by Jeff Taylor
Call me obsessive but I was driven back to that Wayne Powers-Rob Tufano interview for another close listen after reading the Uptown paper today. First the interview basics.
A few minutes in, after Tufano tells Powers that he has seen the Marcus Jackson personnel file, the indefatigable Powers asks if Jackson was suspended by CMPD. Tufano says that “to the best of my knowledge” Jackson was suspended once, but will not say for what.
“I’m not going to go into the nature of what his suspension was, but I will tell you that it does not rise to the level of termination regardless of whether he was on probation or not.” Tufano then says that this suspension did come while Jackson was on probation.
Then “without commenting on the nature of the suspension,” Tufano spins out a hypothetical situation, the aim of which is to show that a cost-benefit analysis argues against CMPD eating the $80K cost to the taxpayers of putting an officer through training by dismissing officers for minor infractions during their first months on the job.
“And again, this has nothing to do with the Marcus Jackson case, we’re just going to use a hypothetical situation, if any officer on the job for six months is charged with exceeding the speed limit in a patrol car, would that warrant terminating the officer?” Tufano asks.
Aside from the merits of his argument, what any fair-minded listener would take away from Tufano’s comments on the suspension is that Ofc. Jackson absolutely, positively was not suspended for speeding. Something minor like speeding, but not speeding.
How then to square this with the Uptown Paper of Record reaching back to its reporting on the Jackson affair today to state in an editorial:
In July he was cited for speeding, according to a police source, and in September he was cited for allegedly breaking into his estranged wife’s apartment. Chief Monroe has acknowledged Jackson was disciplined for speeding.
Forget about the alleged break-in in Mint Hill — for now anyway, Tufano certainly did. Monroe and Tufano appear to be at complete odds over the nature of Jackson’s other suspension. Besides, if Monroe is on record as saying that the suspension was for speeding, why can’t Tufano go ahead and say that too?
Now, I suppose it is possible that the UPoR got the Monroe side wrong and will issue a correction tomorrow. But somehow I don’t think that is the case. And you certainly don’t need black helicopters, tin foil hats, or radio transmitters in your fillings to have serious problems with the Marcus Jackson narrative as it has been presented to us by city officials thus far.