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Colin Kaepernick may not have been in the hotel suite when events went down

Reports out of Miami indicate Colin Kaepernick may not have even been at the suite when the disturbance went down. We break down what this all means, what we know are facts, and what we might infer.

Christian Petersen

Monday afternoon, Andy Slater posted a copy of a police incident report that indicated Ricardo Lockette had called 9-1-1 twice on the evening of April 1. The incident report stated that Lockette and the woman had a dispute, and Lockette called 9-1-1 at 12:03 when she would not leave a bedroom. Matt Maiocco and Matt Barrows both reported that sources indicated Lockette placed a second 9-1-1 call at 12:20 when the woman still would not leave. Barrows followed this up with a report from a source that Colin Kaepernick was not at the apartment at the time of the disturbance and also when the police arrived.

Barrows reported on Friday that the suite belonged to Kap, and that Lockette and Patton had only recently been staying there (thus the reference to "his suite" in that tweet).

At this point, there is a lot of information out there to digest. Some of it we can verify with pretty close to 100 percent accuracy, but a lot of it is still based on the word of anonymous sources. We can infer a lot from this, but until more information comes out as cold, hard facts, we're left with more inferences than anything else.

What do we know with certainty?

We know the 9-1-1 calls happened. The incident report verifies the first one, and a Fire Rescue spokesperson mentioned that one and the second one in a statement on the record.

We know the woman was taken to the hospital, and various exams were conducted.

We know the woman went to the police to provide a statement.

Other than that, everything else is based on sources that have not gone entirely on the record, as far as I can tell.

I bring this up because I've seen a variety of comments indicating certain things are facts, when in reality they are not yet on the record as completely verified facts. For example, we don't know that there was a bong at the house. The initial police incident report was simply a narrative provided by the woman to the police. She went to the police station and provided this statement. The report was released to the media before there had been verification of the information presented by the woman.

Additionally, we don't know the full context of Barrows' tweet. Was Kap there earlier and then left, or was he gone the entire night?

The combination of the 9-1-1 report and the Fire Rescue spokesperson talking about both calls bodes well for the players. It is also worth noting that it appears none of the player have had to conduct an interview with police about the incident. Barrows is reporting as well that Kap might actually be back in the Bay Area in advance of the offseason workout program starting next week. It has been repeatedly stated that no one has accused anybody of a crime, and more importantly there is no evidence of a crime.

At this point, this incident is likely to go away. The reputations of Kap, Patton or Lockette have not been ruined, but obviously there will be a few idiots who will bring this up in some form or fashion. Generally that will be reserved for the comments of Pro Football Talk, Yahoo! and ESPN, but there will be idiots.

In a perfect world, Kap and company would sue TMZ for defamation. Unfortunately, given his circumstances as a public figure, he would not have an easy case. The general idea behind defamation requires 1) a publication to one other than the person defamed; 2) a false statement of fact; 3) that is understood as a) being of and concerning the plaintiff; and b) tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.

For Kap to successfully sue, he has to overcome one other requirement. Kap is a "public figure" (a legal term), which means he has to prove actual malice. Actual malice requires publishing with either knowledge of falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth. Reckless disregard for the truth is a very high standard to meet. TMZ has an army of attorneys, and I'd imagine they have handled this kind of thing before. Unfortunately they will continue to hurt people's character with what prove to be false reports, and they'll get away with it.

For now, we're fast approaching the point where the players will get back to OTAs in Santa Clara and Seattle. Football will return, and this will hopefully be forgotten by most sooner rather than later. There will be idiots out there who will bring this up, but even if this incident had not happened, they would find something else to opine about. And either way, they remain idiots. Just remember that.