I'm here to issue a quasi-apology to Ahmad Brooks. Since the news broke that Brooks hit Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle, I've suggested he should be suspended and this was generally a pretty crazy situation. Well, I don't know whether or not Brooks should be suspended, but I do know that he was not the only person doing stupid stuff leading up to these events. So, I apologize for only assuming Brooks was the one doing stupid stuff. It takes two people acting stupid to tango, or something like that.
The Santa Clara District Attorney's office decided not to press charges against Brooks, and as more facts have come out, this whole thing seems basically like two guys doing stupid stuff. I don't really know who deserves more blame, but the whole thing is really just a ridiculous situation.
The DA's office released an inter-office memo, which the Sacramento Bee, among others, was able to come across. I've embedded the memo below, and I recommend you read over it. The facts of the case are not entirely bizarre, but the whole thing is a little out there.
The incident was preceded by some pushing and shoving in May in which Divens shoved Brooks and Brooks suffered a two-inch cut on his leg. On June 8, it now sounds like Brooks partially thought Divens was going to push him again. He did hit him with the bottle, but there has been nobody else to corroborate that Brooks said he was going to get his gun.
In the memo, the DA's investigator acknowledged a potential self-defense claim, in part based on the events that took place in May. Divens said he was just playing then before pushing Brooks, so it is possible Brooks could raise a question of self-defense in this situation. It is arguable whether hitting Divens three times with a bottle is an equal response, but the DA's office apparently thinks it raises enough reasonable doubt that a conviction would be difficult.
Far and away the most bizarre part of this was Lamar Divens decision to engage in some extortion. After the incident, Divens told Brooks he wanted $1 million. He apparently reiterated that fact to an investigator for the DA's office. Apparently, Divens doesn't quite realize that extortion is against the law. Fooch's Note: As reedkrase pointed out, it could have been a simple settlement demand. In that case, it's just ridiculous to think he could get that much money. Just adds to the overall absurdity.
This whole thing is just weird. I don't know if we'll see a suspension or not because this is not as clear-cut as one might imagine. The 49ers released a statement in which they said "we look forward to moving on from this situation and will have no further comment." Does that mean they'll suspend one or both players? Are they moving past it entirely? Who knows. And of course, the NFL can elect to do some investigating of their own. I have to think we'll get some kind of statement from the NFL about this at some point between now and the end of the preseason.
I'd recommend giving this memo a read to get a better idea of the facts and the legal issues involved.