This blog was originally posted on Tallahassee.Com on August 4, 2008. I just wanted to air some new feelings regarding recent events. I read Police Chief Dennis M. Jones’s piece “TPD takes lessons from death of Hoffman in today’s Democrat and I come away even angrier than I was when I first wrote this.
I am appalled that his faux concern was given a space on the front page of the local section. This is in light of yesterday’s paper revealing that of all the sorry officers involved in this farce of an operation only one officer lost his job. I reiterate my earlier call that all officers involved with the sting operation be fired and be charged with criminal negligence. “I am sorry” doesn’t work for me and it sure as hell is not doing Rachel Hoffman any good in the search for justice.
Tragically, this young woman will never get the chance to turn her life around. She will never know the joy of becoming a parent. She will not grow old. She is dead! And I place the blame squarely on the Tallahassee Police Department. And I did not need a damn Grand Jury investigation to come to this conclusion. To borrow a line from my favorite movie Full Metal Jacket, Joker comments that “The dead only know one thing. And that is, it is better to be alive.” That’s all Rachel Hoffman knows now.
I am not anti-police, they serve a purpose but I am not in the pro column either. In my lifetime I have come across my share of Goons with badges. And I consider every sworn officer in the chain of command that had knowledge of the sting operation to be a Goon. Along with the two men currently being held at the jail for her murder, so should each of the officers involved be. Not with the charges of murder and kidnapping mind you, but whatever statute that governs being complicit in her death and operating on a level of stupidity that is an insult to the truly stupid people out there.
Was the TPD that desperate for a headline that they would risk the life of a woman who had no clue about what she was getting herself into? Is a person’s life worth a mere $13,000? Ms. Hoffman obviously made some bad choices when she deviated from the plan but I contend that she should have never been put into that position in the first place. I really don’t want to interject race into this but as a black man, if I were approached by a young white woman wanting to purchase what TPD wanted I would have known that something foul was going down. I’ve lived in Washington, DC, Newark, NJ, and in the Bronx to understand police procedure. She should have never been out of the “Jump out Squad’s” line of site at anytime.
I hope that Al Lawson is successful in securing compensation for Hoffman’s family. Otherwise, a civil lawsuit can do tremendous damage to this city. A word of caution to anyone thinking about attending the upcoming TPD’s annual night out event; they just might be recruiting for confidential informants.