Fla Police’s 2 Month Investigation Of FSU’s Francois Raises Questions

    The history between the Tallahassee police department and Florida State football players is one with its fair share of arrests and citations given to the players — mostly of African-American descent — by the predominantly white law enforcement. 

    Just pop “Florida State football players arrested” into YouTube and click away. 

    I can remember back to 1999 when leading Heisman candidate Peter Warrick and his 21-year old teammate Laveranues Coles were arrested in connection with a scheme to underpay for clothes at a Dillards department store in Tallahassee, Fla. and charged with a single count of grand theft, as was a department store clerk, Rachel Myrtil, 19.

    The scandal wrecked Warricks Heisman campaign and is just one of several supposed criminal incidents involving FSU players and local police over the years. 

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    Meek Mill sits in jail because of the overzealousness of the Philadelphia police department, as an example of the disparity between the way black males and non-people of color are prosecuted by local law enforcement. Now we find out Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois had been under an investigation that lasted months into an alleged marijuana selling operation.

    Working on a tip that Francois was hustling weed, Tallahassee Police opened a lengthy investigation before executing a search warrant at his apartment, where they found less than an ounce of marijuana. Tallahassee Police public information officer Damon Miller said the Special Investigations Section had received information that drug activity was occurring at the residence.

    Safid Deen on Twitter

    More on FSU QB Deondre Francois: Tallahassee police had a search warrant, and found 17g of weed and paraphernalia at his apartment where he and his girlfriend were present. Francois claimed weed belonged to girlfriend, he hadn’t smoked since Dec. https://t.co/MuJQ9AscO8

    According to the police report, officers found 17 grams and some other drug paraphernalia. Francois told officers the marijuana was not his and that he had not smoked since December. He was not arrested and has been given a diversion program since it was less than 20 grams.

    You gotta be kidding me. If that isnt racist and biased police enforcement I don’t know what it is. First off, why do they think Francois would be selling marijuana? Its possible, but dont tell me he is one of the leading candidates on campus for drug kingpin. He was nursing an injury and probably smoking here and there, but hes the starting quarterback for a National powerhouse D-1 football factory and a kid. This is how you want to try and decapitate him?  

    The Tallahassee police needs to chill with this HBO The Wire surveillance on African-American school kids. 

    Rob WhoDat Brown on Twitter

    Two months.. TWO MONTHS..of surveillance, at who knows how many thousands of dollars…..and you bust a kid for having an amount of pot that most people would say requires them to buy more pot. End the drug war. You’re running kids’ lives for nothing. https://t.co/cryiQdXhwj

    Again, its possible that Francois may hang around some guys who deal in the distribution of legal/illegal pharmaceuticals (depending on what state youre in), but for the city to waste money investigating a student-athlete who is supposed to be lauded and revered in the community and represents the school, is shaky. 

    Its not surprising though because the cops who investigated him are probably Florida Gator fans and the two and half hours separating Florida’s plush, elite campus in Gainesville from Florida State’s equally impressive but more blue collar culture isnt enough time to stop the bad blood and shenanigans that surface when these two arch rivals go at it. Its common for a Seminole alum who works in the courts to leak something about  Gators player that might damage the schools reputation and vice versa. 

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    These are real things that go down in the underground world of high stakes college football. Francois is fortunate that he wasnt dealing because its obvious the police have even more incentive to screw the football program and stain the legacy of Florida States first black head football coach in Willie Taggart before it ever gets going. 

    Remember when Judge Margaret Taylor, a USF graduate, questioned Charlie Strong’s integrity, values as a man, his professionalism as a seasoned head coach, and in light of recent arrests, his control over his team and players?  

    The judge implored Strong, long admired by those inside college football and even out for his strict adherence to his Five Core Values, to, “think long and hard about whether being head coach at USF is a good fit for you before any other members of this community have to suffer at the hands of one of your players.”

    It was out of line and even more inaccurate because Strong wasn’t the head coach yet when those players got arrested. Taggart better have his players on a tight leash because it can all go downhill fast, especially if the police are willing to extensive investigations on Dub sacks of marijuana being smoked by the thousands of students on campus. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.