Friday, September 07, 2007

Durham Police Motto- To Falsely Accost & Arrest (Especially Duke Students)

KC Johnson's fabulous Durham-in-Wonderland blog, along with John in Carolina and LieStoppers is an essential source for all things concerned with the Duke Rape Hoax. KC has recently posted a Sunday Roundup, wherein he recaps the events of the previous week. This week's recap highlights the depositions and performances of Durham Police Department (DPD) Officer Ben Himan and Sergeant Mark Gottlieb.

As Professor Johnson writes,
There are some figures about whose performance on the case it’s easy to pass moral judgment: Mike Nifong. Mark Gottlieb. Wahneema Lubiano.

But other actors bequeathed a more mixed legacy. Take, for instance, Ben Himan. Himan was critical in obtaining the fraudulent March 23 non-testimonial order—which started the whole case in motion. And he was willing to carry Nifong’s water as the only officer to testify before the grand jury that indicted Dave Evans.

Yet, in sharp contrast to Gottlieb, Himan did take—and turn over—handwritten notes. And, whether by accident or design, he was excluded from the two highest-profile instances of law enforcement malpractice in the case—the April 4, 2006 lineup, and Linwood Wilson’s December interview with Crystal Mangum.

Moreover, while some members of the DPD continued their corruption (Gottlieb); others maintained the “hear-no-evil/see-no-evil approach (Hodge, Chalmers); and still others retreated behind the blue wall of silence (Soucie, Clayton), Himan worked to redeem himself. From all accounts, he performed professionally during the AG’s inquiry, vindicating the office’s decision to employ him as the only Durham police officer involved in Cooper’s handling of the case. Unlike Gottlieb, he provided an honest deposition to the State Bar.

After reading Professor Johnson's recap of the depositions, I have to say that with potential lawsuits agains the City of Durham and the DPD looming, and taking into account the performance of the majority of the Durham Police Department, specifically Corporal David Addison, Sergeant Gottlieb and the entire upper management, I would be very concerned if I were Gottlieb, Addison or upper management. Professor Johnson characterizes Gottlieb as follows,
Gottlieb comes across as a figure who plays fast and loose with the rules, and who harbors a deep dislike for Duke students. Although he doesn’t say it explicitly, he also leaves little doubt that he continues to believe a crime occurred.

As for the performance of the DPD upper management, the Chief of Police Steve Chalmers seems to have been permanently on vacation and no one in the higher ranks appeared to have any interest in stopping Nifong's rush to falsely accuse the Duke students. Most of those higher rankers are still in the DPD and are still in positions where they can unlawfully abuse their responsibility. If I were a resident of Durham, I would be very wary of having any dealings with Addison or Gottlieb- both of these officers appear to be the sort of people that give police departments a bad name. And for the city management, these two officers should be dismissed with extreme prejudice as soon as possible- though not before allowing them to be fraced with civil suits for their callous and prejudicial behavior. From Professor Johnson's report, it sounds as though Himan, while he deserves to face some consequences, he is the only member of the DPD who behaved professionally and who did his best to make up for his actions in allowing the Rape Hoax to proceed.

Like it or not, Durham city management allowed a rogue prosecutor and police officers to come entirely too close to framing three innocent men. No one from the DPD higher echelons or from city management made any efforts to intercede in a prosecution that was clearly out of control, and indeed, in the cases of Addison and Gottlieb, made every effort to assist in a clearly illegal attempt to railroad these Duke students. In addition, Gottlieb hass shown both in statements and in his behavior that he appears to harbor a deep dislike of Duke students, admitting he treats them more harshly than non-Duke students. There should be no place for this type of police officer- in Durham or anywhere else. And because of their failure to control Mike Nifong's rogue prosecution, Durham is now facing legal retribution that will cost in the millions, and hopefully will end the law enforcement careers of Gottlieb and Addison.

Hat tip to Durham In Wonderland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Guys
Do not miss your chance to get a free ipad. Visit