UPDATE: The New York Giants suspended star receiver Plaxico Burress this morning.
New York Mayor, Mike Bloomberg spoke out against Plaxico Burress yesterday, saying “I think it would be an outrage it we didn’t prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, particularly people who live in the public domain, who make their living because of their visibility. They are the role models for our kids.”
Watch Bloomberg Discuss Plaxico Burress
Burress’ lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Sunday that he was advised the player planned to plead not guilty to criminal possession of a weapon. “I do not expect that Mr. Burress will make a statement,” Brafman wrote. He met with Burress for about an hour Sunday at the player’s home in New Jersey.
“I would ask that his fans, the Giants and the media withhold judgment in this matter until all of the facts have been disclosed,” Brafman wrote to the AP.
Brafman is a well-known criminal lawyer who has defended mobsters and other high-profile figures, including hip-hop impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs on a bribery and gun possession charge in 2001.
Burress shot himself at a Manhattan nightclub Friday night and was released from a hospital early Saturday, the Giants said.
UPDATE: Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce was interviewed by NFL security about teammate Plaxico Burress‘ accidental shooting, general manager Jerry Reese said before New York’s game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Pierce reportedly was present Friday night at New York City’s Latin Quarter nightclub in East Harlem when Burress shot himself in the right thigh, the latest dramatic turn in a tumultuous season of fines and suspension for the Super Bowl champions‘ star receiver.
Reportedly, Burress was trying to retrieve the weapon after it had slipped down his pant leg when the gun went off.
Neither Reese nor Giants president and CEO John Mara would say what Burress’ status with the team might be going forward.
“I want to wait until we find out all the facts and circumstances before we make any determination,” Mara said. “I don’t know what happened there, and until we find out exactly what happened, I’m not going to make any comment or make any decision about what his future is.”
Pierce, meanwhile, was active Sunday. He was questioned by league personnel at the Giants’ team hotel Saturday, Reese said, although the GM wasn’t sure whether Pierce talked to police.
Reese and Mara said they hadn’t spoken to Burress, who hurt his hamstring two weeks ago and was going to miss the game against the Redskins because of that injury.
“I reached out to him,” Reese said. “I did not get a return phone call.”
Mara repeatedly said the Giants would cooperate with the police and the NFL in their investigations.
Asked if he knows what the scope of those inquiries are, Mara said: “I do not know, no. I guess the circumstances of how he got shot, whose gun it was. There are a lot of questions like that that are still unanswered.”
The team has released a statement saying, “Our primary concern is for Plaxico’s health and well-being, and given the circumstances, we are relieved to say he was released from a New York City hospital.”
Two weeks ago, Burress injured a hamstring in a game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants had said yesterday that he would not be playing tomorrow against the Redskins in Washington.