Steve Foley might never play football again. He was shot last summer during an altercation with an off-duty police officer. The officer began following Foley in the southern part of San Diego on suspicion that Foley was driving under the influence. This off-duty cop followed Foley, in his civilian vehicle, to a neighborhood about 25 minutes away from where the cop began following Foley. When Foley exited the freeway he realized someone was following him. He stopped the car on the side of the road and exchanged words with the officer. Foley and the officer then got back in their cars and continued driving, where they eventually met in cul-de-sac not far from Foley’s
Stop for a second and put yourself in Foley’s shoes, he has realized that he has been followed off of the highway and now into his neighborhood at 3 a.m. by a man whom he doesn’t know. Foley exited his vehicle and began approaching the officer who then pulled his gun, and shot Foley, possibly ending his career and costing him millions of
dollars. It is egregious that no disciplinary action has been taken against the officer for the way he handled the investigation. It was the middle of the night; did he really think that without a uniform or marked police vehicle that he would be able to execute an effective D.U.I investigation? There is no possible way, imagine some guy waiving at you to pull over at 3 a.m. after he had followed you for the previous twenty minutes. You would have to be an idiot to comply with something like that.
The off-duty officer should have used his cell phone to call for marked police vehicles to complete the investigation. Especially after the first verbal altercation with Foley, the cop should have realized that this situation wasn’t going to end smoothly and that someone the size of Foley requires a lot of extra police assistance or in this case just a pistol. The neighborhood where this happened is an up-scale place where the cops beg for something to happen. But this off-duty cop from the city wanted to handle things by himself. And because of his poor decisions, a man’s football career is probably over.
Steve Foley did break the law, he was driving under the influence of alcohol and that is a crime for which he should have been (and is being) punished for, but the cop’s poor handling of the situation escalated it into a shooting. A shooting that shouldn’t have
happened. A shooting that changed a man’s life forever.