I wonder whether an ordinary person would be immediately released from custody if charged with felony counts of fleeing police and aggravated assault while driving drunk, three counts of aggravated assault for nearly running down police officers with his vehicle and 10 misdemeanors including resisting arrest and attempted escape. I suspect that an unknown individual would be recognized as a menace and either held without bond or subjected to a bond of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. The situation is different when the accused thug is Alameda Ta’amu, a member of the exalted Pittsburgh Steelers, this DUI charge being his second.
The Steelers have provided a tap on the wrist to Ta’amu, suspending him for a mere two games. I am sure that will have a powerful effect, no doubt serving to convert him into a law-abiding, honorable teetotaler gentleman who respects the property and lives of others.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus, who represents the South Side, the area in which the alleged atrocity occurred in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, had it exactly right in reacting to Ta’amu’s apology to his teammates, stating that the apology was made to the wrong people, that it should have been addressed to area residents, business owners, and visitors to the South Side, and to the pitiable police officers whose lives he endangered.
Do we give a pass (pun intended) to someone simply because they are a professional athlete and because their life-threatening actions did not result in injury or death this time? How many chances are to be provided to a miscreant before he is no longer able to be regarded as a respected member of society? How much mayhem are they permitted to inflict before they land behind bars?