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Burress didn’t think he’d get in trouble after gun incident

BurressReuters Reuters

In his first televised interview since being released from prison, Jets receiver Plaxico Burress spoke at length regarding the events that resulted in his leg taking a bullet — and his butt taking a seat in a cell.

On HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which debuts on Tuesday, August 16 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, Burress re-hashed the incident in a Manhattan nightclub with Gumbel, and Burress talked about the “it’ll be OK” attitude he adopted after shooting himself with a concealed weapon.

“I knew the New York gun laws, so I definitely would have shared them with him, if I would have known he had his gun here and was taking it to New York City,” Tiffany Burress, a practicing lawyer, told Gumbel.  She also explained that, on the way home from the hospital, she told Burress he’d be going to jail.

“I’m not going to jail,” he said in response.

“I never thought it was gonna be a problem,” Burress told Gumbel.  “I just said to myself, ‘I own a gun.  It’s mine.  I bought it.  How much trouble can I be in?’”

Initially, he perhaps wouldn’t have been in quite as much trouble.   But lawyer Benjamin Brafman told Gumbel that the public comments from Mayor Michael Bloomberg complicated the situation.  The first hint of it came when, in the wake of Mayor Bloomberg’s plea for Burress to be thrown “in the slammer,” an understanding that Plaxico’s bail would be set at only $10,000 was scuttled by prosecutors, who upped the ante to $250,000.

And when Brafman explained to Burress that Mayor Bloomberg’s position had created a problem, Burress said, “Who’s Mayor Bloomberg?”

Burress then thought that, if he told his story to the grand jury, they’d go easy on him, despite the wishes of Mayor Whatshisname.

“I was wrong again,” Burress said.

In the end, it’s that deliberate ignorance with which Burress lived his life that caused him to end up spending nearly two years behind bars.  He had constant access to a lawyer in his own house, but he had no curiosity nor sensitivity as to the realities of taking a gun out in public.  And even if his wife truly didn’t know he had brought his gun to their home in New Jersey and/or that he had taken it into New York City, at some point she surely thought that Plaxico needed a talking-to when it comes to the realities of gun ownership.  In his mind, once you buy the gun, you own it, it’s yours, and as long as you don’t shoot someone else or put it in someone’s face, you can’t get in any trouble.

In his wife’s defense, she probably gave up long ago trying to talk sense into a guy who did whatever he wanted to do, and who believed that he’d find someone who would give him a break because he can run fast, jump high, and catch footballs.

“I don’t take shit from nobody,” Burress said when explaining his public image to Gumbel.

That attitude pretty much explains it all.

While he possible has changed in the wake of his incarceration, it could be that the only thing he truly has learned is that he shouldn’t take a gun into Manhattan.  And so he has gotten rid of his guns.  The real question is whether he has adopted the kind of mindset that will allow him to spot trouble — and avoid it — before trouble finds him again.

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59 Responses to “Burress didn’t think he’d get in trouble after gun incident”
  1. mikebyrne1502 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:29 PM

    Of course he didn’t think he was going to get in trouble… “I’m a high paid athlete and I won this city a SB I’m untouchable…”

  2. wryly1 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:32 PM

    So now it’s confirmed. Burress did not turn down a Rhodes Scholarship to play in the NFL.

  3. rolandsloan says: Aug 13, 2011 1:39 PM

    Not too bright it would seem.

  4. robolundgren says: Aug 13, 2011 1:39 PM

    I don’t think many people thought he would get in trouble… We’ve all learned that you can be stoned and run over someone and as long as you’re an NFL player you’ll get off with what, 2-3 weeks of jail time? And if memory serves correct, that seemed a little harsh to Mr. Stallworth.

  5. dotnukem says: Aug 13, 2011 1:40 PM

    And that’s how you spend 2 years in jail kids..

  6. tatum064 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:42 PM

    Bloomberg made an example out of him, because he is an advocate of gun control. Burress was foolish to have brought a gun, but NFL guys get robbed..i mean it is a reality of the street life that they get lured into..the clubs, making it rain, the high end would-be playas… you saw what happened to Sean Taylor…Fred Lane…it just goes on and on.

    He shouldve known better. And he paid a price for it.

  7. malthor says: Aug 13, 2011 1:44 PM

    why is it that I can’t see where Burress was wrong?

    Probably because he harmed no one and because the USA is no longer even close to the nation it once was, far more soviet in nature than “free”.

  8. fillyfan9988 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:47 PM

    “Who’s Mayor Bloomberg?”This DUMB ASS was playing for the N.Y. Giants and has NO IDEA who the mayor is.He has NO IDEA about the strict New York City gun laws.If you had learned to read you would have known about.

    1)Name of Mayor of New York City.
    2) New York City strict gun laws.

    Now you play for the New York Jets.

    FYI
    The Mayor is Michael Bloomberg
    Strict New York gun laws still in place.

  9. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Aug 13, 2011 1:48 PM

    His wife is a lawyer which makes him going to jail even more funny that I thought that it was before…

    What a knucklehead!

  10. sbxxix says: Aug 13, 2011 1:48 PM

    He paid his dues and didn’t hurt anyone. Leave the guy alone. People(with the exception of PETA) forgot about Vick’s situation pretty quickly and he actually killed animals. Burress just did something stupid but didn’t hurt anyone. Not only that he also got way too much time “in the slammer” as well so lets just forget about all this and not turn into VH1 talking about things that are not important. Give the guy a break and watch him play some good football this season.

  11. theripster30 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:51 PM

    That’s what happens when you’re an ignorant moron. Plaxico is doing a lot to rehab his image cursing in interviews by the way. Classy.

  12. jsrdc says: Aug 13, 2011 1:52 PM

    Stupid is as stupid does. Let’s all hope you have learned your lesson.

  13. randolph32 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:53 PM

    Dumb, Dumb, Double Dumb!!!

  14. jersey73 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:53 PM

    Didn’t know the mayor of New York City’s name?!?! You played for a team that was a mere minutes away across the river from that city. You live in the NYC suburbs where all of your local stations are NYC stations. Bloomberg’s name is on the news and newspapers every day.

    Self-absorbed…thy name is Plaxico.

  15. CKL says: Aug 13, 2011 1:55 PM

    I wondered how a guy who was married to a practicing lawyer could have any excuse for having no idea what the laws were. Sounds like she does as well.
    Yes the penalty is very harsh where he lives but when you are a gun owner you MUST be responsible for knowing the laws for firearms in your locale. And if you don’t know or can’t find out, err on the side of caution ferpetesakes. People who abuse owning a firearm like Plaxico did give most gun owners a bad name and a rallying cry for gun control people.

  16. eaglesfanxx says: Aug 13, 2011 1:57 PM

    I’m thrilled Burress went to the Jets while the Eagles signed Steve Smith.

    Burress was a very good player 4-5 years ago. He’s 34 with a lousy attitude about practically everything. His ignorance is unbelievable.

  17. deanvernonwormer says: Aug 13, 2011 1:59 PM

    I listened to Burress on Francesa’s show on Thursday. I walked away saying to myself “this guy ain’t too bright”. Does this story confirm my worst fears?

    The Jets in effect traded a 1 million dollar Braylon Edwards for a 3 million dollar Plaxico Burress WHO WILL NEVER MAKE IT ONTO THE FIELD!

  18. Slim Charles says: Aug 13, 2011 2:00 PM

    I don’t care what your opinion of Burress is, it’s still idiotic that he got two years. Bloomberg is a moron.

  19. My Last Victim Escaped says: Aug 13, 2011 2:07 PM

    Plaxico is no worst than the next man. Leave him alone. I done worse than Plaxico.

  20. claymath52 says: Aug 13, 2011 2:07 PM

    Ego driven a-hole? Maybe. Criminal. Not at all. I still can’t believe he did that much time.

  21. drgfri says: Aug 13, 2011 2:08 PM

    What a moron. These guys live in their own world. Roethlisberger didn’t think there was anything wrong with assaulting drunk coeds either….

  22. anpsteel says: Aug 13, 2011 2:08 PM

    Plax was a very good receiver for the Steelers, just not the brightest bulb on the tree. For his own sake- one can only hope he’s gotten a little wiser.

  23. rayvens says: Aug 13, 2011 2:22 PM

    She also explained that, on the way home from the hospital, she told Burress he’d be going to jail.
    —————————–
    she also told him “it gets worst, when u get out of Jail you will have to play for the Jets”….in which Burress insisted “it would never be that bad”..he should really listen to his wife.

  24. chadmurdigan says: Aug 13, 2011 2:28 PM

    Who’s Mayor Bloomberg?

    Geez, even I know who Mayor Bloomberg is and I live in a hick town in the Carolinas.

  25. seneca1ss says: Aug 13, 2011 2:40 PM

    Plax has tiny head which means there’s a tiny little brain in there

  26. bunjy96 says: Aug 13, 2011 2:42 PM

    Q And A:

    Q. Did he commit a crime under the laws of New York?

    A. Yes

    Q. Was the penalty mandatory?

    A. Yes

    Everything else is immaterial in the eyes of the court.

    Case closed.

  27. gpete1962 says: Aug 13, 2011 2:46 PM

    I still don’t think he deserved 2 years in house for shooting himself….. Bloom-burger was just grandstanding for political BS

  28. rolandsloan says: Aug 13, 2011 2:50 PM

    Plaxico. His lawyer wife. I would love to know
    what kind of conversations they have. Deep
    stuff I’m sure.

  29. bucks12965 says: Aug 13, 2011 2:52 PM

    I’m not defending or condeming either player with this question…..

    Since Vick & Burress both received similar time in prison for felonies, why didn’t Burress receive a similar suspension from the NFL that Vick recieved?

  30. vdaigglesfan says: Aug 13, 2011 2:52 PM

    He paid his dues and didn’t hurt anyone. Leave the guy alone. People(with the exception of PETA) forgot about Vick’s situation pretty quickly and he actually killed animals. Burress just did something stupid but didn’t hurt anyone. Not only that he also got way too much time “in the slammer” as well so lets just forget about all this and not turn into VH1 talking about things that are not important. Give the guy a break and watch him play some good football this season.

    ———————————————————-

    I never understood this line of “reasoning.” The randomness of the bullet’s trajectory determines if it is a crime. If it struck a bystander there is no doubt. But it is less of a crime that the bullet struck him? His blatant disregard for everyone’s safety makes him a threat. I’d have Vick walk my dog before I’d go clubbing with Plax.

  31. vickspreadherpes says: Aug 13, 2011 2:55 PM

    “In the end, it’s that deliberate ignorance with which Burress lived his life that caused him to end up spending nearly two years behind bars.”

    This statement is perfect. Unfortunately by the posts we see with people sticking up & accepting Plax’s & Vick’s behavior, this statements reference to ignorance also covers much of this country’s sports fan population as well.

  32. gpete1962 says: Aug 13, 2011 2:56 PM

    Bloomberg should have focused more on the 80,000,000 stolen in that payroll scandal under his nose than some Idiot who shot himself……

  33. 4512dawg4512 says: Aug 13, 2011 3:05 PM

    The whole “making an example out of him” thing was just crap. I’ll guarantee that people are still slipping through club security with guns, its not like putting Plax in the clink for two years was gonna stop that. If club security would have done their damn jobs and not let him in the place with a heater in his pocket none of this would have ever happened. Plax made a stupid mistake, the security guards choked at doing what they’re paid to do. And sadly I’ll bet that none of them even got fired SMH

  34. philyeagles5 says: Aug 13, 2011 3:50 PM

    i wouldnt really consider Burress a troublemaker, so the last line of the article is pointless. sure he made a very stupid mistake, but he was screwed by the system. he should not have been in jail for nearly 2 years for what he did.

  35. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Aug 13, 2011 3:52 PM

    4512dawg4512 says:
    Aug 13, 2011 3:05 PM

    If club security would have done their damn jobs and not let him in the place with a heater in his pocket none of this would have ever happened.

    ————————

    Yo dawg, this may come as shock to you but mentally-competent adults are responsible for their behavior. Based on your logic – and his actions – you both are neither…

  36. jrs1972 says: Aug 13, 2011 3:52 PM

    But if he was a nyc gang member, he would have got probation. This was all about bloomberg and his mission against guns, well guns other then the ones on his security team that follows him around 24/7. everyone else shouldnt have one in his world.

  37. quiettexan says: Aug 13, 2011 4:06 PM

    maybe its cuz i’m from texas…but i don’t see a problem taking a gun in public either.

  38. godofwine330 says: Aug 13, 2011 4:07 PM

    Plax has been robbed before when he was in Pittsburgh. I know a guy who is privy to that information. Going through that, on more than one occasion can put a guy on edge because all it takes is one out of control dude and you are dead, whether you fought back or not. I understand why he had the gun and I believe that they wrongly made an example out of him. 2 years? For shooting yourself. I would say time in a hospital is time served.

  39. backuppunter says: Aug 13, 2011 4:07 PM

    burress does not express himself very well, but it really seemed like a harsh sentence to me. that’s just the reality of living in new york i guess.

  40. mole6410 says: Aug 13, 2011 4:11 PM

    Plaxico may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he is agreat athlete.
    I saw a post on here that said his wife is a lawyer, if that’s so what kind of wife is that?
    Hopefully Rex Ryan can get something from this guy. Perhaps inspire him, I don’t know. Three million for 1 year. I can’t wait to see how this pans out.

  41. PFTiswhatitis says: Aug 13, 2011 4:24 PM

    this pretty much is the definition of DUMB-ASS.

  42. august1969 says: Aug 13, 2011 4:33 PM

    I would be pissed too if I were him.

  43. jjbadd says: Aug 13, 2011 5:15 PM

    Well I’m a 38 year old white guy from SC, who is a die hard Denver Broncos fan, & I consider myself non bias to this whole situation. However, my opinion is that I believe Plaxico Burress never should have gone to prison. He deserved to be punished mind you, but prison time was uncalled for. It’s total bs, & he was used to set an example. I’ve seen people do a lot worse get less punishment. Actually as an American, it pissed me off how he got a raw deal…

  44. ianto94 says: Aug 13, 2011 5:21 PM

    OK Burress is plainly dumb as a post. That said he has as much right to protect himself and his family as gun hating Bloomberg. New York gun laws violate the second amendment and will be overturned. However, if Burress was going to carry, he should have carried in a holster that covers the trigger to prevent a negligent discharge. The way he carried his gun was a threat not only to himself but to others. So to be redundant, he is plainly a dumb ass.

  45. dwnhillwhaler says: Aug 13, 2011 5:26 PM

    first off to everyone making the ‘plax was just tryin to protect himself” argument i ask; how effective would someone have been protecting himself from robbers when he cant even protect himself from, well himself? even Pacman was smart enough to get someone else to do his dirty work. (i know the irony of calling Adam Jones smart btw) But my main point, anyone else notice he landed just where he belongs? scumbag receiver for a scumbag organization.

  46. seabreezes51 says: Aug 13, 2011 5:30 PM

    I am no gun fan, I think they are a big mistake in the society.
    I also am no Giant or jet fan, BUT this guy was mistreated because of his celebrity, not based on the merit of his stupidity.

    It got political and that was wrong.

  47. thegonz13 says: Aug 13, 2011 5:35 PM

    Burress is officially dumber than a second coat of paint

  48. ernestbynershands says: Aug 13, 2011 5:40 PM

    Before this little snippet, I thought Plaxico got what he deserved. Arrogance and ignorance put him behind bars. Luck and good fortune kept everyone around him safe and kept in jail for only 2 years.
    The ofer thing I learned, Micheal Bloomberg is a douche. His business practices do more harm to the American worker than Plaxico’s lack of understanding of gun safety and ownership laws.
    Bloomberg is a first class douche bag A-hole. I know feel that Bloomberg did indeed screw Plaxico. Bloomberg had better hope that his business practices don’t come under the same scrutiny that Plaxico’s gun handling did.

  49. 4512dawg4512 says: Aug 13, 2011 5:52 PM

    jjbadd

    You hit it right on the head. And the club’s security is just as negligent for letting a patron with a gun into the facility. Two years in the clink is absolutely ridiculous

  50. joyjoy69 says: Aug 13, 2011 5:56 PM

    “While he possible has changed in the wake of his incarceration, it could be that the only thing he truly has learned is that he shouldn’t take a gun into Manhattan. And so he has gotten rid of his guns. The real question is whether he has adopted the kind of mindset that will allow him to spot trouble — and avoid it — before trouble finds him again.”

    Do you really think he learned anything, based upon what he said? Psst, the man committed a felony gun charge. That means he no longer can possess a gun. Ever. Anyone tell him that yet? Something tells me he has no guns because they took them, not because he decided to change.

  51. shiftyshellshocked says: Aug 13, 2011 6:18 PM

    Reminds me of Mike Tyson.

  52. bsizemore68 says: Aug 13, 2011 6:50 PM

    This fool is married to a lawyer, don’t tell me he didn’t know the law,. there is ” no cure for stupid “He should be thankful he didn’t killed some one, we have fool gangster rap, and gangster fool football player.Come on, what do you expect? Bill

  53. TheWizard says: Aug 13, 2011 7:28 PM

    Wife is a lawyer? Gee, wonder what she sees in him.

    Great dinner conversations I’m sure.

  54. opie333 says: Aug 13, 2011 8:25 PM

    I guess the second amendment doesn’t mean anything in New York. On the other hand if you got that much money hire someone to carry the gun for you! Taser, pepper spray, bodyguard there are other options.

  55. joyjoy69 says: Aug 13, 2011 8:55 PM

    It’s funny. When a guy with that kind of money gets accused of a crime and gets away with it, people say anyone with enough money can get a lawyer that can get him off. Whenever a guy with this kind of fame gets put in jail for any reason, everyone screams that it’s not about justice, but about “making an example.” I guess the lesson here is justice is irrelevant if you are rich and famous?

  56. oldhamletman says: Aug 13, 2011 9:38 PM

    ignorance of the law (or life in most NFLers case) is not an excuse….

    if you drive a car you need to know to stop for red lights, right?

    I Googled it and in about 5 seconds figured out that

    1. possession in NYC is a C felony with mandatory 3.5 year sentence with up to a possible 15 (!)

    2. discharge is an A misdemeanor punishable by 1 year

    Plax didn’t die from his stupidity and got out in 2 years…. he should count his lucky stars he isn’t doing a year suspension as well… he has no room to complain….

  57. jetfanfolife says: Aug 14, 2011 8:53 AM

    I do agree with the jail term he got. If you do not follow the gun laws in ANY state it should automatically carry the maximum sentence. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!

  58. jjbadd says: Aug 14, 2011 11:53 AM

    I can’t believe that people agree that he should have gone to prison. First, if it is “mandatory” I totally understand why he got sentenced, although I would argue that law should be amended. People keep saying ” he could have hurt someone “, he could have, but the fact is, he didn’t. The man had no priors, and while he may be viewed as below intelligent by many, 2 years is excessive for a man who for the most part a productive, law abiding citizen who made a bad choice. I’m hearing alot of “if this” & “he could have that” , well ” if “my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle! Bottom line he should have gotten probation as a first time offender. A couple of months jail time at the very most!

  59. richm2256 says: Aug 14, 2011 1:11 PM

    @jjbadd;

    People like you just don’t get it…

    Plaxico’s jail time should be determined not by the act – carrying a firearm in your waistband and having it unsecured and firing a round – but by the luck of fate as to the trajectory of the round after this idiot accidentally fires it???

    So if a drunk gets behind the wheel of his car (carries a gun) and runs a redlight (in his waistband), and smashes into your car (gun discharges a round), you’re telling me that you think his punishment should hinge on whether you are injured or not?

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