Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chalmers: Revising History

In an impromptu press conference posted with WRAL, the perpetually absent chief Steve Chalmers gave a series of astonishing statements this afternoon.

The April 4 lineup "was not a lineup."

"It was very disappointing" that the City Council had not allowed him to answer any questions they might have had.

Defense attorneys refused to provide him with exculpatory evidence. He did not say why the Police Department declined to investigate Mangum's inconsistencties.

It might be "confusing" for some people to understand relationship between police and DA.

He wanted a third party inquiry, but apparently told only City Manager Patrick Baker, who overruled him.

Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, the Police Department remained in charge of the investigation until the first indictments.

Chalmers refused to say whether Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Officer Ben Himan informed the grand jury that Crystal Mangum had selected her "attackers"; he also refused to say whether he thought the case should have gone forward. He did note, however, that the department was fully "prepared to defend" its actions if the case went to court.

The Council voted 6-1 for an outside review of the DPD: Chalmers' statements--which strongly suggested that he still sees nothing wrong with the DPD supporting the indictment of three people without probable cause--are a good example of why such an inquiry is so badly needed.


bill anderson said...


Since Chalmers so wants to look as though he was "in charge" of this faux investigation, then let him also be investigated for criminal misconduct. If this is how he wants it, then I would hope that part of his happy retirement can be spent in jail.

I have never seen such an assortment of crooks, criminal, liars, and deadbeats in my life. It's a good thing that the book you and Stuart are doing is non-fiction, since you could not make up these characters.

Anonymous said...

I'm still recovering from the shock that Chalmers appears to have actually been in Durham today. That alone is news.

I agree with Bill. This is one helluva bunch of liars. If Chalmers' statements today are anything to go by, KC's book may wind up in the sci-fi/horror section of the bookstore. It's a true story but pretty damn horrifying.

No Tellin said...

Revisionism is the common thread of the inept defending the indefensible and tormenting the truth.

While I espouse a relatively "liberal" outlook, lies, untruths, slander, revisionism and righteous arrogance are wrong regardless of political stripe or ideology.

If Chalmers chooses to stand by these patently false and slanderous revisions of history and actual fact, he should be criminally prosecuted for stealing money from taxpayers. What else do you call it when you get paid for a job you are effectively a 'no-show' for?

If I were a Durham taxpayer, I'd be livid at the waste of my taxes on this man's salary, benefits and retirement fund.

Anonymous said...

he got the call from the NAACP AND 100 BLACK MEN IN LAW ENFORECEMENT who must have told him.." ok BBM go on the offensive..use the rascism defense....the ag is white

Anonymous said...

How deep does the corruption in Durham run?

Anonymous said...

Bill, the book KC and Stuart Taylor are doing will have a hard time be classified as non-fiction.
Who is their right mind can read this stuff and believe it's real?

The stench of corruption abounds in Durham and no one has show up with the disinfectant.

Chicago said...

They are not even trying to cover their lies now. They are just arrogantly telling them. What utter audacity these fools have.

Anonymous said...

Chicago 9:11, Chalmers can be arrogant because he is effectively untouchable. Maybe a reprimand at worst, from whom though I don't know.

It's all yak, yak, yak, yak, yak around here and NOTHING happens.

The expression "howling at the moon" comes to mind.

Chicago said...

How in the world can they say it "was not a line-up" when it was the ONLY thing used to gain an indictment?

Also, to quote Brad Bannon, How can "it be wrong, but no one is at fault?"

Chicago said...

With so many levels of lies, cover-ups and enablement from public officials, (DA,investigators,police,police chief,judges, city manager, outside DNA testing firms, SANE nurses) what kind of parent, in their right mind could confidently send their child to Duke for an education knowing what type of people run that city and knowing what could potentially happen to them there. Also knowing Duke won't do a damn thing to stand up for you, in fact, you might be flunked by association with the falsely accused. This is a train wreck like I have never seen before.

Four years at NC State has never looked more appealing.

I am at a complete loss for words over this corruption.

Anonymous said...

Chalmers talk about not getting exculpatory evidence from defense attorney's has already been called a bald-face lie by one of the defense lawyers. (I forget which.) Perhaps someone ought to remind Chalmers that the single most important body of exculpatory evidence was turned up by Nifong with the help of Dr. Meehan: no DNA matched any LAX team member. Not only did DPD get exculpatory evidence from the defense, they acted on it! Moezeldin Almostafa, Segilman's alibi witness, was arrested by the DPD.

What matters most is not how the DPD obtained exculpatory evidence, but that the ignored the exculpatory evidence, of which there was enough for AG Cooper to proclaimed the players "innocent."

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

YAWN. Chalmers mimics the Baker/Chalmers report. That is both hardly surprising and not news worthy. He said not a thing that was not in that "report." Only a TV station would think this was NEWS because they could put a person's picture rather than repeat what was in that same person's report.

It is neither more or less outrageous than it was when the report said the same thing. All the same criticism apply and the claim of not getting exculpatory evidence is as laughable as it was.

The only hint of any thing new was the statement they his department was prepare to go to court to defend what it did? The reporter being a shallow TV reporter blew it of course and did not ask the follow up questions. Is Chalmers saying he believe Mangum was raped? Is he saying he believes those IDs were legit? Is he saying the AG's office was wrong?

Anonymous said...

Chalmers should be included in the civil suits.

Anonymous said...

Chalmers is laughing. He is law enforcement. They have different rules.

KT said...

Chalmers told the reporters that DPD was prepared to defend their procedures in court. However, if you listen really closely to Chalmers in the Web-only interview, you can almost hear him say, "This is the way we do business in Durham. The end justifies the means, and this case was investigated no differently than other criminal cases." His smirk reminded me of Nifong in his "glory days"! I hope there is someone who will disinfect Durham. It really needs a good cleaning!

Tawny said...

Personally, I liked Chief Chalmers better in his MIA mode than in his now self-described role as the strong hand at the helm of the DPD. Oh please!

Among the Chief's startling revelations:

1. Chalmers modestly explained that he had "taken the lead actually" in calling for an outside 3rd party investigation. And guess what, he did it even before Mayor Bill Bell. Bell told WRAL anchor Julia Lewis he was "skeptical" and asked why that info wasn't included in the notorious Baker/Chalmers Report.

2. Asked who was in charge of the investigation, Chalmers replied, "Well, the police department was in charge."

Guess Chalmers never read Joe Neff's 04/14/07 N&O piece stating, "The next day Nifong told Durham police he was taking over. At 9 a.m. March 24, a police captain told the senior investigator, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, that "Nifong was going to be running and prosecuting this case. ... Go through Mr. Nifong for any directions as to how to conduct matters in this case." And Chief Chalmers was unaware of this?

3. As to the discredited report itself Chalmers patronizingly agrees it might have been "confusing" and might "not have been to the level everyone understood." Not only is he lying, now he's getting insulting.

4. Still on the report, "We [he and Patrick Baker] provided the type of report we were asked to provide." They could have done a more comprehensive report but were "asked to scale it down." "Someone in the City Manager's office" asked for the pruning job. But isn't Patrick Baker the City Manager? And if he wanted to write a more detailed report could someone in his own office countermand that?

5. Who was really responsible for the fact it took 13 months to clear this mess up? Those dammed defense attorneys. Re Chalmers: "We had sought exculpatory evidence from the defense attorneys and we had none." Guess that put Cheshire, Cooney and Bannon in their place.

6. When asked about the flawed 04-04-06 photo line-up Chalmers burbled, "That wasn't a line-up." Well, there you have it from Durham's top law dog. In that city an alleged non-lineup witness only ID session can be taken to the grand jury in order to get indictments.

Gary Packwood said...

...Chalmers said...It might be "confusing" for some people to understand relationship between police and DA... and Chicago 9:20 quoting Brad Bannon, said... How can "it be wrong, but no one is at fault?"
Chicago, You and Brad have never worked for the Government. That may be a blessing.

Chalmers statement is almost a quote from Max Weber who wrote The Theory of Bureaucracy somewhere around 1900. Weber was a German Economist and Sociologists.

Chalmers is actually saying that because of T H O S E people in the Capital of NC, citizens find the relationship between the police and the DA ... confusing.

The answer to Brad Bannon's question is therefore ...T H O S E people are at fault.

If a consulting firm tries to audit the Durham Police Department, the final report will be a long list of procedures that meet the requirements of T H O S E people over in the Capital of NC and perhaps now days, the Federal Government.

If you ask WHY, Chalmers will experience a metamorphosis whereby he will become Sergeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes...


It is similar to watching a Tennis match.

A pretty good alternative to a formal review is to create a citizens review committee if the citizen members can be interviewed by the press and bloggers.

That will scare the bejesus out of T H O S E people over in the Capital of NC and the Feds...who will then something.

Making Government Smaller the long term answer.

Anonymous said...

The results of the college application process are pretty much out at school. For the third year in a row my kids' school, which traditionally sent 2-3 kids per year to Duke, have zero children planning to attend college there this fall. This is only one tiny school, but I can't help but believe it is somewhat indicative of a broader pattern. We'll see.


Deklan Singh said...

3rd party inquiry?

I'm sure he'd be interested in a 6th party inquiry! Something akin to a sextuple-blind study in medicine where nobody knows anything about anyone or even what's going on. Why don't we just have a flock of sheep from New Zealand investigate these walking frauds?

A Cog in The Wheel said...

Mr. Singh, you may have unintentionally struck gold with that statement.

Pair them with the geographically impaired whales in California, and they might unintentionally trip over Osama.

Anonymous said...

I guess publicly filing a detailed notice of an alibi defense doesn't count at sharing exculpitory evidence?!

It has been said before -- but the reporter should have asked how responding to this filing by imidating an alibi witness and coming up with a straight-from-memory new timeline constitutes examining the exculpatory evidence.

Bella said...

"Defense attorneys refused to provide him with exculpatory evidence."

Really? Ah yes, that makes perfect sense. A defense attorney who doesn't want to hand over evidence that could prove his client's innocence. Only in Durham would that be considered logical.

Chicago said...

Some excellent posts here. Especially by Tawny.

What Chalmers is trying to tell us about defense attorney's not wanting to present exculpatory evidence, if true (which obviously it is not) has got to be a first in the history of the United States legal system. I challenge anyone to cite a case where a defense attorney did not want to share evidence that is exculpatory. Chalmers arguement is as foolish as saying you went to a used car lot to get a car but the salesman "didn't want to sell me on."

Then his ridiculous comment about "that wasn't a line-up." That is like pointing to a car and saying, "That is not a car, it is a vehicle."

Anonymous said...

@ chicago, 1:30 AM:

A lawyer might hold back exculpatory evidence if it is weak and thus subject to being attacked by the DA at trial. For instance, it's my understanding that Seligmann's exculpatory evidence was so strong that his lawyer kept trying to bring it to the DA's attention, but Finnerty's exculpatory evidence was less strong and so HIS attorney was holding it back until trial.

But in a case like this one, the STRONGEST exculpatory evidence (aside from being able to show that you were in Milwaukee at the time of the crime) was the DNA. Once those DNA tests came back negative to every single lacrosse player, this case was effectively OVER. Turn out the lights; the fat lady has done sung.

Very recently a convicted killer named Darryl Hunt was released from NC prison on the basis of negative DNA testing. "The Innocence Project" announced that the DNA testing had "exonerated" Hunt; in fact, it did not. It cast doubt on the DA's case (which included several eyewitnesses), but it did not "exonerate" Hunt. Nevertheless, the city of Winston-Salem ponied up $1.7 million to Hunt without even being asked. (Hunt likely didn't sue W-S because of the possibility that the city would prove that, despite the lack of DNA evidence, Hunt still likely did the crime.)

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is to always remember that "wrongly convicted" does NOT equal "innocent". You can be "wrongly convicted" and still be just as guilty of the crime.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

7:02 --

"Very recently a convicted killer named Darryl Hunt was released from NC prison on the basis of negative DNA testing. "The Innocence Project" announced that the DNA testing had "exonerated" Hunt; in fact, it did not. It cast doubt on the DA's case (which included several eyewitnesses), but it did not "exonerate" Hunt. Nevertheless, the city of Winston-Salem ponied up $1.7 million to Hunt without even being asked. (Hunt likely didn't sue W-S because of the possibility that the city would prove that, despite the lack of DNA evidence, Hunt still likely did the crime.)"

From the Sykes Administrative Review Committee Report:

"... at a February 6, 2004 hearing, investigators testified that there was no evidence that Mr. Hunt was involved in Ms. Sykes' rape or murder." (emphasis added)

Right off the bat, your description of the case is wildly different from the description coming from reliable sources. That's without even getting into the matter of Willard Brown. Who's Willard Brown, the man you don't mention at all? Why, he's the man whose DNA did match the DNA found on Deborah Sykes, who confessed to the crime in 2004. A reasonable person would find it highly unlikely that the city could "prove that ... Hunt still likely did the crime" when the evidence points to another man, who has confessed, and investigators describe themselves as having "no evidence" against Hunt.

Are you merely talking about a case you know nothing about? Or do you have some reason for misdescribing it so blatantly?