Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 28, 2006

One year ago yesterday, March 28, 2006, the Hoax kicked into high gear, galvanized by multiple deceptions put forth by Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong and the Durham Police Department. These deceptions were soon seconded and widely disseminated by local and national media. Looking back twelve months later, it seems important to again note how significant this day was in the history of the Hoax. What occurred that day was fueled by deceit from individuals holding positions of public trust and propelled by a media believed to be serving as watchdogs, who abandoned their journalistic responsibility in favor of a marketable story.

The deceptions of March 28, 2006, inflamed the community, while providing temporary cover for the absence of DNA and other evidence. The multiple misrepresentations from the day Nifong sold his soul included: the release of the 911 tapes (under the false pretext that the identity of the caller was unknown and was someone in addition to the two dancers who attended the lacrosse party), the start of Durham Police Corporal David Addison’s “horrific” CrimeStoppers e-mail newsgroup fiesta, the creation and distribution of the civil-suit-inviting Durham Police Department Wanted flyer, the start of the “DNA is a junk science” campaign (in apparent response to that day’s SBI testing, which failed to reveal the presence of any semen, blood, or saliva in the rape kit), and the continuation of the Wall of Silence Hoax begun by Hoax Spokesman David Addison the previous weekend.

911 Tapes

On multiple occasions prior to March 28, second dancer Kim Roberts, according to their notes, told multiple Durham police officers that she had made the first 911 call. Despite her admissions and the inherent contradictions within the call, Durham police, on March 28, released audio tapes of the 911 calls to an eager press, willing to broadcast the tapes, ostensibly, in the interest of “identifying” the mystery caller and her friend. By pretending that the calls were made by a woman other than Kim Roberts, the Hoax-ists were able to inflate the false impression of overwhelming racial animus that helped rally the world against the lacrosse team and the eventual defendants.
"By now, it is common knowledge that the Durham Police Department was informed by Kim Roberts/Pittman on March 14 and March 22 that she was the source of the first 911 call (see #1 below). We see this admission in Officer Shelton’s notes of March 14’s call to the Kroger, which oddly are dated April 9. We also see that a mention of the call appears in the written statement given by Ms. Pittman on March 22 and in Officer Himan’s account of his interview with Ms. Pittman from that same day. (Kim Roberts Admits 911 Call)

"March 28
Despite this admission by Pittman/Roberts, the Durham Police Department followed Mr. Nifong’s statements from March 27 by releasing the audio tape of the call to the media the next day. In an interview with WRAL on the day the tapes were released, it is indicated that Mr. Nifong, in relation to the released call, said investigators are also looking into whether race was a factor in the case. The coincidence of the timing of the 911 tapes being released in relation to Mr. Nifong’s declarations of guilt and priority in conjunction with the common theme of racial hate crime presented by his words and the police department’s release of the tapes gives rise to the conclusion that perhaps the tapes were ordered released by Mr. Nifong.

"Other than to inflame the passions of the community as the election approached, we fail to see a motive for the instigation of this Hoax Within A Hoax. By releasing these tapes and subsequently feigning that the call was from an unrelated, unknown pair of women equally subjected to racial harassment by the same group of hooligans on the same evening, the DA and his accomplices from the DPD created an atmosphere of division and hatred within Durham. It was upon this pedestal that the vote-pandering Nifong rode to primary victory less than two months later. It must be noted that this confusion was not created by an eager journalist who acquired and made public these tapes. The tapes sat available at Durham PD for two weeks until the day following Mr. Nifong's announcement that he would personally prosecute the case, when DPD issued a news release of the tapes together with a public appeal from DPD for information from the public about the identification of the 911 caller."
CrimeStoppers Media & E-mail Campaign

On March 28, Durham Police Department CrimeStoppers’ Coordinator, Corporal David Addison, composed an e-mail that described the false accusation in graphic detail and as if it was indisputedly true. Pronouncing the lacrosse team guilty in no uncertain terms, Addision commenced an E-mail Extravaganza that saw the following message distributed to multiple Durham list servers and local media:
“On Monday, March 13,2006 about 11:00pm, the Duke University Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan. The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.”
From John in Carolina's "The Addison Series #1":
"Addison went days telling the public about the “victim” who’d been “brutally raped.”

"On March 28, he even distributed to media and the community a CrimeStoppers "Wanted" poster that included this:
”The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.”
"But Addison’s “horrific crime” never happened, and there was no wall of solidarity or silence to crack."
Durham Police Flyer

Learning of an imminent anti-lacrosse rally to be held on March 28, an as yet unidentified Durham police commander, perhaps a soon to be sacrificial Lamb, was inspired to attach a copy of Cpl. Addison’s “horrific” e-mail to Durham Police Department letterhead and produced copies in time for distribution at the ensuing hate fest.
"...a district commander of the Durham Police heard that an anti-lacrosse protest was going to occur outside 610 N. Buchanan. For reasons that are unclear, he decided to create a flyer to distribute at the rally. That poster is scanned here; it was produced on the stationery not of CrimeStoppers but of the Durham Police Department. Addison did not create the document; though it used the wording of his e-mail and contained a notice asking people to contact CrimeStoppers, it was, technically, a Police flyer." KC Johnson
DNA Conspiracy Begins

On March 27, Durham County Defendant-in-Chief Mike Nifong asked the NC State Bureau of Investigation to rush the testing of the 46 Duke lacrosse players' DNA samples taken after Judge Ronald Stephens, "duped” by the factually inaccurate affidavit of Assistant District Attorney David Saacks, granted a non-testimonial order. NC Department of Justice spokeswoman Noelle “The investigation isn’t over” Talley quickly announced that the SBI would eagerly comply. On March 27 and into March 28, Nifong assured the public that DNA evidence would identify the “hooligans.”
"March 27-28: In his first public comments on the matter, Nifong repeatedly expressed confidence—in interviews with MSNBC and with North Carolina stations WRAL and NBC-17—that the DNA evidence produced by the court order would solve the case." Durham-in-Wonderland: What Did Nifong Know, and When Did he Know It?
"On March 28, he announced, “There won't be any arrests before next week. I have decided not to make arrests until DNA evidence is back.” Durham-in-Wonderland: The Soucie Memo
At some point on March 28, Defendant Nifong would be informed of the first results from the eagerly expedited DNA tests. There was no semen, blood, or saliva detected by the SBI lab.
"On March 28, 2006, the SBI lab examined the items from the rape kit and was unable to find any semen, blood, or saliva on any of those items." NC State Bar

"March 28, Nifong got DNA test results." Stuart Taylor
Given the findings, Nifong did an immediate and bizarre about face. DNA, which Nifong's office had promised would "immediately rule out the innocent," went from being definitive evidence to totally irrelevant. Later that evening, Nifong would begin his “How does DNA exonerate you?” campaign with two live, nationally broadcast interviews that signaled the start of his continuing effort to downplay the importance of the once urgent DNA testing.
ABRAMS: I assume based on the fact that you requested DNA from 46 of the 47 members of the team that there is DNA evidence that was found that's relevant to the case.

NIFONG: We hope that there will be DNA evidence that will be relevant to the case. We cannot know that for certain until all of the evidence has been tested.

COSBY: You know, you say three men. I know that you‘ve gotten DNA for what, more than 40 members of the lacrosse team. Why is that critical? What are you trying to hone in on?

NIFONG: Well, if there is DNA evidence within the victim, then this will enable us to definitely establish who the perpetrators of the offense were. At this point, of course, we don‘t know whether or not there is DNA available to test, but if that is found, then we have—by taking samples from all the members of the lacrosse team who fit profile, we will be able to determine which of those players was the person or which ones of those players were the people who committed the assault.
Hooligans, The Wall of Silence Hoax, and "A Rape, Yes, Sir"

Perhaps to ensure the groundwork for the Hoax was firmly in place, Defendant Nifong made several inflammatory statements which helped define the Hoax, before eventually returning to haunt him as part of an impending State Bar Disciplinary Hearing. Smelling blood in the water and a sellable story, the media gleefully piled one. Highlights of the March 28 Defamation Festival included:
"I would like to think that somebody who was not in the bathroom has the human decency to call up and say, "What am I doing covering up for a bunch of hooligans?" I'd like to be able to think that there were some people in that house that were not involved in this and were as horrified by it as the rest of us are." -- Nifong in a March 28 interview with The News & Observer

"I am convinced that there was a rape, yes, sir." --Nifong on MSNBC

"When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation." -- Outrage at Duke lacrosse players Herald-Sun, March 28, 2006

"And Rita, I should tell you, the local DA said after interviewing the woman and seeing her demeanor, he does believe that a rape took place that night—Rita." -- Donna Gregory, NBC Correspondent

RITA COSBY, HOST: Why do you definitely believe there was a rape here, sir? What evidence is giving you that indication?

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: That a rape actually did occur? The victim‘s demeanor, the fact that when she was examined by a nurse who was trained in sexual assault, there was swelling and pain in the areas that would have been affected by the rape. The victim gave signs of having been through a traumatic situation. She seemed to be absolutely honest about what had occurred to her.

RITA COSBY, HOST: She also lost four fingernails. It sounds like it was a pretty vicious fight she was trying to hold off.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This is the type of case that because of the—on top of the rape, which is already an abhorrent crime enough, you have the additional racial animus and hostility that just seems totally out of place for this community in this day and age. And I felt that this was a case that we needed to make a statement, as a community, that we would not tolerate this kind of behavior here in Durham. And I felt that the best way to make that statement was to take this case myself.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The rape and the other sexual assaults took place in the bathroom.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: My understanding is that the estimates of time range from about 15 minutes to about 30 minutes. A lot of times, when things like that are going on, they seem to last longer than they actually do. And there were three men involved in the direct assault on her.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: If there is DNA evidence within the victim, then this will enable us to definitely establish who the perpetrators of the offense were. At this point, of course, we don‘t know whether or not there is DNA available to test, but if that is found, then we have—by taking samples from all the members of the lacrosse team who fit profile, we will be able to determine which of those players was the person or which ones of those players were the people who committed the assault.

"The thing that most of us found so abhorrent, and the reason I decided to take it over myself, was the combination gang-like rape activity accompanied by the racial slurs and general racial hostility," Mr. Nifong said Tuesday [March 28] in a telephone interview.

"There are three people who went into the bathroom with the young lady, and whether the other people there knew what was going on at the time, they do now and have not come forward. I'm disappointed that no one has been enough of a man to come forward. And if they would have spoken up at the time, this may never have happened." -- Rape Allegation Against Athletes Is Roiling Duke - New York Times
Today, few outside those blinded by hatred and the politics of prosecution remain duped by the many deceptions of last March 28. At the time, however, the untruths fueled a rush to judgment that is perhaps best demonstrated by the words of Pot-Banger-In-Chief Manju Rajendran, who shared one reason the Group of 88 saw fit to thank the protesters for not waiting.
"We want to shame the attackers." -- Manju Rajendran, Protest Organizer on MSNBC


bill anderson said...

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: If there is DNA evidence within the victim, then this will enable us to definitely establish who the perpetrators of the offense were. At this point, of course, we don‘t know whether or not there is DNA available to test, but if that is found, then we have—by taking samples from all the members of the lacrosse team who fit profile, we will be able to determine which of those players was the person or which ones of those players were the people who committed the assault.

Does anyone understand just how important this last quote really is? By this point, Liefong knew there would be no DNA evidence, especially of the kind that would identify a rapist.

Has this lie been included in the Bar complaint? If not, it should. Furthermore, it should be the basis of a criminal charge, as Liefong was using deceit to keep a case going.

This also tells me why he wanted to do the ultra-sensitive YSTR tests. By then he was looking for the "single solitary cell" that would provide a fig leaf for the arrests.

There is much more in this very important post. I am bookmarking it and holding it for my own writings. Thank you Liestoppers, for this vital post!

Anonymous said...

I am very appreciative of what is becoming, in essence, an almanac describing "this day in the history of the Duke case." It is very very helpful in placing the events of each day in perspective. It's useful to any attempts to determine whether one given event may have triggered another, or whether one event may have been influenced by another.

Please keep them coming.

All the best,

kbp said...

Thanks Liestopper!

You did a fine job of outlining what took place on the 28th of last year and the importance of those events.

That was a very busy day for many conspiring against the team - eventually the defendants - and the enablers that prejudged them.

Anonymous said...

Any reasonably intelligent person head the switch on the DNA immediately and said "What...?" It was clear to me from day 1 that these guys did not rape this slug. where is the smug, insulting and snickering demeaner of Nifong now? This guy deserves what he gets = a national disgrace.

moore3271 said...

Speaking of the bar complaint...The resolution thereof seems as slow in coming as the production of an aircraft carrier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks LieStoppers. You put everything in perspective. Its very unnerving to know that this was done by politicians that are supposed to stand for justice. Its also very unnerving that hundreds of members of Congress are doing nothing about this.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson,
I agree with you, I saw the famous choking interview. I got the feeling he already knew there was NO DNA to be found, but had to keep this under wraps t okeep the hoax (i.e hope of being elected) going. It seemed very suspicious his facial expressions and wording of his answer about the DNA evidence. I too am certain he knew there was no evidence


Anonymous said...

Those who followed the case closely saw the 'flip' from DNA will exonerate/inculpate to "~we'll try this case the old fashioned way." Nifong's smirking and carefully chosen words didn't fool everyone unfortunately they did fool many for way too long.

Politics and justice can be a deadly game.

It's time to end this hoax! Now! Or, you, Mr. AG will be in the same boat... Nifonged? Coopered?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone want to take bets that before too long, Irving Joyner or Wendy Murphy or perhaps Nancy Grace will speculate that these Lacrosse boys had the financial means to thave their DNA medically altered just before they were no match would occur?

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Joan, your awesome work on keeping all of this straight is incredible. Until you started outlining it recently, it wasn't clear to me exactly what happened on that day.

What I DO remember clearly about March 28, however, was the sickening joy on the faces of all those who jumped on the lacrosse players. Even from where I live in San Francisco, I could hear the smacking of their lips as they crowded around Nifong, shoving each other to be the first to sink their teeth into those wretched players. It was clear they were dishonorable. Honor never glories in the destruction of another human being.

JWM said...

An excellent post, Liestoppers.

I sign on to what the other commenters have said.

John in Carolina

Anonymous said...

Original Lyrics By Don Henley and Glenn Frey

"Selena Roberts"

Selena Roberts, why don't you come to your senses?
You been sheltered behind Westport fences, for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
But I know that you got your white guilt reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow

Don't you draw the race card from the deck, girl
It will beat you if it's able
You know the King of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that make no sense

Selena Roberts, oh, you ain't gettin' no smarter
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you mad
And freedom, oh freedom, well that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world with self-hate

Don't your feet get cold at The New York Times
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the truth from a lie
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how your credibility goes, away?

Selena Roberts, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fine pedigree fences, open the gates
It may be rainin', but there's redemption above you
You better ask for forgiveness, before it's too late

Anonymous said...

9:51, that was fabulous! Please also compose an ode to Nifong. It could be called, oh, I don't know, "You Can't Hide Your lyin' Eyes."