Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Give it up and tell the truth
Attention Assistant Police Chief Ron Twitty: You're busted. Do the right thing and admit you made a mistake, then tried to cover it up.
Admit you led people on and let them stick their necks out to defend you. Apologize.
The sealed evidence against Lt. Col. Twitty is stronger than sober-up coffee. It fills two fat folders. The sheriff's best detectives put 1,200 hours into this case.
At his press conference Tuesday, Col. Twitty sat mum while his defenders protested that the investigation has taken too long.
But Col. Twitty asked for it.
Out on a limb
He made it a race issue. He sat by and watched as others rushed to pump it up like an overinflated tire, ready to explode.
He encouraged his lawyer and others to claim he was being railroaded by racists.
And that left the detectives no choice but to turn over every rock, to make sure there could be no mistake, no gaps in the net that snagged Col. Twitty's slippery stories.
Now Col. Twitty needs to look in the mirror and give it up. Tell the truth.
Take the deal
As of Tuesday, the plan was to offer a deal: If he leaves the police force, he will be allowed to plead to a misdemeanor and save his lottery-jackpot pension that could pay more than $5,500 a month.
If he sticks to his crumbling story, he will be indicted for a felony and will lose his pension if convicted. Everything will come out in court anyway.
The concrete embedded in the bumper that he claimed was smashed by a hit-and-run driver. Since when are they making cars out of cement?
The witnesses who saw him at 5 a.m. in McEvoy Park when he claimed he was home by 1 a.m.
And lots more, according to a source close to the investigation who knows what the detectives found.
If Col. Twitty had only gone to his boss the next morning and said, Chief, I'm sorry, I really blew it last night. I had an accident with my city car. Write me up. If he did that, chances are it all would have ended with a reprimand in a file that went back in a drawer.
Instead, he has betrayed his friends who took his word and went out on a limb to defend him.
If he can't rise above his own pride and take the deal, the damage to Cincinnati will not be the kind that can be repaired in a body shop like his dented city Ford.
The worst thing that could happen for our city and Col. Twitty is a long, tortuous trip through the trial courts. The truth will come out. But it's much less painful to remove this splinter before it's infected by more reckless lies about racism.
Col. Twitty has already cost the city a convention that would have been a welcome antidote to the boycott. Urban League President Hugh Price was looking for an excuse to appease protesters and bail out of his promise to come to Cincinnati and Col. Twitty handed him the flimsy alibi he wanted.
Col. Twitty knew the truth, and still had the brass to demand an apology from the city. Now it's time for the city to demand an apology from Col. Twitty.
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