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Monday, July 10, 2006

Duke Case: The Missing Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers Speaks

Durham Police Chief Steve ChalmersIf you want to follow this case it seems you can't count on the media any more to ask hard questions or do investigative reporting. They are indeed media lapdogs. Where did the intrepid investigative reporters all go?

Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers speaks after 4 months of keeping a very low profile. He said:

I made a conscious decision at the beginning of that investigation, as chief of police and as this organization's concerned, that we would not actually discussing this case in the media," he said. "I felt that there were individuals who had decided to step up and be vocal and talk about the case. Of course, the district attorney decided that there were certain things he wanted to discuss, and even the city manager had taken the opportunity had taken the opportunity to talk about.

With that being done, I didn't really think it was a need really to further discuss the case in the media....

Everything that we've seen written in the papers and heard, certainly we've addressed that internally, and we're prepared to address it in court...

The main thing that we're trying to do is protect the integrity of the investigation, to present a case that is not biased or has not been compromised," Chalmers said. "Our responsibility is to investigate the case, to protect the integrity of the case, and when the time comes, provide the evidence that we've gathered in a court of law to bring about a conviction.

And I didn't think that that could be done, by actually discussing going tit-for-tat with the media.

Here is one insightful comment from the Court TV message board - Does Chalmers break his silence????
Wow, another soft toss interview where self serving rationalizations go unchallenged.

In the interview, the chief claims: "The main thing that we're trying to do is protect the integrity of the investigation."

Where were the follow up questions of:

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you mean by utilitizing a lineup procedure that violates your own department's policy or are you refering to not videotaping the first several lineup attempts?"

or

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you refer to the practice of first responding officers not writting reports for nearly a month after the incident or the practice of lead investigators not submitting reports or notes to the DA?"

or

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you refer to the practice of officers misrepresenting evidence in affidavits in order to obtain search warrants?"

or

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you speak of not interviewing witnesses such as Mr. Bissey until after they are interviewed by the media or the practice of having Detectives chase down old warrants when they pertain to defense witnesses?"

or

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you mean by participating in the production and distribution of the Crime Stoppers mass wanted posters or not conducting polygraph examinations of the AV or any of the suspects?"

or

"By protecting the integrity of the investigation, do you mean by waiting two days to search the "crime scene" or ignoring the multiple reports of your own departments officers which state that the AV has offered contradicting statements?"

or

"Tell us sir, what exactly have you or anyone in your department done to protect the integrity of this investigation?"

Instead of answers, we again get fluff.
sources:
Chief: Duke investigation was thorough [News14Charolotte, July 8, 2006]
Chalmers Breaks Silence on LAX Case [abc11tv, July 7, 2006]
Does Chalmers break his silence???? [CourtTV.com, July 8, 2006]

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