Responding to public criticism Friday morning from the head of the Philadelphia police union that the investigation into a Feb. 7 nightclub brawl allegedly involving Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was moving too slowly, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams released a statement shortly thereafter saying in essence the probe would take as long as necessary.
During an interview on Philadelphia radio station WIP, John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, said Williams was "overthinking" the probe into the altercation that resulted in two off-duty police officers suffering injuries for which they sought treatment at hospitals.
"I think they're investigating too much," McNesby said. "They need to just move on with it. If he does not charge the group of individuals that were there that night, that's an absolute disrespect to Philadelphia police officers."
McNesby noted that in more than 4,500 felony arrests during his career, he has "never waited this long, ever, to see somebody arrested." He went on to say that if charges weren't filed, the union would look to take the matter to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. "We'll also have our attorneys file a private criminal complaint, and we'll move in that direction," McNesby said.
It was a dramatic shift in tone for McNesby, who on Wednesday told The Buffalo News the DA's office was "being a little bit more thorough than the average investigation." He added, “They’re making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed."
McNesby also told The News, “I think it’s clear, by the video (that has been available online) and everything else, that, eventually, this is going to come to a head and then it will start back up again. The fact of the matter is that this was serious, not only because police officers were involved or off-duty police. I think it was because the nature of what you saw there."
In his statement, Williams said, "I understand that people are interested in the outcome of our investigation, but we're not going to rush because some people are impatient ... My only goal is to get it right, not fast. The last thing we need is a rush to judgment. ... I'm only going to operate on one timeline: The timeline that ends when all of the evidence is collected, has been reviewed and I have made the decision to charge or not charge a case."