This post begins with a pop quiz: Which of the figures below published a plea for more widespread use of “DNA evidence,” to determine the outcome in cases where “the evidence is not clear showing innocence or guilt”?
- Defense attorney Joseph Cheshire, in his letter demonstrating that Mike Nifong’s chief investigator, Linwood Wilson, had not read the discovery file.
- Duke Law professor James Coleman, in his call for Nifong to step aside for a special prosecutor, to restore public faith in the process.
- National Journal senior writer Stuart Taylor, in his column eviscerating Duff Wilson’s transparently slanted New York Times article.
- The co-chair of Nifong’s citizens’ committee.
The answer: (4), Nifong citizens’ committee co-chair Kim Brummell, on page 23 of Reality Has Spoken (Conquering Books, 2005).
Some might consider it a mystery how a figure who so passionately attested to DNA’s significance could wind up co-chairing the citizens’ committee of a district attorney who appears to believe—provided you ignore his occasional affirmation to the court—that DNA can never “immediately rule out any innocent persons.” But Brummell is a woman of many mysteries. For instance:
- Where does she live?
A late August article in the N&O noted that Brummell was a registered voter in
Yet after becoming associated with the Nifong Citizens’ Committee, Brummell started saying she was from
- What is her profession?
An August article by John Stevenson in Nifong’s house organ, the Durham Herald-Sun, claimed that Brummell is “a corporate security officer and writer.”
Yet the N&O described Brummell only as a “freelance writer.” And in her own amazon.com listing, she states, “I am currently working towards a degree in Criminal Justice and is [sic] in the process of optioning off and seeking a literary agent for my first screenplay that I have written. I have served five years in the US Army and is [sic] currently employed part-time with Federal Express.”
- Does she also write under the nom de plume, “Supporter of Justice”?
In late August, the Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek campaign received the following email:
Hi. If you all are about wanting a DA that is a protector and not a divider [sic]. What the heck you think Nifong is doing with this victim in this case? He’s protecting her rights as a victim. That’s what a DA does [sic]. If she was not pleased at the way he has handled this case, it would probably be dropped by NOW. Why vote for a person who don’t [sic] want the job? It’s no guarantee that Mike Easley not going to re-elect [sic] Nifong again. Have you all read at least some of those 1800 page [sic] documents? I think you might want to wait and take a look and then you probably will start blaming things on nuses [sic], doctors, investigators, etc...All these people makes [sic] a criminal case, not just the DA office. You people better wake up!
Supporter of Justice
As RN-VC spokesperson Beth Brewer noted at the time, the email address for “Supporter of Justice” was “the same as the one used by Kim Denise Brummell when filing for her
Are Brummell and “Supporter of Justice” one and the same person? Emails from both Brewer and me asking this question went unanswered.
Yet the [sic] factor suggests it is so. A recent 100-word letter in the Durham Herald-Sun from the citizens’ committee co-chair denounced “Duke University President Ricahr [sic] Brodhead.” Speaking of Ryan McFadyen, Brummell fumed, “The words he used in midst of sexual assault allegations are not to be taken lightly at all, nevertheless [sic] cute.” She added that the players’ allegedly “disrespectful behavior speaks for much divide [sic] itself.”
Perhaps in the future, Brummell might seek proofreading assistance from Alex Rosenberg, Wahneema Lubiano, or their Group of 88 colleagues—who, I’m sure, would gladly continue doing all they can to facilitate Nifong’s efforts.
Brummell joins the more widely known Victoria Peterson in heading up Nifong’s citizens’ committee. Since April, Peterson has attracted attention for suggesting that medical officials tampered with the DNA evidence. She then shared the platform with the leader of the New Black Panthers party, which both the SPLC and the ADL have branded a hate group. Previously, Peterson had expressed some novel views on homosexuality, such as her contention that if gays and lesbians “are not infected with diseases . . . they will be, even women.”
Brummell, for her part, has made no attempt to conceal the reason she’s backing Nifong. “If Mike Nifong was to lose the election,” she recently wrote, “there would be a slimmer chance of this [lacrosse] case going to trial.” Brummell hailed the district attorney as a “defiant prosecutor” who is focused on “bringing shame and humiliation to the privileged, while opening the public’s eyes to the underprivileged in what might stand as truth once he presents his case.”
Nifong’s reaction that a figure with such opinions was co-chairing his citizens’ committee: “I was very pleased. It made me feel good.” So spoke
By the way—it’s not all that mysterious how someone with Brummell’s views on DNA found her way to Nifong’s camp. In “The DNA Evidence,” Brummell four times stated that her position on the issue applied when “a black man” was the accused. Nifong’s targets, of course, are white.