? Hardly. I fully believe he brought this situation upon himself. I would not be writing this if he did not feel entitled to drive a scooter despite his terrible driving record and knowledge of a suspension of his license. But did this really need to be anything more than another citation? No.

Please guys, of all the things to bust Matt's chops about, you pick this???

Matt you don't need to respond to these tools. Just keep reporting.

Mr. Watts, what is your experience with the law? If you are ascerting that the officer is lying, then I would ask you to prove this incident as a lie. Charges are often reduced by the State Attorney's Office. It does not mean that the charging document generated by the officer was wrong. The officer is still credible, otherwise, the state attorney's office would dismiss any charge brought to them by this officer.

"I'll say it again: Finley is not a felon and should not be labeled or treated as such."

Your argument is weak and reeks of merely a fans' "feelings" on your opinion blog.

Go ahead and turn off the comments. Take the easy way out.

Keep throwing stones Gaytards ....... Your Glass House will be broken soon ...

38 Felons and counting ..... Lack of Control .... NCAA is coming to Turdville.

Isn't this great Matt. You only have to deal with these reprobates on this blog. We have to endure this nonsense in person at sports bars, driving by the construction sites, and brushes with the panhandlers at interstate exit ramps.

And you wonder why there is no sympathy for the Hurricanes outside of S. Florida.

There is no sympathy for cane "fans" outside of their lame Coral Gables campus and fast food drive through windows in Miami.

Fast food drive thrus? If churches and fast food restaurants disappeared from the earth, Trailervile would be a barren wasteland instead of the sewer-pile it is.

Dint get me mad. I will fire the thirty crappy UFelony useless diploma employees I have. They will them go back on welfare.

Their resignation notices will probably be in English, unlike your copy.

Delray Douche, actually, they will be in "hillbilly redneck" speak which cannot be understood anywhere.

A racist piece of trash like you should know that.

She's back, UMFelony, aka Afraid of Syracuse, and many more names but the same crap. Her spelling is getting worse and she seems more angry, bur still a primo Miami Moron with nothing intelligent to contribute, in fact each one of her posts makes society a little dumber.

If I every time I posted it did make society dumber each time, I would have to post for centuries to downgrade intelligence to the level of UFelony trailertrash. Ignorance, like sewer runoff, spews from that hell hole.

"I am sorry, Delray Dude. I did not mean to egg your mother."

Posted by: Kentucky will pound you

Hilarious. Now you're reaching - Simply pathetic.

Will all you ignorant 'necks call for the death penalty against South Carolina? Hmmmmm, hillsnakes?

Or is it just the phony morality instilled by those duct tape and cardboard churches that makes you yell about...gasp....strippers!

Ethics and reasoning was cut from the UTrailer budget last year so I guess the answer will be no.

Actually, I do wonder what the Gator fans' reaction is to this.

You gonna rip Spurrier, or give him a free pass?

And only because it is not mentioned here, did Finley get suspended, pulled for a series or was he in there from the start?

I didn't watch the Gator game, so I really don't know. I just want to see if Matt was right.

Hey Five, Finley was suspended for the UT game, he is eligible to play this Sat.
Don't know the details of the SC deal, but from what little I have read it seems Spurrier has nothing to do with it. The SC compliance office is a different story. Can you compare that to the Shapiro story? Seems like Shapiro was involved for a much longer time period and had more players, coaches and adminstrators involved with him. Looks worse for you.
BTW, my name is not meant for you, but for the multiple named pathetic troll who can't stay away from us.

Trash boy, you are a Gatr apologist. I will be here to torture you until you amend your grotesque ways.

I have a feeling when you lose your program and there's no need for a cane blog you'll be camped out here wiping boogers on Matt's blog.

yeah, wiping boogers. Good one. Did you graduate from UTrailer last year? Can't get a real job? C'mon, that worthless diploma from the public diploma mill has to be good for something,no?

Fellow Gators there is no need to respond to the troll with many names. Like I said before each of her posts makes humanity dumber. It is best to ignore her and when Dah U resumes their losing ways, she will go away.

Naaaaaaaah, Gatr douche. I will go away once Kentucky, Bama, LSU and Auburn pound you. Soon enough, swamp maggot. Soon enough. And what makes you think I am a Canes fan? Miami attracts people from all over.

Now, outside of Vandy, is there an SEC school that isn't a glorified technical college?

Maybe this guy needs a puppy?

"Take your trash", in one sense, I can compare it to Shapiro in that there was a cruise on a yacht, and the total money was actually more for the SC players. Since the suspensions seem weighted based on total dollar amounts, that makes theirs worse.

In the other sense, it was a hotel employee and some outsiders versus an inside booster criminal Ponzi schemer, so I can't compare there, that makes ours worse. Nice hotel room versus nice hooker is a big difference.

The better comparison though is former Cane Butch Davis at UNC getting fired to Steve Spurrier at USCe, both claiming their innocence. Former coach comes back, beats you, then his team gets caught in violations.

I just wondered for Gator fans if SC gets the favored coach and conference support, or do they get the rival treatment like we gave to FSU when they were Free Shoes U and had a tutor giving answers to tests. Many Canes fans were torn on Butch, and thought he got fired for things he had nothing to do with, but some loved that he got his after quitting on the Canes and leaving us with Coker.

Thanks for answering, BTW.

Thanks for enlightening us.

I wish Spurrier only the best, there are no ill feelings toward him, I would venture most Gators feel the same way. Only when he plays against us do I root against him, and if we lose to his team it's our fault, we should prepare better, practice harder, recruit better players or whatever.
You said it, a criminal, ponzi schemer, who happens to be an insider, doing his dirty deed for such a long long period of time is much worse than any of the other schools' violations.

Hey Matt,
How about some current news, this stuff is getting old.
What happened to your admonition about immature banter? There is one immature repeat offender that is dragging all of us down.

The Wall Street Journal just slammed the academic credentials of the SEC. As if we didn't know that outside of Vandy it is an intellectual cesspool.

The rest of nation just slammed the U and implored the NCAA to SMU the Hurricanes.

Wow. More trash on the SEC. Not that anyone would notice a little extra garbage, but the SEC is a slimy semi-pro league where the 1/2% of athletes make it to the pros. The rest, including the larger student populations, are horribly unprepared and uneducated.

"Meanwhile, the word was already out that the Sooners had no desire for an SEC move because the school is attempting to raise its academic and football honesty image."

When Oklahoma thinks you are beneath them academically and ethically, you gots problems. And lots of them.

When canes think they are victims and not ugly perpetrators the rest of the free world laughs so hard we need diapers to keep from wetting ourselves.

Projecting and avoiding the issue won't make it go away. What does the dreadful academic reputation of the SEC and Oklahoma's pinking of it have to do with the Hurricanes?

For a school that professes superiority, UF sure is sensitive and insecure when it comes to Miami. Oh well, the inferiority complex is understandable when you take such a beating nationally.

Projecting and avoiding the issue won't make it go away

Well said my friend!

I am not an ignorant 'next with a worthless diploma.

Errrr, doesn't seem that the Shapiro issue has been avoided. It is all that was talked about for 3 weeks.

Now, about the public diploma mill....

I hate ingorant nexts!

And ignorant ones!

Nexts or 'necks. What difference does it make? You go into the world terribly unprepared. You can stroke yourself over Tebow memories but that won't pay the double-wide rent.

Nope, we've all been following the Gators through thick and thin back before Tebow was born. And we always fill the stadium regardless....unlike you guys.

Miramar fake Gator you are a cane troll, you are a pathetic loser just like your school. Just because you keep repeating the same bull, it doesn't make it so.
UF is better academically than UM, no matter what you and US News say. High school counselors and seniors say different and everyone is impressed when your kid is accepted to UF, most are not and they settle for UM, FIU, or FSU.
As far as athletics it's no contest, see who won the Capital One Cup.
But facts don't matter to fools like you and your canes.
Good luck next week against powerhouse Bethune Cookman, you will need it.

MATT............DUDE..............SOME NEW STUFF


How long is your vacation, Matt?

I appreciate the articles Matt. The comments here are just too ridiculous with the bitter, angry canes yammering on about ________(insert Gator reason for their bitterness here).

Kind of like when your kids break a toy -- when its broken, no more toy.

If you're not going to update this blog in the middle of the season when UF is playing the best team in the country then could you go ahead and just shut it down so we can put an end to this fake internet rivalry that exists between UM computer nerds and UF computer nerds on this website?

The comments to this entry are closed.