Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Was Seligmann a known innocent on March 16, 2006?

In an editorial today, the News & Observer inadvertently points to one of the most comical assertions made by Durham’s invisible Chief of Police Steve Chalmers in his report on the department’s participation in the Nifong/Mangum Hoax.

The N&O’s editorial states:

Police had conducted several lineups that did follow the department's policy on photo identifications. In those, Mangum didn't identify any suspects.

Surprisingly, in an editorial condemning the Chalmers report as “wasted words” while calling for an independent review, the News & Observer appears to have bought Chalmers’ unsteady claim that the initial photo arrays were conducted according to the department's standards as outlined by General Order 4077. Specifically, Chalmers defends the initial photo arrays by suggesting that the lineups included genuine fillers.

In his report that wasn't, Chalmers writes:

By the afternoon of March 16, 2006, investigators had received information that the house in which the alleged attack had occurred was rented by members of the Duke University lacrosse team; that the party during which the incident is alleged to have occurred was attended by some such members; and Crystal Mangum had alleged to the police that the names of her attackers were “Brett”, “Adam” and “Matt.” An investigator with the Durham Police Department obtained a CD from the Duke University Police Department containing Duke University lacrosse team member photographs with corresponding names. There was only one lacrosse team member with the name of “Brett,” one team member with the similar sounding name of “Breck,” and one team member with the name of “Adam.” Three lacrosse team members had the name of “Matt.” Therefore, at this point in time, investigators focused upon the individual named “Matt” who was an actual tenant of the home in which the alleged attack occurred believing that it was most logical that particular “Matt” would have been present at the residence during the party.

Consequently, four photo arrays were shown to Mangum in the hopes that she would be able to identify her alleged attackers. Each array contained a photo of one of the individuals considered a potential suspect in the arrays so that: one array contained a photo of “Brett;” one array contained a photo of “Breck;” one array contained a photo of “Adam;” and one array contained a photo of the particular “Matt” described above.

Consistent with Durham Police Department General Order 4077 Eyewitness Identification:

· Mangum was not shown the photo arrays in the presence of any other potential witnesses;

· The photo arrays were presented to Mangum by an independent administrator i.e. an officer who did not know which person in each of the photo arrays was considered the suspect in the array;

· Five fillers were used per suspect photo. Photos of Duke University lacrosse team members identified as persons other than “Brett,” “Breck,” “Adam” or the “Matt” described above were selected;

· The fillers selected resembled the suspect in each of the arrays in significant features such as race, gender, facial features and weight. In addition, using other team photos so that persons in the entire array were similarly dressed, as opposed to, for example, attempting to obtain other college lacrosse team photographs, could help to ensure that suspicion was not improperly focused upon the suspect photo who appeared dressed in dark blue, a color which might be associated with Duke University;

· Different fillers were used in each of the four arrays;

· Photographs were presented sequentially;

· Mangum was given standard verbal instructions for each array which included advising her that the photograph of the person who committed the crime may or may not be included in the particular array.

Mangum did not identify her alleged attackers from the arrays presented to her that day.
By definition, a filler in a lineup is a known innocent. In their Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology, Professors Steve Chapman and Gary Wells describe the inclusion of known innocents as follows:

In the most general terms, a lineup is structured so that a suspect is embedded among nonsuspects. We will call these nonsuspects fillers.1 In some eyewitness identification writings, fillers are known as foils or distractors. In an episode of Seinfeld, fillers were called decoys. We prefer the term fillers because this appears to be the most common term used by law enforcement in the United States, and it seems rather neutral ( foils, for instance, seems to imply that their purpose is to fool the witness). Whatever they are called, the important thing about fillers is that they are not suspects, but rather are known innocents. Accordingly, any identification of a filler by an eyewitness is a known error that would not result in charges against that person.
Accepting Chief Chalmers at his word, and understanding the universal definition of a lineup filler as a “known innocent,” the natural implication is that Reade Seligmann, included as a filler on March 16, was known by the Durham Police Department to be innocent a full month before Durham Police Department's Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Inv. Ben Himan testified otherwise to the Grand Jury. Of course, the alternate conclusion would be that Chalmers' claim is as false, misleading, and meaningless as the balance of his review.


bill anderson said...

Most interesting. Again, since I believe the police did not believe Mangum from the start, anything they did was automatically a frame-up.

Look, had Reade Seligmann produced proof that he was in California that day, he STILL would have been indicted, and I would not be surprised if a Durham jury would have ignored that, too. Once people make up the mind either to believe a fantasy or to lie, as did the police and Nifong, then the rest is easy.

Anonymous said...

Cover Up! Cover Up! I don't trust anyone in NC to investigate this!

DOJ where are you?

Anonymous said...

Bravo LieStopperrs!!! KNOWN INNOCENT!!! Either the DPD didn't follow their SOP for photo line ups or they indicted a know innocent. Good Job!

(What was the DPD's reason for including a Breck but leaving out 3 Matts? I'm just confused about the depth of their investigation?)

Anonymous said...

David F. Evans was a filler in the 3/21/06 photo lineup. The DPD, therefore, must have considered him a KNOWN INNOCENT too!!

Anonymous said...

David F. Evans was a filler in the 3/21/06 photo lineup. The DPD, therefore, must have considered him a KNOWN INNOCENT too!!

Anonymous said...

Did they know Reade was innocent?

Depends on what "is" is.

All in the world that have browsed through a Duke Case article published since Cooper made his campaign drive to be known as a leader among men is already aware of the fact Reade is innocent.

Will the knowledge of HOW the authorities brought the question of his innocence to the table of a judicial system be exposed?

Doesn't look like it will.

Anonymous said...

Well, Crystal couldn't even say Reade was at the party at first, right? There you go, an innocent filler!


Anonymous said...

Where was brodhead, the english teacher, when all this innocent filler stuff was going on? Were not they his students as he so produly stated many times before this inncident? Betcha he was coniving ways to keep the trinity neighborhood's future safe and quite from "hooligans" during this time. Yea, lets make examples out of all of them. uh huh let them prove their innocence in a court of law, whomever THEY are. Lets use their team pictures for the ID process. Well done, he so poetically states to the DPD. Prose or no prose, poet or no poet, he is still an english teacher, not a leader of fairness and what is right. I am sure the DPD did not do everything they did with the "lineup" without letting Duke Unversity (and representing Duke University was brodhead, the english teacher), know what they were doing with their lacrosse students and their pictures, the intent of the identification was?. Duke had to know what was going on becasue it was the DPD that asked for the photo CD of JUST the lacrosse players; and Duke University complied with that request now didnt they. Does anyone think that the Duke PD didnt get the OK from brodhead to send the photo CD to the DPD?? Duke was not out of the loop early on in this scam and hoax and lies and yessss, even coverups during the early phase of this story. No sir, you guys dont need to tell your parents or need a lawyer. If your as innocent as you say you are, then the photo ID will clear you, right? Well, it did!!!! But it didnt. And brodhead led the charge down hoax lane with the ID process and the DPD. It dont matter none, I already got their money in the bank.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Asking Chalmers if he could 'see' Reade was innocent is like asking a dog owner if it can see its hound is peeing on your front lawn.

Only if the owner wants to.

Chalmers' dog Nifong has been widdling since March 2006 - and Chalmers still refuses to 'see' that Durham justice now has a big yellow stain down its back.

Anonymous said...

We wuz goin to get them there white boys any ways!

Anonymous said...

My oh my. I hope they have the check book handy. The more they talk, the more liable they become.

Serves them right.

Good work pointing that out Liestoppers, ya' bunch of darned hooligans!!


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I could have been able to go through the past year and some months of hell, that the Duke Lacrosse men went through, but with examples like this, the Civil trial to set the record straight and to compensate the true "Victims" will be a hoot, and hopefully reward the three for life !

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I'd love to see a civil trial not just set the record straight. I'd love to see a civil trial also set a record verdict against Duke University in general, and Brodhead and the Gang of 88, DPD, Nifong, Durham DA's office, and the City of Durham. Sue the bastards so hard they'll still be paying it off when our nation turns 400.

scott said...

Since all 46 of the white LAX players were considered suspects, how could any of them serve as fillers (which, by definition, are people known to be innocent)? Chalmers statement that these line-ups were conducted in accordance with the regulation is a total falsehood.

Had Mangum picked any one of these people chosen to be fillers (the ones other than Brett, Breck, Adam, or Matt), then as LAX players / suspects, they could have been charged. So how does Chalmers get off saying the line-ups used fillers? What an asshat.

Nifong, Chalmers, Gottlieb, Himan, Kimmie Michaels, Major Russ, Cpl Addison, Captain Lamb, Lt Ripburger should be inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Shame one and all. Oh, and let's not forget about the anonymous division commander who took the email that Addison created and turned it into the Vigilante Poster just in time to stir up the Potbangers. I hope that creep has trouble sleeping at night wondering if his idenity is ever going to be exposed to the public. Remember, your Hall of Shame members listed above know who he is.