UPDATED: 8:20 p.m. ET, March 8
Originally published on March 7
The Colorado police department investigating NBA star Ja Morant following a video in which he brandished a gun has said the professional basketball player will not be criminally charged. However, Morant’s indefinite suspension from the Memphis Grizzlies will remain in effect, ESPN reported on Wednesday.
In their news release Wednesday, Glendale police say they conducted an investigation after being alerted to the video streamed on Morant’s Instagram channel, determining that the incident took place at a strip club called Shotgun Willie’s early Saturday, hours after Memphis’ loss to the Denver Nuggets, but that there “was not enough available evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”
“GPD was not able to determine that probable cause existed for the filing of any charges,” the news release stated, in part. “In this case, it should be noted that on the night in question the GPD did not receive any calls for service at the nightclub regarding a weapon of any type. Subsequently, no disturbances were reported, and no citizens or patrons of the club came forward to make a complaint. The investigation also concluded that no one was threatened or menaced with the firearm and in fact no firearm was ever located.”
Ja Morant has made some mistakes, but is he a criminal?
The Glendale Police Department in Colorado announced Monday they are investigating Morant after a video of him brandishing a weapon in a Glendale bar went viral on social media.
According to Capt. Jamie Dillon, police did not receive any calls or complaints about Ja Morant or his actions in the bar last weekend but began the investigation based on the video. The Memphis Grizzlies superstar has been suspended from the team for no less than two games, probably more, but why are the police investigating him?
The Glendale Police Department has a very shady past filled with controversy, corruption and brutality. Last summer four Glendale police officers were placed on administrative leave after they were caught on camera punching and kicking a man in the face while detaining him.
In 2020, John Saro Balian, a former detective for the Glendale Police was arrested by the FBI on federal charges of making false statements during interviews with investigators who were probing his connections to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime. According to DOJ, Balian was interviewed by several law enforcement agencies over a six-month period in 2017 and repeatedly made false statements and misrepresentations about his links to criminal figures. A year prior, a video surfaced from a 2017 incident where Glendale police used a Taser 11 times on a suspect before arresting him. Officers were also accused of pulling the detainee’s pants down while he was in custody and shocking him in his testicles.
Ja Morant certainly deserves scrutiny, but he has yet to really be in trouble with the law. Some believe if he doesn’t change his ways, he is destined to make the perception that he is a “thug” a reality.
His actions have been considerably less than ideal.
Morant and at least one of his friends were revealed to have allegedly repeatedly punched a 17-year-old boy in the face and head during a pickup basketball game at the star’s home last summer. In that instance, Morant is also accused of going into his home and emerging with a gun in his waistband. Morant reportedly claimed he was defending himself from the teenager.
That allegedly happened four days after Morant and “a group of as many as nine other people” allegedly “threatened” a sneaker shop employee after a dispute with the basketball player’s mother in a Memphis mall, according to police reports obtained by the Washington Post. When mall security confronted the group, a man in Morant’s group allegedly assaulted the employee. Morant then said, “Let me find out what time he gets off,” according to police reports, which also state that the mall security “felt threatened by the statement from Ja Morant.”
Those reports came weeks after an alleged incident involving Morant in the loading dock area of the Grizzlies’ home arena FedEx Forum as the Indiana Pacers were about to depart following their game Jan. 29.
A report on The Athletic claimed that “acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant aggressively confronted members of the Pacers traveling party near the team’s bus in the loading area of FedEx Forum, and later someone in a slow-moving SUV — which Morant was riding in — trained a red laser on them.”
Colorado is an open-carry state. Although the state does not allow possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, it’s unclear if Morant was intoxicated the night of the incident. Morant could also be disciplined by the NBA as well.
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