Former Florida State Seminoles player De’Andre Johnson is “embarrassed” by the video that shows him punching a woman in the face at a local college bar, but maintains he was provoked after she allegedly spewed racial slurs at him.
The 19-year-old was charged with misdemeanor battery when the footage of Johnson violently hitting the woman at a Tallahassee bar was released, Think Progress reports. He was also dismissed from the Florida State Seminoles team.
Surveillance cameras at Yiannis nightclub caught the moments leading up to the encounter. Johnson and the woman are seen making their way to the bar separately before they began shoving each other. After engaging in a brief physical altercation, Johnson can then be seen punching the woman on the left side of her face.
Johnson’s lawyer, Jose Baez, says the player is remorseful, adding that he was defending himself since the woman allegedly began the encounter by spitting out racial slurs.
“De’Andre is extremely embarrassed by this situation and would like to express his heartfelt apologies to everyone, including those who were directly affected, Coach Fisher and his team mates, the entire Florida State University community, as well as his family and friends,” said Baez.
Police are continuing an investigation into the incident. Johnson and the woman will not, however, face any charges for suspected underage drinking.
When it comes to athletes and the law in Florida, many believe they’re given special treatment. Police were scrutinized after a report was edited and Johnson’s name redacted, but the victim’s name, race, address, and phone number were released to the public.
A Tallahassee Police records official explained why last week:
“Anything that is considered active criminal investigation is redacted,” said a Tallahassee Police records official on the phone Friday morning. “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. Victim’s names are not exempt from public records law,” the official said, unless it’s a case involving sexual violence.
Since 2011, nine Seminoles players have faced run-ins with the law, including former star quarterback Jameis Winston, who was accused of rape by a FSU student in 2012, and cited for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket in 2014.
SOURCE: Think Progress | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN