Several new items from the article:
(1) A heretofore unrevealed e-mail from Sgt. Mark Gottlieb to DA/lead investigator Mike Nifong. Dated May 3, 2006, the e-mail congratulated Nifong on his primary victory the day before, and then requested guidance on a host of investigatory matters. The e-mail confirms previously released documents showing that Nifong was personally directing the police investigation as of March 24, 2006; and shows that Nifong instructing the police to violate their own procedures to create the April 4 lineup was hardly the only matters on which he issued orders.
(2) Lt. Mike Ripberger, one of the Durham officers who signed off on the April 4 lineup--which, since it was confined to suspects, violated Durham Police guidelines--had attended a 2004 statewide training session on how to handle proper lineups.
(3) Patrick Baker’s claim--the lineup wasn’t really a lineup--holds no water. Iowa State psychology professor Gary Wells, who helped write Durham’s photo lineup procedures: “If your suspects are in there, then it’s a photo identification procedure.” Baker’s explanation was “a song and dance, and an early attempt to fish for some defense in a civil suit down the line.”
Neff provides the best primer to date of how the police--apparently deliberately--did not pursue any leads that might have uncovered evidence questioning Nifong’s theory of the crime. And he notes that possible lawsuits could involve not just the flawed procedure but “whether an investigator created false evidence.
For the basic problem in the case, Jim Cooney sums it up: “The police let Nifong usurp the chain of command, and this is unforgivable. The police work for the chief, who works for the city manager, who works for the City Council. The police do not work for the DA.”