The State Attorney’s office announced in a statement today, that charges against Antonio Morrison, after an arrest early Sunday morning, would be dropped due to insufficient evidence against Morrison.
In the statement, State Attorney Bill Cervone said of the incident, “Having reviewed the law and the evidence, specifically the video of what occurred, I have today filed a dismissal of all charges against Antonio Morrison related to his arrest on July 21 for interfering with a police dog and resisting an officer.” The statement continued, “The dismissal is based on the lack of evidence to warrant, much less legally sustain, those charges and the complete inappropriateness of pursuing court action against Morrison, or anyone else, under the circumstances involved.”
The arrest initially sent a shockwave through Gator Nation, as this was the second incident Morrison had found himself in this offseason. However, the release of the police dashboard camera footage gave the public a first hand look at what really transpired that night.
In speaking with Huntley Johnson, Antonio Morrison’s attorney, he said that the video made his job easy.
“Well, I didn’t have to do much, because I think the video spoke for itself.” Johnson told Gator Country on Tuesday, “I think Mr. Cervone recognized it for what it was and appropriately dismissed the charges.”
Johnson also sees the event as not only an overreaction by the arresting officer, but an embarrassing situation for the city of Gainesville and Alachua County.
“I think the police officer overreacted,” Johnson told Gator Country. “I think he said it himself, his patience was thin. I think the event was embarrassing for the city of Gainesville and the county of Alachua.”
With these new charges now out of the way, Morrison is back on track to finish his part of a court agreement for deferred prosecution regarding a previous and unrelated case from several weeks ago.
Morrison had previously been arrested and charged with simple battery, but agreed to deferred prosecution under the guidelines that he pay $100 in court fees, make a $150 donation to CDS Family & Behavioral Services, complete 12 hours of community service, complete a Florida alcohol and drug abuse education program, attend anger management classes and participate in a two hour ride-along with UF police. Morrison is on track to meet all of those guidelines and upon completion, will have that previous charge dropped.
Cervone reiterated that Morrison’s run in with law enforcement last Sunday will not effect his previous agreement with the courts.
“Morrison’s deferral agreement in his previous case will remain in effect. Because his arrest and potential prosecution for this new incident are, in my view, legally inappropriate, there are no grounds to revoke that agreement.” Cervone continued in his released statement, “To anyone suggesting that he [Morrison] has received special treatment due to his status, I would say review the police video and associated reports. Doing so with an unbiased, legally rigorous analysis can only lead to the conclusions I’ve reached.”