The Bill Murray Incident Report

On August 10, police were called to a club in Martha’s Vineyard to deal with a dispute between Bill Murray and photographer Peter Simon (brother of Carly Simon). (No charges were filed.) You can read the report below.

The report is thorough and professional – but wordy. It rambles, and that’s not an efficient way for busy police officers to write reports. You need to use your critical thinking skills to decide which information is relevant to the matter at hand. For example, it might not be necessary in this report to say that Simon was sitting in his car. (In a different situation that might be important information.)

Here’s a sample from the report:

The RP, Peter Simon, claimed that he was harassed by Bill Murray. I, Sgt. Curelli responded and located Simon seated in his vehicle in the parking lot. Simon advised that he was “on assignment” taking pictures for the MV Thus at Lola’s. Simon advised that he was taking pictures of the people in the restaurant and was accused by Bill Murray. Simon advised that Murray was irate that Simon was taking picture.

Here’s a more concise version:

Sgt. Curelli and I talked to Simon in the parking lot. Simon told us he was on assignment taking pictures for the MV Thus at Lola’s. Bill Murray became angry and poured a drink on Murray’s shirt. Simon told me that he didn’t recognize Murray. Simon told me that shortly thereafter, Murray grabbed him and poured a drink on his shirt. Simon told me that he was not injured but he didn’t think it was right and he wanted an apology.

You could also save time by writing Simon’s statement as a list:

Sgt. Curelli and I talked to Simon in the parking lot.

Simon told us:

  • he was on assignment taking pictures for the MV Thus at Lola’s
  • Bill Murray grabbed him and poured a drink on Simon’s shirt
  • Simon didn’t recognize Murray
  • Simon wanted an apology

Other suggestions: Don’t begin your report with “On the above date and time” – it doesn’t add anything useful. Avoid advise (police jargon) unless you actually give someone advice. Told and said are better choices. Often you can omit thereafter and other pompous words.

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