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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Duke Case — Durham's Crooked Cops Concealed Truth

Today's items - updated:

Durhan Mayor William BellTamara Gibbs / ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Mayor Bells addresses new Duke lacrosse document [+video] -- New details are surfacing in the way the Duke lacrosse cas was handled. As the Bull City braces itself for a potential lawsuit, new information is raising questions about some city leaders and their role in the early stages of the investigation.

"You had the ingredients for the perfect storm and as the mayor of the city, I wanted to dispell that the city was in any type of uproar," Durham Mayor Bill Bell said.

That's what Bell said about the latest controversy surrounding the Duke lacrosse case.

In a police document detailing the early stages of the investigation, it states high ranking city leaders, including Mayor Bell and the city manager met with investigators.

Just a few days later, the accuser would ID the players in a photo lineup that violated police policy. [...]

Ray Gronberg / Herald Sun [reg. req.]:
Police document details lacrosse events -- A police document detailing new information about the Duke lacrosse case investigation reveals that investigators talked with the accuser more than they disclosed previously, and that Mayor Bill Bell and other high-ranking city officials convened two days before a stalled case got a jump start with a photo lineup that violated policy.

Bell urged police to expedite a resolution to the case partly because he worried that racial unrest could erupt, he acknowledged Tuesday. That fear was hidden from his public statements at the height of the Duke lacrosse case when he expressed confidence in Durham's racial unity and condemned national media portrayal of black-white tension.

A copy of the police document -- labeled "Timeline of events for council" but kept so tightly under wraps that it may never have reached elected officials -- was obtained by The Herald-Sun.

Among other data entries, the timeline said Ben Himan, Durham's lead detective in the Duke lacrosse case, spoke to the accuser on March 28, 2006. That discussion isn't mentioned in the case notes of either Himan or his supervisor, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. [...]
LieStoppers blog:
Details of Undisclosed Police Document Revealed in Durham Herald-Sun Article -- Durham Herald-Sun Reporter, Ray Gronberg, dropped a bomb on the City Council's meeting scheduled for this Thursday with the report of an undisclosed police document that "investigators talked with the accuser more than they disclosed previously, and that Mayor Bill Bell and other high-ranking city officials convened two days before a stalled case got a jump start with a photo lineup that violated policy."

It also details that Investigator Himan interviewed the false accuser, Crystal Magnum, more than he reported and did not reveal in his notes. [...]

KC Johnson:
Civil Suit Preview -- it's a preview of the type of document likely to emerge in any civil-suit discovery--one more reason the city has no choice but to settle.

John in Carolina:
News Today From Durham -- why was “a police attorney” there if the meeting was for the purposes Baker described? And, by the way, who is that police attorney? [...]

LieStoppers forum:
A Secret Timeline Revealed?, H-S late night posting tells all

FreeRepublic: Police document details . . .
TalkLeft: Mayor in on hoax?
Other items:

Duke President Brodhead--repentant? -- it is not the first time that Brodhead has allowed public relations to trump principle. Prior to assuming the presidency of Duke, Brodhead was dean of Yale College. On December 4, 1998, senior Suzanne Jovin was found stabbed to death and left at an intersection in a neighborhood adjacent to the Yale campus which housed many Yale professors and graduate students. When Jovin’s senior essay advisor was accused, Brodhead cancelled Van de Velde's spring-term lecture, despite the lack of physical evidence or motive. As at Duke, Brodhead insisted that due process would prevail, then let Van De Velde’s contract lapse. Van de Velde left New Haven, his career reportedly ruined and reputation destroyed. As in the Duke case, DNA taken from underneath the victim’s fingernails did not match Van de Velde's, that of her boyfriend, any other friend or acquaintance, or any emergency worker who tried to save her. Today, Jovin's murder remains unsolved. [...]
Michael Gustafson [Duke prof.] / Blog of Convenience:
And The Beat Goes On -- For my part, I believe Dr. Brodhead's apology rightly indicates some, though not all, of the institutional errors made during this case. I believe saying that "some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive" was certainly within the bounds of reason - I am still aghast that academics would thank people for not waiting for information about allegations as severe as those made last March, and some other comments made by individuals have been simply beyond the pale.

To a degree, Dr. Starn's column is a bit undone by one of his paragraph's opening lines:
But a balanced account does not serve those who want to use what happened to make the woefully simplistic old case...
At this point, insert any of the metanarratives from the past 18 months here, including the one Dr. Starn seems to champion about how this event means Duke should drop all D-I sports. Or the one from the, in my opinion, well meaning but fatally flawed CCI that all selective houses with more than 12 people should be dissolved. [...]
Forum topic of note:
HBO, Duke Lacrosse film -- According to Michael Fleming of Variety, HBO has bought the rights to Taylor and Johnson's book. Josh Maurer whose HBO credits include The Pentagon Papers and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge will take this on. [...]
KC Johnson:
(Some) Good Things Did Happen in Durham --
Jim Coleman . . . Lane Williamson . . . Joe Neff . . . Aaron Beard . . . Jason Whitlock . . . Kerstin Kimel . . . Steve Baldwin, Michael Gustafson, Michael Munger, and the Economics professors . . . Jason Trumpbour . . . Jackie Brown and Beth Brewer . . . Duke Students for an Ethical Durham . . . Elliot Wolf and the Duke Student Government . . . Chronicle reporters, editors, and op-ed writers. . .
Oliver Sherouse / Duke Chronicle:
All over-almost -- But all the same, it is time for an apology from the Group of 88.

I believe the ad erred in two respects, one factual and the other my opinion. First, the ad implied the guilt of the accused, without any evidence, in a crime that was later proved to be fabricated.

Now, the Group of 88 and their defenders (such as they are) have staunchly held to the line that their comments were not about the case, that the ad was about Duke as a whole and that their words are being misconstrued retroactively.

And I might buy that logic, if it had come from a crowd of uneducated schmucks off the street or the far-left crazies that some of my less-informed conservative colleagues have labeled them. But these are Duke professors, well respected in their fields. Students like me are proud to study with them. And if I were to hand in a paper with an argument like theirs, completely ignoring the social and historical context, I would get a big fat 'F'-and rightly so.

You know and I know and they know that the ad contributed to the avalanche that resulted in the arrest of three innocent men for a crime that never happened, and it is time to stop pretending it didn't. [...]
Jordan Everson / Duke Chronicle:
Remember the students -- I-like everyone else, I suppose-was happy to see that Brodhead apologized for the University's handling of that mess, though I'm still not sure what was specifically his fault and for what (or whom) he was taking the fall.

But I was disturbed when, after reading the articles on The Chronicle's Web site, I looked down at the reader-submitted comments and saw an echo of one refrain: Brodhead must go.

"No!" I thought, "not my Dickie B." But I quickly realized something: of the 30 or so comments after the articles, almost none were from students. Instead the users were almost uniformly tagged as Duke parents, alums or faculty members. [...]
John in Carolina:
Orin StarnGroup of 88 sympathizer, Nifong enabler, and lacrosse hater wants to get in some more shots ...
comment: Starn rates a Wikipedia entry? He also has a blog called Golf Politics. Talk about a hostile academic environment at Duke.
Orin Starn / Guest columnist / Herald-Sun [reg. req.]:
Starn is professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke.
No apology necessary -- I happen to think that Duke is fortunate to have Richard Brodhead as its president.

This smart, skilled, and gracious man must surely sometimes wonder just why he chose to leave New Haven for the dismal job of managing the Duke lacrosse mess.

But there was no need for Brodhead to apologize in remarks last Saturday at Duke Law School. From his earliest public statement, the Duke president insisted on the presumption of player innocence. He also charged committees to look into the worrying questions about the lacrosse team and campus culture raised by the Buchanan Street party with its strippers, reported use of racial slurs, and pattern of drunkenness-related police citations for too many players. [...]
KC Johnson:
Anti-Lacrosse Extremist: No Apologies -- So who are the villains in the case? The lacrosse players, whose party "was shameful in the first place. We wouldn't be wasting so much time and energy if the lacrosse players had shown some semblance of good judgment." [...]

In both his fall op-ed and his production today, "Supporter Starn" offered his strongest criticism of . . . the party and the lacrosse team's drinking (without mentioning even one positive item from the Coleman Committee report). But “none of this,” Starn hastened to add last fall, “means that the three indicted lacrosse players are guilty.” Indeed not. He was, apparently, just relaying it as part of his promise to show Reade Seligmann his full support.

KC Johnson:
Orin Starn, Researcher -- It's good to see that Orin Starn admitted that it has been "many months" since he even looked at the subject of his hyperbolic attacks today. Is he that cavalier before making assertions in the classroom, or in his research?
William L. Anderson / LewRockwell.com:
The Brodhead Apology -- On Saturday, September 29, nearly six months after North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared three former Duke University lacrosse players "innocent" of all criminal charges against them, Duke President Richard Brodhead gave an apology for his own conduct during a conference on the lacrosse case held at Duke. I emphasize the time because the very fact that Brodhead has waited this long ultimately harms him and takes away from his many eloquent words. [...]

While I have been one of those critics, I do not wish to engage in "piling on" here, as a number of other people, including Jay Bilas, one of Duke’s best-known recent alumni, already have said the speech is "too little, too late." Other lacrosse family members have said similar things to me. Because I am neither a Duke alumnus nor someone who might be considered a Duke "stakeholder," I do not think it appropriate for me to pronounce judgment on the speech or its timing.

However, I do believe that I should point out just how egregious the conduct of many people at Duke really was; I also emphasize Brodhead -- to his credit -- literally is the only person at Duke to give a public apology for his role in the massive miscarriage of justice that occurred in Durham and at Duke University. Indeed, Brodhead did have much for which to apologize. [...]

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