It’s seems like only a few days ago when Joe Riley was proclaiming that Jamal Medlin had done “absolutely nothing wrong.” In a letter to the editor in yesterday’s Post and Courier, Riley no longer offers such unequivocal assurances about the officer’s involvement in the June 20 struggle with Denzel Curnell that led to the 19-year-old’s death. In fact, the mayor claims that no one knows all the necessary details about the incident because it’s still being investigated. Riley wrote:

While I know there is an understandable desire for information as soon as possible, what I know even more certainly is there can be no reasonable desire by anyone in this community to do anything that prevents a full, complete and accurate report on all of the facts surrounding the death of Denzel Curnell.

Whether it is a journalist, a physician, a judge or anyone charged with finding the truth, we all have a responsibility to be certain of all the facts before we reach a conclusion

Unfortunately, the mayor has already made statements — and improper ones at that, using the logic he employs in this letter to the editor — indicating that he had reached a conclusion about Curnell’s death well before SLED completed their investigation.

Now, what does all of this mean? Has the mayor learned something that has caused him to walk back his earlier statements? While that’s possible, this letter is probably not much more than an attempt by the mayor to recast himself as an impartial party in this sad affair. Unfortunately, the cat is already out of the bag. We already know where Riley stands on this.