Police report redacted FSU QB’s info but not the alleged victim’s

FSU QB De'Andre Johnson has been suspended indefinitely from the team.

Stacy Revere

On Thursday, news broke that Florida State freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson had been suspended indefinitely from the football program, and a report cited that Johnson allegedly punched a woman in the face at a Tallahassee bar.

According to the report, Johnson wasn’t interviewed by police on the evening the incident reportedly took place because "he had left the bar." As far as we know right now, Johnson hasn’t been arrested or charged with anything. There are accusations and little else in the way of answers or details.

While we wait for more information, let’s turn the spotlight on the Tallahassee Police Department.

Deadspin requested a copy of the police report on Thursday and was sent a heavily redacted report that offered almost nothing except one peculiarity: The Tallahassee PD reportedly redacted all identifying information for Johnson but did not do the same for the alleged victim.

Included in the report — along with the approximate time of the incident and the location — was the woman’s name, phone number and address, Deadspin says.

To Deadspin’s credit, they redacted the woman’s name and information on their own before posting the police report on their site.

Apparently there is a legal reason for why the Tallahassee PD left the alleged victim’s information in the report but not the suspect’s. 

"Anything that is considered active criminal investigation is redacted," a Tallahassee police official told SB Nation. "If the suspect has not been charged with a crime at this time, it’s redacted and then the Criminal Investigations Department is following up with it. If that person ever becomes charged, then it becomes public record. Obviously, a witness name is not gonna be released, because what they can provide is still part of an active criminal investigation."

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As for victims: "Victim’s names are not exempt from public records law," the police official said, unless it’s a sexual violence case.

It’s fair to question the Tallahassee PD considering how incredibly flawed its work was on the Jameis Winston sexual assault case, and just because the Tallahassee police could, by law, make the alleged victim’s information public doesn’t mean it should. Too often laws and rules are used as crutches and self-defense mechanisms, even when those laws and rules are illogical. There’s no neccesary reason for releasing the alleged victim’s information in this case, and "well the law says it’s cool" shouldn’t be where judgment ends. If that’s the law, it’s a senseless law and should be changed.

Anyway, you can imagine the appropriate amount of disgust that this has been met with. Here’s a small sample that sums it up:

Update: A Twitter follower sent along this photo of the Johnson police report and says a local news outlet in Florida received Friday afternoon. It appears the woman’s information has been redacted. If that’s all true, then the Tallahassee Police Department is now redacting her information on subsequent requests after backlash began Thursday evening.

Teddy Mitrosilis works in content production at FOX Sports Digital. Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at tmitrosilis@gmail.com.