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Friday, July 20, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax - July 20, 2007 - Whichard Committee Begins

Committee--a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

Updated — today's items:

Former state Supreme Court Justice Willis Whichard, right, makes opening remarks to the panelAnn Blythe, News & Observer:
Police review begins in lacrosse case -- The panel appointed to review the police department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case came together for the first time this morning.

The panel is charged with finding out whether the police department erred in its investigation of sexual assault allegations against three lacrosse players and how it can prevent future mistakes.

Willis Whichard, the panel chairman and a former N.C. Supreme Court justice, said the police department's handling of the case had important implications for the justice system.

"Nothing less than civilization as we know it is at stake here," he said.

The proceedings opened with a Power Point presentation by Jim Cooney, one of the defense lawyers, who laid out aspects of the case that he thought the committee ought to examine.

Whichard has said he wanted to hear first from the defense team so police officers will know what, if anything, they are accused of doing wrong.

Whichard has said he does not know how long the panel's investigation will take or the precise course it will follow.

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KC Johnson:
Whichard Committee Opens -- Chairman Whichard: purpose is to ascertain the "truth" about whether "unconstitutional or otherwise improper procedures" were followed. "The goal is a properly functioning justice system." Importance of producing reliable results and constitutional procedures, with goal of bringing "clarity" and "closure." ...
Full coverage of committee meeting:
Attorneys' Presentation
Cooney Presentation
More Cooney: Lineup Procedures
Cooney: Problems with Inquiry
Cheshire Statement
More from Cheshire
Question Session
Summarizing the Day
The Defense Thirteen -- The 13 issues identified by the defense attorneys as worth exploring for the Whichard Committee:
1. Who's in Charge?
2. Sergeant Shelton
3. Moez Elmostafa
4. The DPD Public Statements
5. Sergeant Gottlieb's Supplemental Case Notes
6. The DNA
7. The Search Warrant Affidavit
8. Jason Bissey
9. When Did They Plan and Cover-up
10. The False Accuser's Weekend
11, Her Work Schedule
12. Was She Drunk?
13. The "Identification" Process
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Jon Ham:
Whichard’s opening statement -- Says he wants clarity and closure. Talks about Durham needing to “move on.” Not good signs...

Says “nothing less than civilization is at stake here.” Boy that’s raising the stakes.
more coverage of committee meeting
Defense attorney
Starting at the end
“Am I Brett, am I Matt or am I Adam?”

Panel seems woefully uninformed -- members of the Duke Lacrosse Police Investigation Committee today (with a few exceptions) seemed not to know even some of the most obvious facts about what happened in the past 15 months. A few of them asked questions that were cringe worthy. Didn’t they read the paper in the past several months?
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Stanley B. Chambers Jr., News & Observer:
Durham's new police chief arrives -- [Jose L.] Lopez, 52, is taking the reins of a department that faces continuing scrutiny over its handling of the Duke lacrosse case. He'll be working directly with a man he beat out for the job. He takes over as crime is emerging as a hot issue in the fall mayoral race. And the arrest a day earlier of a man accused of the fatal drive-by shooting of a teenager last month served as a reminder of the city's crime problems.

Lopez was upbeat about the challenges he faces. "The belief that there's a whole lot of crime here -- I think that's the biggest crime issue we have to tackle," he said.

Lopez, 52, is taking the reins of a department that faces continuing scrutiny over its handling of the Duke lacrosse case. He'll be working directly with a man he beat out for the job. He takes over as crime is emerging as a hot issue in the fall mayoral race. And the arrest a day earlier of a man accused of the fatal drive-by shooting of a teenager last month served as a reminder of the city's crime problems.

Lopez was upbeat about the challenges he faces. "The belief that there's a whole lot of crime here -- I think that's the biggest crime issue we have to tackle," he said...
related:
Jon Ham:
Welcome to Durham, Chief Lopez -- The picture Cooney is drawing is not a pretty one. Lopez’s clean-up job is immense. If he doesn’t take any obvious action after hearing all of this then we’ll know the fix is in...
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Brianne Dopart, The Herald-Sun
Latino community pleased with police chief selection -- urham's Latino community on Thursday greeted the news of the hiring of the city's first Latino police chief with optimism.

For those at El Centro Hispano, the announcement of Jose Lopez Sr.'s hiring brings hope that Durham police will better serve the needs of the Bull City's Latino population.

"We are very happy with the news, very pleased. We have high expectations for a new Latino chief," said Leonor Clavijo, spokeswoman for El Centro.

Clavijo said Durham's Latino population, which she said has risen from 7 percent to 9 percent since the last census, will benefit from a leader who reflects their ethnic background...

related;
Jon Ham:
White community pleased with police chief selection -- Do you think you’d ever see that headline in The Herald-Sun if Knoxville, Tenn., Deputy Police Chief Don Green, the lone white candidate, had been selected?
--------
Herald-Sun:
New Durham police chief defends department -- Durham's next police chief used his hiring-day news conference Thursday to mount a strong defense of his new department, saying he'll be proud to wear its badge and that he doesn't think it's defined by the Duke lacrosse case.

"I was proud of this department when I applied for it, proud to say I was a candidate for this department, and now I'm proud to be part of them," Jose L. Lopez Sr., City Manager Patrick Baker's hire, said on Thursday. "I'm just waiting to be able to wear their uniform, wear their badge and wear their patch and be one of them. They honestly know what they're doing and do it in an extremely professional manner." ...
--------
KC Johnson:
Lopez Press Conference -- Only in Durham could the perpetually absent police chief receive a four month parachute. No one appears to find it odd that a police chief who has absented himself for months at a time since the lacrosse case began will now effectively be paid to do nothing for four months...
--------
EARTH TO DOLE
KC Johnson:
Liddy Dole's On the Case -- North Carolina’s senior senator is Republican Elizabeth Dole...

is it possible to believe that in late June, the state’s senior senator was unaware that the highest-profile “criminal investigation” in the state’s history had ended more than two months before?
-------
Jason Trumpbour, spokesman, Friends of Duke Univ:
Duke and the Police -- last May Mike Nifong requested the court issue a subpoena to Duke University to provide records of card key activity by all members of the Duke lacrosse team and also provide their home addresses. This information is protected by a federal statute called the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act and cannot be disclosed without a showing of need...

as LieSoppers discovered, Duke University had already turned these records over to police months earlier in March evidently in violation of FERPA...

It is impossible to defend the administration’s motives in violating FERPA as somehow a well intentioned attempt to further the cause of justice as it understood it to be at the time...

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