Before retiring to civilian life a few years ago, Paul Penzone did a very nice job as the Phoenix Police Department's "face" of its Silent Witness program. He always came across in the media as compassionate, concerned, and genuine,
Penzone's embarrassing-to-watch recent appearances on Nancy Grace's ever-angry show on the HLN network give new meaning to the phrase "sucking up."
By that, we mean his pandering to the vicious Ms. Grace, one of the more vile TV "personalities" to come down the pike in a long time.
More than one former police colleague of the old sarge called us after his July 11 appearance on Grace, which came a few days after a Florida jury walked infamous "Tot Mom" Casey Anthony on charges that she had murdered her little daughter, Caylee.
None of the comments about Penzone's comments were positive, and let's leave it at that.
We finally found time to peek at a transcript, during which the histrionic bleached-blonde hostess trashed the Anthony jury (average citizens whom had spent weeks of their lives sequestered in a hotel while the trial continued), the defense team (which, like it or not, WON the flippin' case), and anyone else who came to mind.
Screw the presumption of innocence!
Screw the jury system!
Screw Tot Mom! (We do agree that Anthony is one of the more revolting characters to hit the national stage in awhile, but, sorry, the State of Florida obviously didn't prove its case.)
This was Ms. Grace's lead-in to her brief back-and-forth with Penzone:
"It`s very disturbing to any of us that have been in the system, that have devoted our lives to justice, to see, A, this verdict, and B, the foreperson who doesn`t want to be identified say he`s sick and disgusted at his own verdict. This as Tot Mom set to walk to seven-figure dollar offers when she gets out.
Not really a question there, but Penzone ran with it anyway:
"It was difficult. You know, Nancy, just the week before, I remember we`re saying I have faith in the system, and for those of us like you who have served in the system, when you see an injustice like this, it breaks your heart.
"I have to say this first," Penzone continued. "And it`s not to flatter you, Nancy, but to fight as hard as you do for children who can`t be heard now because of things such as this, there`s not enough credit that goes to you for this. So stay the course, and I appreciate what you do. But to the jury in this issue."
Grace stopped him right there.
Penzone's unasked-for flattery was a wet dream for a narcissist (definition: inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity).
Grace could have cared less at that moment about that evil Tot Mom jury.
Penzone had made it all about her.
"Listen, Paul Penzone," she spat. "I`m not worried about some lawyer or some TV person sitting up on Park Avenue in New York City has to say about me. That`s not my concern. My concern is the miscarriage of justice. And now the jurors, one after the next, claiming, `Oh, yes, we thought she did it, and now give me some money.'"
Penzone rode the old girl on home.
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"And I appreciate that so much about you," he said.. "I just -- I have a very difficult time, first of all, with the previous person said about understanding that circumstantial evidence is valuable. Additionally, just 10 hours [of jury deliberation] to change your mind after that trial? I don`t know how it occurred."
Time up, sir, but we are quite sure that Nancy will have you back on her show, and sooner than later.