Chapman was alleged to have pushed and choked his girlfriend in his home on October 30 before firing off at least eight gunshots in his garage. He was not arrested on that night, however, as he and his girlfriend had conflicting accounts and others in the home were not cooperative with police. Subsequently his girlfriend did not cooperate with authorities either, leaving prosecutors little to go on.
In such situations it is not uncommon for no charges to be filed, though it does seem somewhat odd that Chapman was not, at the very least, charged with some form of crime related to his discharging a firearm in his garage, which he admitted doing. Perhaps his home is in an area with fewer restrictions than most when it comes to such things, but there were several people in his home, including children, when he fired his handgun into his presumably attached garage. He was not firing on a range. The garage was not padded with sandbags or anything like that. I guess if you’re into shooting guns after heated altercations with loved ones, Davie, Florida is the place to be.
In any event, this closes the legal portion of Chapman’s case. Now comes MLB’s chance to weigh-in on the incident via its investigation pursuant to its domestic violence policy. It will be very interesting to see what Rob Manfred does in a case which, while clearly serious, did not result in any criminal charges. Of course, criminal charges are the bare minimum standard when it comes to human behavior and MLB’s policy, by its very terms, is not dependent upon them being filed.
Put differently: “innocent until proven guilty” is inapplicable here. What is applicable is what standard above that bare minimum Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball will choose to apply in what will probably be its first test under its new policy.