Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Motion Filed: Durham's Parade of Horrors

On October 6th, Robert Ekstrand filed a response to the various motions to dismiss (MTD) submitted by defendants in the Archer, McFadyen and Wilson civil case. It is 571 pages long.

Following is just the tip of the iceberg.... Durham's Parade of Horrors

LieStoppers is in the process of converting the filing from .pdf to word and will be posting for discussion on our blog.

See LieStooppers Forum

From Ekstrand's response to the City of Durham's MTD:


The CITY OF DURHAM (the “City”) is a municipal corporation formed under the laws of the State of North Carolina. The City is believed to have waived its immunity from civil liability pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 160A-485 by, among other things, procuring a liability insurance policy or participating in a municipal risk-pooling scheme. The City of Durham operates the Durham Police Department, which shares law enforcement authority in the City of Durham with the Duke University Police Department, pursuant to a statutory grant of authority and an agreement between the City of Durham and Duke University. AC ¶ 58.

The City of Durham and its employees played a critical role in the grave miscarriage of justice that became known as the “Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.” The allegations involving the City and its employees are detailed throughout Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint; however, the most significant allegations with respect to the City relate to its Zero-Tolerance for Duke Students Policy (“Zero-Tolerance”). The City is not alone in pursuing the policy, and Plaintiffs have pointed directly to their collaborator: Duke University itself. Pursuant to Duke-Durham Zero-Tolerance Policy, virtually every clearly established constitutional protection was lifted in police interactions with Duke Students. Specifically, Zero-Tolerance meant:

• Durham Police and Duke Police abused the power to enforce, disproportionately and unconstitutionally, the criminal laws against Duke Students. A.C. ¶¶ 111, 115.

• Duke students were charged and incarcerated for “alleged” criminal violations of the local ordinance called “Noise. Generally” or the open container ordinance banning open containers on sidewalks adjacent to homes which are not enforced against “permanent residents.” AC ¶ 108.

• Police ignored the Warrant requirement if the home to be searched was leased by a Duke Student. AC ¶¶ 116-128.

• Police ignored the probable cause requirement for the seizure of any person if the person to be seized was a Duke student. AC ¶ 113.

• Police fabrication of evidence (offered directly by police officers in courts of law to make baseless charges brought against Duke Students stick.) AC ¶175.

• The use of police power, generally, to intimidate, threaten, and coerce the out of state students into leaving the homes they leased in the Trinity Park neighborhood off of their University’s East Campus. AC ¶¶ 113-15.

• Perhaps the Policy’s most characteristic feature since its inception has been the Police Department’s purposeful violation of the constitutional prohibition upon stigmatization in connection with any deprivation of rights, particularly a seizure or search, AC ¶¶ 120-21.

Zero-Tolerance was a moving force behind the conspiracy to convict the Plaintiffs that is documented in the Amended Complaint. And perhaps the most disturbing fact alleged in the Amended Complaint is the fact that all of the acts alleged is that, from the beginning of the “investigation,” Duke and Durham had no evidence of a sexual assault, and they certainly had no evidence that Plaintiffs or their teammates had anything to do with one. A.C.§§VI- XL. They had nothing. AC ¶¶ 52, 57-68, 69-79. Recall Nifong’s assessment of the investigation: “You know, we’re f****d,” (AC ¶ 593) or Himan’s reaction to the decision to proceed to indictment in April, “with what?” AC ¶816. And from there nothing emerged but a parade of horrors:

Fraudulent investigation: Durham Police oversaw an investigation that it should never have had in the first place: the allegations of rape occurring at 610 N. Buchanan. AC § XVIII (discussion on jurisdiction). Durham Sergeant Mark D. Gottlieb seized control of this case as soon as he could, not surprising given his particular interest and history of abusing Duke Students. AC ¶ 171. The investigation was a sham, laden with conspiracies. Defendant knew all of this and “turned a blind eye;” this failure to intervene ratified all of the bad acts. AC §IV(F).

Retaliation – Public Stigmatization: Defendant engaged in numerous egregious acts of retaliation for Plaintiffs’ exercise of constitutional rights, including searches and seizures based on lies and fabricated allegations. AC § XIV(C). Defendant did not do all of this quietly either, but rather launched a national media campaign resulting in the vilification of Plaintiffs and enduring public stigmatization.

Multiple conspiracies: Defendant was a primary actor in several conspiracies throughout this case, the most outstanding include: the NTID order, the search warrant abuse, the Photo ID sham, the DNA Cover-Up, the SANE fabrications. See AC § § XIII-XXV, XXIX-XXX, XXXIV. Much of this was engineered through Joint-Command Meetings between Duke and Defendant. AC § XXVI.

This is not the way cities and universities react to patently false accusations, particularly when they are recanted as soon as the accuser is removed from the commitment proceedings in which she made them. The arrogance of the City’s policymakers, leaders, administrators, police officers, and employees (and all of their counterparts at Duke) that played out over the course of thirteen months did not just appear on March 14, 2006. It was not the natural consequence of a false allegation made by a drug-addled woman who, at the time, was in the midst of an apparent psychotic break, in police custody, and in the process of being involuntarily committed. It was the product of a well-worn policy and custom of police to deprive “temporary residents” of their constitutional rights in all encounters with law enforcement. So ingrained was Zero Tolerance in the police apparatus that, six months into the “fiasco,” when news reports unmistakably documented Sgt. Gottlieb’s miserable record of deliberate, inhumane violations of Duke students’ rights, the Durham Police Department’s Internal Affairs Chief reflexively held a press conference to say that Sgt. Gottlieb was following his “orders.” AC ¶ 181. This was true, he said, when Gottlieb raided “temporary residents” homes without a warrant, arrested and charged “temporary residents” students with no evidence of a crime, and maintained a record of arresting roughly seven “temporary residents” students for every “permanent resident.” AC § IV.


Anonymous said...

Duke Alumni need to realize that until Brodhead and Steel are fired this targetting of Duke students will continue.

Why hasn't the Board of Trustees acted?

Anonymous said...

Could it be that the new "Closed Doors" policy of the BOT is about that issue precisely?

So that such a matter can be addressed forthrightly, without the view of the press and the public?

Dare we even hope?

gak said...


Anonymous said...

Little town,
little town of horrors

Little school,
Little school of horrors