I must admit that I am quite intrigued by Ben Carson’s sensational Popeye story. So now it appears that there is still no corroboration of his account of being held at gunpoint at a Popeyes restaurant. Yesterday the Baltimore police said that even with the narrowing of dates of this possible event, they could find nothing.
Baltimore police said Thursday they can’t locate a police report in which Dr. Ben Carson was a victim in the robbery of a Popeye’s — but they’re not saying the stick-up didn’t happen.
Police released a 24-page letter to the media documenting their efforts to find the report, which included searches of four databases.
“No database search of any reports prior to 1987 can be run without a police report number,” wrote Wayne Brooks, assistant to legal affairs for the department. “Hopefully, this explanation is satisfactory for our friends in the media and shows that the BPD has done a diligent search for reports of any incident involving Dr. Carson.”
TJ Smith, a spokesman for the police department, said the police department is not trying to debunk Carson’s statement. It’s merely responding to media requests.
“We’re not saying it did or didn’t happen,” Smith said. “We can’t find a report based on the information we’ve gathered. It absolutely could have happened. We just don’t have the information to get that report.”
The Carson camp, after initially refusing to discuss the matter further, then added that Carson is ‘hazy’ on the details and that few of us would remember stuff that happened 30 years ago. Except that having a gun stuck in one’s ribs is kind of memorable, not to be compared with remembering what one had for breakfast. It is the kind of story that gets cemented in one’s memory through constant recounting to others.
What I don’t understand is why other people close to Carson (family, friends, colleagues, other people in the restaurant) have not come forward to corroborate this story, saying that Carson told it to them at the time
As more time goes by with no corroboration, the conclusion will be that either the story is a complete product of Carson’s well-known fevered imagination in an effort to support his statements about how bravely he would behave if confronted by a gunman, or his memory has become confused and he has put himself at the center of an event that he either just heard about or in which he played a much more passive role.