In our preceding article we introduced Durham PD’s Pac Listservers
Durham’s Partners Against Crime
The Partners Against Crime program promotes collaboration among police officers, Durham residents, and city and county government officials to find sustainable solutions to community crime problems and quality of life issues. It is a community based volunteer organization that promotes and executes safety strategies to prevent crime at the neighborhood level. Each of Durham Police Department’s five police districts has a PAC organization that holds monthly PAC meetings. Durham PD Web Site
More than just a neighborhood listserver the Pac system is divided into five districts throughout Durham. The Durham Police regularly monitor the system for information, post crime reports, and use it as a method of dissemination to reach list members. Former Police Chief of Durham Chambers twice posted explanations of police policy and actions. The City of Durham’s Office of Public Affairs also regularly uses it for Press Releases.
The Pac program started in 2000 with the Pac2 and gradually added the four other police designated districts. Currently Pac2 has over 900 members and the total Pac list(1-5) contains over 2200 members. Pac2 is the dominant list and it senior members are influential in the community and have the stated purpose to improve Durham and fight crime. Some of them are moderators of the neighborhood listservers and some are members of the Durham Roundtable which is an organization of 13 members dedicate to improving Durham by watching over the court system.
In our earlier article “From Wall of Silence to Community Uproar” we detailed how on March 24, 2006 Durham PD Cpl Addison started a series of newspapers interviews and TV appearances which shocked the community with the allegation, stated as fact, a sexual assault happened at 610 N. Buchanan and the 2006 Lacrosse Team was responsible.
John-In-Carolina has an informative series of posts called the Addison Series 1-5. It traces Addison's actions. JinC
As the accusations exploded in the local newspapers and on TV, the listservers around Duke naturally became a forum for members upset about the allegations. They were reacting on the false premise that the sexual actually did happen, that there was an exam at DUMC which proved it, and the team was hiding behind a wall of silence. Posters were incensed at the Team, their parents, Coach, and Duke whom they accused of a cover-up by its inaction. Some of these members complaining were Duke Faculty members.
March 28, 2006
March 28 was a busy day for the City of Durham, the DPD, and DA Nifong.
The Police released the two 911 calls but claim they didn’t know who made the calls. They did!
Mayor Bell Bell said "I suggested that I think they should cancel the rest of the games for the rest of the season. I think that, in itself, would make a statement -- not only to the persons involved, but to the community." WRAL
Coincidentally the investigation suffered the worst blow. SBI Labs informed Officer Himan and DA Nifong that there would be no match between the SANE KIT and any of the Lacrosse DNA swabs because the quick and simple test for semen found nothing. There was nothing to test. For most DAs and Police Investigations it would have meant they were heading in the wrong direction and rhetoric should have been racketed down. No DNA meant her allegations were obviously unprovable and surely no jury would ever convict.
It is alleged in the Ekstrand complaint Senior Durham City Officials, Durham Senior Police Command, and Duke representatives were informed that DNA results didn’t support the accusation of sexual assault and the investigation was in trouble as the false accuser had also failed two ID attempts. Sgt Gottlieb in his depositions said the investigators were briefing those Senior Officials and there were too many meetings to remember.
Unbelievable in the midst of this exculpatory evidence DPD’s Cpl Addison would post the following message to all Pac Servers and label it,
"Hi Priority" with e-mail cc to 34 local media members.
Over 2000 individuals would receive this directly from Cpl Addison in their in-boxes or user groups.
Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:20 pm message # 1066
Durham CrimeStoppers needs your assistance….
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.
Durham CrimeStoppers needs your assistance in solving this case. Although, we have received many calls expressing concerns and anger about this incident, we have not received any calls which will allow us to assist in resolving this case. We are extending our plea for information and help to our Duke family, who are also part of our community.
We are asking anyone who has any information which will allow the Durham Police Department to make an arrest in this case, please contact Durham CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. Please feel free to email me at david.addison@... with any information. Please use an anonymous email account. Durham CrimeStoppers will pay cash for any information which leads to an arrest in this case.
"There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue.... Commit a crime and the world is made of glass"
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
Corporal David Addison
Durham CrimeStoppers Coordinator
Durham Police Department
505 W. Chapel Hill Street
The media recipients were well known columnists and reporters of the News-Observer, Durham Herald-Sun, and local Radio/TV stations. It was a virtual who’s who of the Triangle media community. Coupled with what was alleged to have been said “off the record” it would have supported the false accusations and made it difficult for reporters to provide some opposite perspective to the PD’s campaign of misinformation. No reporter wanted to fight the tide by saying the accusations were baseless, especially when DA Nifong was going “off the record” spreading falsehoods about an exam report which he had never read.
The question remains of Cpl Addison as to whom was he obtaining his information from and was he taking orders? Did it have anything to do with the Police being informed there would be no DNA match? Why was he doing this now when the investigation was in trouble and it looked like a false accusation? This message stated it as fact a sexual assault had occurred.
Additional follow up messages
Addison would not just send this out once, but he would repeat it four more times.
Mon Apr 3, 2006 2:26 pm Message # 1077 (He sends this same message without any changes.)
Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:16 am Message # 1092 (Finally adds Alleges to the accusation)
Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:34 am Message #1094 (Same as above but explains it was at the request of the PD)
Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:48 pm Message # 1106( Same as 1092 above)
Five times he posted this to all of the Pac listservers, not just Pac2, but to all of the police designated districts. Why would he repeat this four more times when he never did that before with Durham's Crimestoppers?
Again as with the Trinity Park listserver these posts had their effect of inciting the community against the Lacrosse Team and backing up the false allegations. The listservers were adamant that something must be done to the Lacrosse Team.
Sgt Gottlieb posts again
Sat Apr 8, 2006 4:31 pm
April 7, 2006
Residents in the neighborhood of 610 N. Buchanan:
The Durham Police Department is continuing its investigation of a sexual assault reported on March 14, 2006. The time period the assault took place at a party at 610 N. Buchanan was from approximately 11:30pm on March 13, 2006 to approximately 12:30am on March 14, 2006. If anyone heard or saw anything unusual in the area please contact the Durham Police District 2 Violent Crimes Investigations Division at (919) 560-4582 and speak to either Sgt. M. Gottlieb at ext. 228, or Inv. B. Himan at extension 229. Durham CrimeStoppers (919) 683-1200 will pay cash for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects.
You will note that in Sgt Gottlieb's & Cpl Addison's posts they mention 610 N. Buchanan specifically. Early in the formation of the Pac2 listserver debate was raised about the fairness of identifying specific addresses and the conclusion was reached to just use a block address. However both Sgt Gottlieb & Cpl Addison specifically referred to 610. N. Buchanan in all of their posts.
April 10 SBI DNA Release starts to quiet the Mob
With the public revelations of the SBI DNA results by the defense attorneys in front of the Durham Courthouse the list servers started to calm down. DA Nifong was not happy with the defense attorneys for that.
However even the most ardent followers could see the case was very weak. But that didn’t stop Cpl Addison from posting again his allegations. Had the DPD released the DNA exculpatory information when it was known in late March the results would have been much different. The "torches and castrate signs" would have been discarded.
Some would continue on with the ridiculous idea they left nothing behind, but the era of the “lynch lawing” had effectively ended the debate on the listservers. Science was trumping false PR.
However the DPD, City of Durham Officials, and DA Nifong had already done their damage by spread their lies to a local and national audience.
More nefariously the Court, Defense Attorneys, the three defendants, and the general public wouldn't learn until Dec 15, 2006 in testimony on cross examination that Dr. Meehan of DNASI had found multiple non Lax DNA in the false accuser’s swabs with no Lax DNA, and DA Nifong, Sgt Gottlieb, and Inv Himan were made aware of that on April 10, 2006.
In reading the listservers what is noticeable is the absence of regret once the case fell apart. This was to be highlighted after Innocence Day, April 11 2007 with NC AG Coopers declaration that no sexual assault happened. For the most part it was dead silence.
Perhaps it is just human nature and we all join bandwagons, but the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Team deserves an apology from those in charge of the listservers of Durham, especially those who posted against them. As we have said some posters warned others what was happening was wrong and the tepid response was to add an “alleged” to their posts, but it seemed more like CYAing than true innocent until proven guilty.
The Pac2 Listserver was indeed being used as an arm of the Durham PD. Their Officers were posting false and malicious information. 2000 Durham citizens received this with 34 media members being notified by Cpl Addison as Hi Priority. Obtaining a fair trial would have been difficult with so much pretrial publicity by the Police.
As noted earlier these Pac district activities are supported by federal government grants. This should be examined to see if Federal statutes were violated, especially under “MAKING FALSE PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”
One Lone Poster Speaks Up
Finally a Durham citizen had this lone remark on Innocence Day April 11, 2007 posted to Pac2
"This afternoon the charges were dropped against the remaining Duke Lacrosse players. Remember how this list-serve (and all of Durham) exploded with the news when the charges were first announced? And now, silence.... I hope that anyone who immediately convicted the Lacrosse players after last year's charges takes some time to reflect on today's dismissal of those charges. As difficult as it can be, part of our job as citizens and certainly as "partners against crime," is to try to stay fair-minded and to try to keep thinking of people as innocent until proven guilty, just as we all hope will happen to us if we're charged with a crime. At this point it appears that the biggest crimes in the case were committed by our district attorney. Ugh.... That, of course, remains to be seen."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
In our preceding article we introduced Durham PD’s Pac Listservers