On April 13, former Florida defensive tackle and NFL Draft hopeful Caleb Brantley made the news in an unusual way. He was slapped in the face by a woman who was angry because he refused to sleep with her. Police in Gainesville, Florida investigated the incident and corroborated Brantley’s story. He decided not to press charges.
You can read the story and the incident report here. Several features impressed me:
- The officer filed the report even though there were no charges. Not all officers are such sticklers about paperwork.
- The report is written in plain English
- Most sentences are short and straightforward
- The officer used normal everyday words for speaking: said, admitted, and spoke rather than the jargonish advised
And there’s one more detail that impressed me. Here’s part of a sentence from the report (I shortened it to save time). See if you can figure out what I liked about it:
He used to sleep with one of Austin’s friends.
Here it is: the officer spelled used to correctly. Many writers – unfortunately – forget that d at the end: used to.
One detail that puzzled me was the omission of names and phone numbers for witnesses questioned by police – but perhaps there’s a reason the agency didn’t require that information.
Gainesville is – of course – a university town, and I suspect the officer who wrote the report is a college graduate. It’s worth reading and imitating. Well done!
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