Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bizzaro Police Chief

In a recent News & Observer article written by Michael Biesecker, Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers defends the much maligned Sgt. Mark Gottlieb from recent reports of the sergeant’s practice of targeting Duke Students. In response to allegations made by Stuart Taylor, the N&O, The Chronicle, KC Johnson, and others, Chief Chalmers claims that Sgt. Gottlieb was simply following departmental policy, which, according to the Chief, mandates distinctly different treatment of Duke students in comparison to other citizens.

Professor Johnson noted in a recent article that this department mandated policy of profiling and punishing selectively is a clear invitation for federal authorities to inspect or intervene with local law enforcement.
“In short, the admission of group-based punishment supplies a rationale for Justice Department intervention."

“Imagine if, for instance, the Durham P.D. announced a policy of arresting Hispanics rather than issuing them tickets when discretion existed as to the punishment, because “experience showed lesser measures lacked deterrent value” with this particular group.”
In Bizarro PD Land, however, police policies that violate civil rights are applauded by the Chief when they are adhered to, while violations of police policy that conforms to civil rights and Supreme Court recommendations are apparently accepted by Chief Chalmers. In response to specific accusations of intimidation, dishonesty and brutality against Sgt. Gottlieb, Chief Chalmers replies,
"If what they say is the truth then they should have filed a complaint" and indicates that he “didn't see any reason to change his opinion that Gottlieb is a good officer.”
Apparently Chief Chalmers considers an officer to be good if that officer:
  • Conducts photographic lineups in violation of department policy.
  • Flees the scene of an assault.
  • Takes a total of two pages of hand written notes in the course of a several months of investigation that he leads.
  • Submits typed from "memory" notes that directly contradict his own actions, the notes of other officers, and other evidence.
  • Threatens to deport US Citizens for violations of noise ordinances.

We can only wonder what’s next from Chief Chalmers? Perhaps a community service award for spokeswoman Kammie Michael for her role in the 911 Hoax is in the works.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Liestoppers.

The DPD is just an arm of the Durham Business. They have as much to do with justice as Nifong.

They have a long standing history of corruption - and, evidently, nothing's changed.

IMO, the DPD knows they serve to make the City money and prop up some politicians, and don't concern themselves much with the law or right and wrong. Listen to them describe "Discretion" of their PD and you'll quickly come to understand that everyone understands certain people are off-limits and certain people are targeted.

LieStoppers is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Given the charged situation between the Durham police and Duke students, why would any parent send a child to school at Duke? Not worth it.

(I say this as the mother of two Duke alums.)