Skip to comments.Nifong a Topic at State Bar Council (and Feds Decline to Act for Now)
Posted on 01/16/2007 10:03:31 AM PST by freespirited
This week Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong could be slapped with more charges related to his handling of the Duke Lacrosse case.
This week the State Bar Council will be holding its quarterly meetings in Raleigh. During this time, the agency could add ethics charges against the Durham district attorney.
Nifong recused himself from the Duke Lacrosse case shortly after the state bar filed an ethics complaint against him last month. He's accused of misconduct for statements he made to the media last spring.
In a letter obtained by Eyewitness News, defense attorney, Joe Cheshire requested to meet with Nifong in March about the statements.
"I do not understand why you will reportedly speak to the media in such certain, condemning terms before all the evidence is in, but you will not have the courtesy to meet or even speak with a representative of someone you have publicly condemned," Cheshire stated in the letter.
Nifong could also face additional charges for withholding DNA evidence that was favorable to the accused players. Evidence that is now in the hands of the state's Attorney General.
"We accept these cases with our eyes wide open to the evidence, but with blinders on for all other distractions," Roy Cooper said.
The State Bar Council meets today.
The council will decide this spring if his public comments about the case were a violation of the professional rules of conduct. Nifong's ethics meeting is scheduled for May.
No Federal Probe
The U.S. Attorney General's office has responded to Congressman Walter Jones' request for a federal probe of the Duke Lacrosse Case.
In a letter delivered Thursday, Alberto Gonzales' office wrote that it would be, "Premature to initiate a federal investigation pending a criminal trial."
This means the Attorney General will not be getting involved in the case at this time.
You are dead wrong. They have already been harmed. They don't have to be sentenced. You should pray nothing like this ever happens to you or any of your loved ones, because with your gross misinformation, you or they will be at the gallows before you can say "OOPS!"
I never said they did. I said "this case" originated with a complaint.
Your reply is a complete non sequitur. How the state court charged or over charged the cops in the Rodney King case is completely beside the point being made that you were replying to. The feds would have charged them whether the state won or lost. They said so at the time. NC has no criminal civil rights violation statutes (and, therefore, no penalties), so there isn't going to be a state prosecution against Nifong for civil rights violations. He hasn't been charged with any criminal violations and he's no longer on the Duke case, so there is no comparison to the prosecutions of the cops in the Rodney King case and, therefore, absolutely no reason to wait to investigate his malfeasant scheme aimed at the civil rights of these boys. The civil rights violations against these boys began prior to their indictments, so they've already suffered harm from those violations.
Another non sequitur. Is that all you're capable of? Is that and your ad homs all you have in your debate arsenal? I notice you didn't quote my entire post because that would have exposed the fact that you're dodging the point again.
But then you have to dodge the point or you'd have nothing to post.
True. That's what started the entire confrontation and name calling, when they sent black hookers when the guys specifically requested white or Hispanic dancers.
I am talking about a civil suit where malpracticing lawyers and their insurers are forced to pony up millions to the victims of malpractice.
I just wish someone had the video of this guy criticizing Fong a while back.
Here is the transcript. Just scroll down till you find Freedman's name.
I thought the anchor was saying something about the new special prosecutor having tried a couple of cases with Nifong?
If that's the case, should the new special prosecutor have recused herself?
Defense lawyers last week sent subpoenas to Durham police investigators who collected evidence. The subpoenas, signed Jan. 5 by an attorney for Finnerty, were filed in the Office of the Clerk of Durham County Superior Court on Tuesday. The subpoenas require investigators Richard Clayton, Mark Gottlieb, Benjamin Himan and Michele Soucie to be available to testify during the Feb. 5 hearing.
The defense also sent a subpoena to the accuser. She was in Nifong's office Thursday when it was served, according to court files.
Thanks! I'm glad to see there's documentation of it. This guy sure is singing a different tune now. Guess money changes everything for some people.
Yep, the N&O naturally lead off with Mangum when saying who this episode has been painful for. They can never hide their bias, can they?
Thinking out loud:
Cash not only stirred the pot, he threw everything in it but the kitchen sink.
The discussions were turning away from race to the mental health of precious and the corruption of nifong/durham.
So out of the blue, Cash puts out a story with one purpose. Put race back into the mix. Inflame the local black community. Once again, make this case about race and nothing else.
This leads to any one of a number of questions:
1. who wants race on center stage?
2. who wants Durm/Nifong/corruption off of center stage?
3. What does Burness gain by doing public relations for the African American Community?
5. Who does Halloway socialize with?
Not saying there is another sinister conspiracy afloat, but worth examining to either confirm or reject.
Waiting for Brodhead's public statement waiting, waiting....
That is what I thought, the fifth hand gossip statement, if true, is exculpatory evidence. It is evidence they would not touch Mangum.
Duke arrest controversy still simmers
The News & Observer
May 15, 1997
Author: Susan Kauffman; Staff Writer
Estimated printed pages: 3
DURHAM -- About 20 prominent African-American faculty members at Duke University have signed a letter calling on the university to take stronger action in the wake of the mistaken arrest of a black freshman last month.
The letter, a rare example of black faculty solidarity at Duke, says the professors think all blacks were wronged by the disrespectful treatment 19-year-old Calvin Harding received from white police officers.
"Indeed, the handcuffing of Calvin Harding handcuffed us all," the 4 1/2-page letter concludes.
The letter was signed by faculty members in a variety of disciplines, including Richard Powell, chairman of the art department, and Fred Boadu in civil engineering.
"I'm very distressed that we have this sort of thing going on," said John Hope Franklin, the nationally known history professor emeritus, who said he signed to protest unacknowledged racism. "It's not new. It's pervasive."
Harding, a work-study student from Silver Spring, Md., was performing his clerical duties at the Fuqua School of Business on April 7 when two police officers handcuffed him and put him in a patrol car. They acted after receiving a report about a suspicious black man, submitted by a graduate student who suspected he might have stolen her laptop computer.
The officers released Harding when they realized he was innocent, but failed to apologize. Harding filed a complaint saying he thought he was targeted because of his race.
### Inquiry about punishment: In the letter, the professors asked specifically to know what punishment was meted out to the officers.
They also asked that the graduate student who reported Harding as being suspicious be held accountable for her actions.
"A tremendous error in judgment cannot be ameliorated merely by saying: 'We're sorry the police made a mistake,' " the letter said. "Neither is some vague reference to an unspecified punishment of the officers sufficient."
Karla Holloway, an English professor and director of African and Afro-American studies, said the professors understand the confidentiality issues at stake, but they want to make sure something like that doesn't happen again.
"There is a history of accusation of African-Americans in the United States," Holloway said. "We think this fits the pattern."
President Nan Keohane was out of town and could not be reached for comment, but John Burness, Duke's vice president for public affairs, praised the letter.
"It is a thoughtful letter about an important and serious issue," Burness said.
"I'm confident that President Keohane will want to meet with the faculty to discuss it as soon as her schedule permits. As a matter of courtesy, I believe she will also feel an obligation to respond directly to the faculty before commenting in the media."
After Harding filed his complaint, Police Chief Alana Ennis conducted an internal investigation and determined that although the officers did not follow proper procedure, their actions were not motivated by race. Police officials have said the officers were "severely punished," but would not comment further, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters.
Keohane wrote a public letter of apology to Harding that was published in The Chronicle, the student newspaper. In it, she acknowledged that the racial issue clouded the case, but stopped short of saying that race was the motivation.
In the letter, the professors said they want more.
### 'Stronger message': "Given what Mr. Harding experienced at the hands of these two Duke University police officers, we would welcome a stronger message about the severe consequences of racist conduct - be it overt or covert - from the university's administration."
The letter continues: "It strikes us as disingenuous to say that the police officers must be protected when an innocent student had no such right as he was paraded and handcuffed as a public spectacle."
Leonard Beckum, a public policy professor who specializes in race relations, said he was proud that the faculty members took a stand and voiced their concerns.
"Black faculty, the few of us who are here, pretty much are not represented as a voice on campus," Beckum said. "That's not good for blacks or for the university as a whole.
" ... When you harm one, you establish the potential for harming all."
Others who signed the letter include: Jerome Culp Jr., N. Gregson Davis, Chouki El Hamel, David Barry Gaspar, Raymond Gavins, Paula Giddings, Monica Green, William Hart, Geraldine Henderson, Wahneema Lubiano, Vonnie McLoyd, Pierre Ndilikilikesha, Melvin Peters and Kenny Williams.
Karla was a busy little bee over the summer....All that writing.
The Scholar and Feminist Online
Published by The Barnard Center for Research on Women
The Cultural Value of Sport: Title IX and Beyond
Coda: Bodies of Evidence
Karla FC Holloway
When things go wrong, when sports teams beget bawdy behavior and debasement of other human beings, the bodies left on the line often have little in common with those enclosed in the protective veneer of the world of college athletics. At Duke University this past spring, the bodies left to the trauma of a campus brought to its knees by members of Duke University's Lacrosse team were African American and women. I use the kneeling metaphor with deliberate intent. It was precisely this demeanor towards women and girls that mattered here. The Lacrosse team's notion of who was in service of whom and the presumption of privilege that their elite sports' performance had earned seemed their entitlement as well to behaving badly and without concern for consequence.
Justice inevitably has an attendant social construction. And this parallelism means that despite what may be our desire, the seriousness of the matter cannot be finally or fully adjudicated in the courts. The appropriate presumption of innocence that follows the players, however the legal case is determined, is neither the critical social indicator of the event, nor the final measure of its cultural facts. Judgments about the issues of race and gender that the lacrosse team's sleazy conduct exposed cannot be left to the courtroom. Just as aspects of their conduct that extend into the social realms of character and integrity should not be the parameters of adjudicatory processes, the consequence of that conduct will not be fully resolved within a legal process. Those injured by this affair, including the student and the other young woman who were invited to dance under false pretenses and then racially (at least) abused, as well as Duke's campus and Durham's communities, are bodies left on the line - vulnerable to a social review that has been mixed with insensitive ridicule as well as reasoned empathy. Despite the damaging logic that associates the credibility of a socio-cultural context to the outcome of the legal process, we will find that even as the accusations that might be legally processed are confined to a courtroom, the cultural and social issues excavated in this upheaval linger.
Perhaps the most critical, if not the most sustained response of the campus to the rape allegation and the series of incidents of misconduct and the lack of administrative oversight that it has exposed, has focused on the matter of culture. Duke University's president Richard Brodhead commissioned a series of committees, one of them to review and examine the campus culture. The Campus Culture Initiative has focused on the fault lines - alcohol, gender, race, and athletics - the spaces of university life where problems of community and conduct visibly reside. If athletes with otherwise good grades use alcohol as their reason for laxity, for racial bias and gendered tirade, why is it that public media cultures, and other lay respondents within and outside of campus would elevate good academic performance and subordinate these issues of character? With no blueprint on how to interrogate these broad and deeply entrenched matters of culture, Duke's commission of this investigatory committee arguably indicates its notice of the inequities and imbalances on the campus - where the "culture" of sports seems for some a reasonable displacement for the cultures of moral conduct, ethical citizenship and personal integrity. But "culture" is also the catch-all for the event, one that contains as much potential to replicate our failures as well as for engaging and sustaining a more progressive and democratic campus community. And it is not the first time Duke has positioned an institutional investigation of a problem of culture.
When, in the last year of President Nannerl Keohane's presidency, a report on the status of women at Duke discovered evidence of cultural and social practices that disadvantaged women, a commission of women faculty and administrators, a group of women student scholars, and an alumni group of women (legates of the Duke Women's College) were charged with discovering the "fix" to the problem. This flurry of restructuring and response came after a committee of women faculty, students, and administrators labored to uncover the gendered issues of disparate treatment and its consequences. As if a prelude to the events of spring 2006, the bodies that mattered, those who were the objects of inquiry, were also the bodies whose labor was required to fix the inequity.
At what cost?
How do we measure, value, assess, and document the energy of spirit, body, and intellect expended by those who endure the problems caused by cultures of both masculine and white racial disrespect? In its forms of verbal violence as well as physical, in its presumption that there are some bodies available for taunt and tirade, whim and whisper, the "event" is phased back into the subaltern spaces of university life and culture. Their sporting behaviors, on and off the courts, endure.
At the conclusion of spring semester the lacrosse team, minus three indicted (and one suspended) member, gathered to celebrate their reinstatement on Duke's campus. Their reinstatement was accompanied by a code of conduct they inexplicably wrote for themselves. At this gathering, their interim coach (who had been, just three years prior, their former team member) vigorously professed his blanket judgment that those who stood indicted for the rape of a student from North Carolina Central University were innocent. As the day drew to a close, every indication was that the remaining team members' athletic careers would continue nearly uninterrupted except for the scrutiny of the administration and their self-authored code.
The interim coach's pronouncement was critical in weighing the significance of this event. In nearly every social context that emerged following the team's crude conduct, innocence and guilt have been assessed through a metric of race and gender. White innocence means black guilt. Men's innocence means women's guilt. These capacious categories, which were in absolute play the night of the team's drunken debacle, continue their hold on the campus and the Durham community.
After their reinstatement, things for the Duke lacrosse players edged as near to normal as the aftermath of the horrific affair could allow. And ironically, for the rest of the campus, everything else was curiously normal as well. Not so strangely - indeed, predictably - those members of a class who have been exposed to abuse or intolerance or inequity (on this campus, as in the nation, women and black folks) are called once again into service to help remedy the campus culture that these boys' sports culture created and exploited. Our labor on newly invented committee structures and our availability for public and private consultations, conversations, and often intense confrontations persists despite and amidst the growing acclamation of support for the team.
The irony of this displacement is fully inscribed on the weary bodies of black and women faculty and students at Duke whose visible representativeness placed us, eventually, (after a team of white male administrators decided on the parameters of the university's response) into membership and leadership roles of committees charged to remedy the damaging culture that was now in evidence. This responsibility emerged despite the fact that neither women nor African Americans were the ones who enabled, permitted, arguably encouraged, or facilitated the cultures of disrespect that had been tolerated. Because otherwise and after all, the Lacrosse team members were stellar academic performers as well as athletic players. Their moral misconduct seemed secondary to the fact - even a righteous 'release' - for those who otherwise performed so admirably. And even at this moment of transition of the event - to the courts to handle the charges of rape, sodomy, and assault, and to the university to handle the matter of culture - the team's athletic agenda proceeds apace, and those most wounded by the event, by direct and indirect association, are left to manage the exploitation they have suffered as the consequences of this particular culture of elite sports and the protections of privilege.
The culture of men's sports in particular, with its elevations and hierarchies, with its often brutal physical contact, and with its body-intense loyalties remains unindicted in this curious yet predictable aftermath of the men's lacrosse teams' documented record of demeaning, brutish, rude, and alcohol-ridden conduct. It is behavior that seems so attached to its winning season and its members' successful academic performance that the very notion of the choices endemic to the culture of team mentalities and conduct - who plays, who does not, who makes the team, who is varsity, who is second string - has meant we have responded to this as just another form of choice. The ethic of sportsmanship means we have been overly tolerant as well of aberrant conduct as just another choice, merely a dimension of the ways and means of sports.
When Catherine Stimpson reminds us that "boosterism can be boisterous . . . victory will bring ecstasy and too frequently a bullying attitude of superiority [and] defeat will bring pain and too frequently a churlish and belligerent anger," she indicates precisely the demonstrable after-the-game conduct that has been so destructive in this particular occasion. Stimpson notes how "defeat also tests the character of the fan, for the true fan must remain loyal even during the bad times." She might well be speaking of the women's LAX team, who went on to their post season play proclaiming to the media that they would write the word "innocent" on their sweatbands, and who finally decided that their fidelity could be expressed by recording on their sweat bands the jersey numbers of the indicted men. They were athletes themselves, as well as "true fans." In a moment that called on more action than I had will for, I wanted to write to them to ask if they might, instead, consider writing the word "justice" onto their gear, a word whose connotations run deeper than the team-inspired and morally slender protestations of loyalty that brought the ethic from the field of play onto the field of legal and cultural and gendered battle as well.
I write these thoughts, considering what it would mean to resign from the committee charged with managing the post culture of the Lacrosse team's assault to the character of the university. My decision is fraught with a personal history that has made me understand the deep ambiguity in loving and caring for someone who has committed an egregious wrong. It is complicated with an administrative history that has made me appreciate the frailties of faculty and students and how a university's conduct toward those who have abused its privileges as well as protected them is burdened with legal residue, as well as personal empathy. My decision has vacillated between the guilt over my worry that if not me, which other body like mine will be pulled into this service? Who do I render vulnerable if I lose my courage to stay this course? On the other side is my increasingly desperate need to run for cover, to vacate the battlefield, and to seek personal shelter. It does feel like a battle. So when asked to provide the labor, once again, for the aftermath of a conduct that visibly associates me, in terms of race and gender, with the imbalance of power, especially without an appreciable notice of this as the contestatory space that women and black folk are asked to inhabit, I find myself preoccupied with a decision on whether or not to demur from this association in an effort, however feeble, to protect the vulnerability that is inherent to this assigned and necessary meditative role.
Until we recognize that sports reinforces exactly those behaviors of entitlement which have been and can be so abusive to women and girls and those "othered" by their sports' history of membership, the bodies who will bear evidence and consequence of the field's conduct will remain, after the fact of the matter, laboring to retrieve the lofty goals of education, to elevate the character of the place, to restore a space where they can do the work they came to the university to accomplish. However, as long as the bodies of women and minorities are evidence as well as restitution, the troubled terrain we labor over is as much a battlefield as it is a sports arena. At this moment, I have little appreciable sense of difference between the requisite conduct and consequence of either space.
1. I am grateful to Professors Robyn Wiegman and William Chafe for their generous and careful reading and response to early drafts of this essay, and to Janet Jakobsen for her intuitive and tremendously helpful review.
Paging the DOJ....
1. who wants race on center stage?
2. who wants Durm/Nifong/corruption off of center stage?
3. What does Burness gain by doing public relations for the African American Community?
5. Who does Halloway socialize with?
Well, everything in Durham and Duke is ALWAYS about race.
Nifong as DA completes the lock on the Courthouse by the AA
black bloc. They did not OWN Hardin or Freda.
They own just about everything also now. School board most
recent prize. Looks like they are dead set on controlling
Duke University - have been trying for years. Brodhead and
Keohane. Might as well hand the place over now.
The good news is media has picked up on it. heh-heh-heh
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