Security guard’s complaint against Ezekiel Elliott isn’t “extortion”

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When it comes to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s contractual entanglement with the team, I’m fully in favor of Zeke’s position. When it comes to his legal entanglement with a 19-year-old security guard who ended up on the ground after an encounter with Elliott at a Las Vegas music festival in May, I couldn’t disagree more with his legal team’s characterization of the situation.

Elliott’s lawyers call Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint for battery “extortion.” It isn’t.

It may feel like extortion to Elliott, to the extent that Johnson and/or his lawyers have demanded a civil settlement from Elliott before filing a criminal complaint for battery. But it’s not extortion for someone to seek compensation under the threat/promise of taking legal action warranted by the circumstances.

The video originally obtained by TMZ shows Elliott and Johnson in a face-to-face altercation, with Elliott clearly the aggressor. While it isn’t clear from the video whether Johnson fell while backing away from Elliott or Elliott pushed Johnson down with an elbow, Johnson consistently has said he was pushed.

The fact that Johnson wasn’t battered or bruised doesn’t matter. If someone makes deliberate, intentional contact with someone else, a battery has happened. And Johnson is simply advancing his rights, which he can do by filing criminal charges or pursuing a civil action.

Extortion happens when (for example) someone threatens to publish embarrassing information about someone else absent a cash payment, or when (for example) the mob says, “That’s a nice business you have. It would be a shame if it burns down. For $1,000 a week, we’ll make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Both examples of actual extortion are a far cry from Johnson seeking justice against Elliott. While Johnson may not prevail, any potential weaknesses in a case don’t make the case extortion.

14 responses to “Security guard’s complaint against Ezekiel Elliott isn’t “extortion”

  1. Thats just SILLY! I could make so many remarks but I’ll just stick to that’s just SILLY!

  2. Definitely not the legal definition of extortion. But we all know what’s up. A quick way to get paid for being in the right place at the right time. I’m sure his dad being a disbarred lawyer had no bearing on his recent need to “seek justice.”

  3. It is extortion . He fell because the gate wasn’t properly fortified. He should sue the people responsible for the faulty gate.

  4. I would do the same thing. A lot of these players walk around thinking they are just amazing and superior to everyone else and they can do whatever they want. There’s consequences for everything and he should have thought about that before he acted like that.

  5. OK – so we know that Cowboy fans think Zeke is the model of decorum, and the mean security guard fell over on purpose just so he could sue him later. That or the fence company is to blame. Or maybe the person who filmed the whole thing. Basically anyone other than Zeke.

  6. Ok, so it’s not extortion by definition but it accomplishes the same outcome. Somebody getting money that they normally wouldn’t be able to get. His GM father looks & sounds like a loser. Any father that would steer his child into this mix is an ass. His response when asked about the “altercation” was that Zeek was lucky that he wasn’t there with his son. Going further by saying Zeek would’ve been the one getting off the ground. Seems like a “terroristic threat” to me. Zeek & his lawyers should follow with another frivolous charge for our overworked judicial system to interpret.

  7. I’m no Elliot fan, but I can tell you that in Minnesota extortion is defined as (actually called civil coercion) a party that orally or in writing causes another to act against their will by making a threat “to cause or to be made a criminal charge, whether true or false”. If this security guard’s lawyer threatened a criminal filing to gain a civil settlement in MN they supposed victim and his attorney would be facing legal repercussions.

  8. So what you’re saying is Elliott’s lawyer doesn’t understand the legal definition of extortion? Isn’t that something lawyers should know?

    As far as whether or not it is deserved, that’s up to the courts to decide. The bottom line is Elliott put himself in that position because of his behavior. If he believes the appropriate action to getting his feelings hurt is to resort to physical contact then he deserves what he gets. He could simply avoid it by being smarter and making better choices. It’s not the security guard’s fault he was pushed. It was Elliott’s fault. Plain and simple. If he doesn’t like it, stop doing dumb things.

  9. Of course it’s not. But if you throw buzzword out there into the media, the sheep hear only that word and repeat it over and over until it’s true in the public eye. If we know anything, it’s that whoever is the loudest is the one that’s right. But hey, Zeke hasn’t exactly earned the benefit of the doubt with seeming to always find himself in a “situation.”

  10. When you’re not harmed in any way, any claim of “justice” is a farce. This is simply using the legal system to give a public figure bad press until they pay up for you to go away. That’s extortion, no matter how you slice it, Florio.

  11. I understand that this may be legal per se, but it sure LOOKS like extortion (and let’s not pretend that there aren’t legal ways of going about extortion).

    The only bruise on the 19 year old security guard was his ego. Was Elliot out of line? Sure. Should an altercation that amounted to at best pushing/shoving ever make it to civil court.. or even criminal court? Seriously, I’d bet most Americans have been involved in something like this at some point in their lives… think about that.

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