Friday, May 25, 2007

Insert Foot

Durham Chief of Police Steve Chalmers continued the shameful defense of his department’s participation in the Nifong/Mangum Hoax in an interview with WRAL’s Julia Lewis following yesterday’s City Council meeting. Employing the strategy of finger pointing, denial, and deception that defined his laughable report to the City Council and Mayor, Chalmers:

  • blamed City Manager Patrick Baker for the deficiencies in his report;
  • blamed defense attorneys for his department’s having no exculpatory evidence prior to testifying before the Grand Jury;
  • denied that his department ceded control of the investigation to rogue District Attorney Mike Nifong;
  • falsely claimed that his investigators possessed no exculpatory evidence prior to duping the Grand Jury into bringing indictments against innocent men;
  • incredibly claimed that his department was prepared to defend their investigation in court, apparently by pressing forward with the framing of the Duke Innocents at a trial;
  • took credit for the idea of an investigation of his department's "investigation" by claiming to have requested the SBI conduct an investigation similar to that of an officer involved shooting.

Regarding exculpatory evidence prior to facing the Grand Jury, Chalmers declared to WRAL:

“We had none.”

Despite Chalmers' denial, his investigators were privy to the clearest evidence of factual innocence a full eight days before testifying to the Grand Jury on April 17, 2006. Both Inv. Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the two officers who personally deceived the Grand Jury, attended the same meeting with Dr. Brian Meehan of DNA Security, Inc. that resulted in the amended State Bar complaint against District Attorney Mike Nifong for withholding evidence from the defense attorneys. On April 10, 2006, Himan and Gottlieb learned from Meehan that DNA evidence recovered from Crystal Mangum’s nether regions and panties belonged to several men, none of whom were the innocent men his officers sought to frame or any other Duke Lacrosse player.

In describing the powerful evidence of factual innocence revealed to Defendant Nifong, Inv. Himan, and Sgt. Gottlieb by Dr. Meehan at the April 10 meeting, State Bar DHC Chair F. Lane Williamson stated at a recent hearing for Defendant Nifong:

We're talking about DNA testing that was done. And, of course, everybody--you know, whether it's justified or not--puts a lot of credence in that. And it's one thing to have--well, as a layman, I understand when the person who does the testing tells me, "I didn't find anything on these lacrosse players.

I also understand as a layperson if he tells me, "But we found DNA from other men." I also understand as a lawyer that it's one thing--you know, using the old thing--absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But here, knowing that there's testing that has found DNA from other people, that is evidence of absence. And I don't need to be--I don't need to understand anything about the science. That's all I need to understand.

Chalmers’ attempt to suggest that his officers had no exculpatory evidence prior to April 17, 2006 offers the clearest indication to date that Himan and Gottlieb intentionally ignored and withheld evidence of factual innocence from the Grand Jury while pleading for indictments of innocent men on behalf of the rogue District Attorney.

Click here to view WRAL's video of the Chalmers interview.


bill anderson said...

So, Chalmers decided to include himself in the Big Lie. Before this report, it seems he was a peripheral figure, the guy in the lobby of the brothel playing the piano who insisted he had no idea what was going on inside.

Now we see him declaring he was The Man all along. Well, Chalmers, take your punishment like a man, especially since you are moving into criminal behavior.

My hope is that he can spend some of his cherished retirement in the crowbar motel.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I hope each person guilty of criminal acts in this case are sentenced to that which they attempted to foist on Finnerty, Evans, and Seligmann.

QuadDog said...

Wow. How can anyone in the DPD still believe they can lie this away? Will this case ever cease to amaze me?

Anonymous said...


Once Again Chalmers states that there was no exculpatory evidence because the defense did not provide it.

Since it is clear there was easy to find exculpatory evidence, one must come to the conclusion that the Durham police department, and its investigators are incapable of actually performing an investigation without the assistance of non law enforcement trained lawyers.

Hence; if you have been convicted of a crime in Durham, with an investigation by the Durham police department, I would think that appealing your case should be your first priority. There is now documented proof that the police are incapable of performing an investigation, and all you have to prove is that your defense attorney was not qualified to be a police investigator!!!

Tom E.

Anonymous said...

If we use the Dilbert/Peter Principle for Mr Chalmers who is at the top; what does that say for the rest of his motley crews abilities?

Anonymous said...

There was also Kim's statement that the charges were a "crock", and that she'd been with CGM for all but 5 mins. The police never check with Kim to see if she remembered the things CGM described in CGM's statement such as that Kim and CGM were holding onto each other and 6 guys pulled them apart. If DPD had asked the same question 60 mins. did, they too would have found out that that hadn't happened.

DNA from other men and a non lacrosse team witness that said the story is wrong. What other exculpatory evidence do you need?

Anonymous said...

The PD tried to frame three innocoent men and now we are watching Chalmers trying to lie his way out of it.

BTW To the City Council: Former & Current NC Police Chiefs investigating the Durham PD? You have to be kidding me!!!

That will be a Blue Wash!!!

redcybra said...

One reason why these guys get away with it is because no "reporter" challenges their version of events on-air. "The defense offered no exculpatory evidence"??? Anyone at all familiar with this case would know that is a lie. But bringing that fact to the general public, oh no, that's not important.

Anonymous said...

Now we have Chalmers lying in a video--no takebacks, Steve! The police were lying when they said they didn't know who made the 911 call, the police were lying when they said that they ran proper lineups, and on and on it goes!!


Anonymous said...

The whole country saw the excpatory evidence, these investigators didn't see it right under their nose? Why do these guys still have josb as investigators?

bill anderson said...

We are dealing with lies, and lies that are told out front with the understanding that everyone knows they are lies.

The idea that the attorneys were squirreling away the exculpatory evidence is so obscenely false that the only reason I can see the police using it is to let the rest of us know that they intend to lie. No one is going to come clean in Durham; the only way that happens is if the hand is forced.

As for the comments from Mandelbrot's Chaos, that is precisely how the Old Testament law worked. If one made a false accusation, the false accuser received the punishment that was due to the falsely accused.

Anonymous said...

amazing that chalmers can say they had no evidence of innocence and further that they are prepared to "defend" their investigation in court. I presume he means if sued rather than suggesting he wanted to press the case. However this man is a menace and has no credibility as the top law enforcement officer in durham.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Wow! I thought only third graders used the "dog ate my homework" excuse.

Anonymous said...

I can just see the classified ad for Chalmers' replacement: Wanted: Durham Chief of Police - Rarely have to show up for work and when you do show up, can do whatever you damn well please, then lie about it if you must, with absolutely no consequence. Qualifications; must be able to keep a staight face when presenting said lies. Excellent question dodging and blame fixing skills required. Must be able to check conscience at door.

Stephen said...

I think Tom E is on to something!

Anonymous said...

What is it you people are waiting for? NOTHING is going to happen here without a federal investigation. You are alleging that the DPD and DA lied to the grand jury. YOU CANNOT PROVE IT with the evidence at hand. There must be a criminal investigation. Lying to a grand jury, last time I read a law book, is pretty serious stuff...

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Bill, then, I guess it's time to go REALLY old school in Durham.

Anonymous said...

This is all just typical Durham NC stuff. From roads that crumble to cops who lie to a mayor that just doesnt want to fire his buddy, the city manager; just typical Durham NC happenings. Make plans now to go to the renovated DAP (durham athletic park) to watch the minor league umps school at work. YOUR OUT!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

wooppity woop
chalmers be 1 brotha
in dah fryin pan
i luvz afamativ akshen
i get me a welfah jobz in dah AAAS