Fifteen members of the 2007 Duke men’s lacrosse team were named to the ACC All-Academic team—more than any other team. The recipients were: Bo Carrington (History); Michael Catalino (Biological Anthropology and Anatomy); Edward Douglas (Masters - Liberal Studies); Fred Krom (History); Chris Loftus (History); Tony McDevitt (History); Ryan McFadyen (History); Nick O’Hara (Economics); Sam Payton (Economics); Brad Ross (Sociology); Stephen Schoeffel (English); Michael Ward (History); Michael Young (History); and freshmen Parker McKee and Max Quinzani.
On the women’s side, the Duke squad similarly led in All-Academic totals, with nine recipients: Carolyn Davis (Psychology); Meghan Ferguson, (Public Policy Studies); Christina Germinario (History); Kim Imbesi (Biology); Leigh Jester (Art History); Allie Johnson (History); Michelle Menser (Biology); Rachel Sanford (Sociology); and Kristen Waagbo (Cultural Anthropology).
There was no word from Orin Starn on how the performance of such students furthered his thesis that student-athletes harm the academic environment at Duke.
North Carolina NAACP head William Barber has weighed in with his latest commentary on the case. Continuing his practice of sliming the lacrosse players, he offered the first “lesson” of the case: that the lacrosse players held an “illegal party.” Since Durham doesn’t require “party permits” to make parties legal, presumably Barber was referring to the fact that there was drinking at the party—as there is at thousands upon thousands of college parties every year, none of which appear to have concerned either Barber or the North Carolina NAACP.
Barber’s op-ed led off with a quote from the Bible: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32.”
This message would best be directed to the North Carolina NAACP website itself, which continues to host Legal Redress Committee chair Al McSurely’s error-filled memorandum of law on the case.
The “truth” that will set NAACP members “free” contains 29 false or misleading assertions, including:
- “After Duke outlawed drinking on campus, some its more affluent white students merely rented or bought a nearby satellite ‘frat’ or ‘party’ or ‘team’ house, to hold keg parties and hire female dancers for stag parties.” The NAACP must have missed the party held at an African-American frat house that led to a rape allegation; Barber has never referred to that party as an “illegal” one; nor has he, to my knowledge, criticized Griffith Award-winner Chauncey Nartey for presiding over a “frat” whose behavior prompted a suspension from the national organization.
- “On information and belief, when trying to hire the dancers, the Captains said it was a party for the Duke Track or Baseball team, which have more African American athletes on them. In fact, the lacrosse team has 47 members, 46 of whom are white. The only Black player, a Freshman, left the party before the dancers arrived.” Actually, the only “Black player” attended the party—and the Duke baseball team (with zero) does not have “more African American athletes” than the lacrosse team.
- “CM . . . had taken the night-job because she has two children in elementary school, and she wanted to save the few day-time hours she had free after her studies, to be with her children.” That assertion became rather difficult to substantiate once the DNA evidence became available, while Officer Himan’s notes thoroughly rebuffed the portrayal of Crystal Mangum as a caring mother, despite the best efforts of Nifong enablers.
- “After about three minutes of dancing . . . there were racial remarks made.” Wrong again. The racial exchange, initiated by Kim Roberts, occurred around 45 minutes after the dance concluded.
- “Around 12:20, some men who saw the vulnerable Ms. M returning to the house called their friends who had taken cabs and gone to get some cash from an ATM. Some returned. Sometime between approximately 12:21 and 12:53, Ms. M has stated she was kidnapped into the bathroom, beaten, robbed, choked, and vaginally and anally raped.” Wrong again. No one “called their friends who had . . . gone to get some cash from an ATM”; as for the time of the “crime,” the NAACP couldn’t even get “Ms. M’s” stories straight.
The head of the same organization that posts the above information believes that he has the right to lecture others that “the truth shall make you free.”
The Duke Basketball Report discussion board has a fascinating thread on William Griffith, the namesake for the University citizenship award recently won by Chauncey Nartey and Shadee Malaklou.
Some of the tributes to Griffith from commenters:
- “Bill Griffith is one of the finest human beings I have ever had the privilege of having as a friend; he is bright, perceptive, thoroughly decent and honorable, exceptionally engaged with Duke and Durham, and simply as fine a person as one could imagine. It upsets me beyond words to see this award—that really is intended to represent all of the best characteristics a Duke undergraduate leader could possess—degenerated or politicized (which, I gather, is what this thread suggests/documents).”
- “I echo your sentiments about Bill Griffith. One of the finest men I have ever known.”
- “I agree 100%. As another alum who’s had the pleasure and privilege of working with Bill Griffith on one of his many projects to engage members of the Duke community in activities designed to promote better relations with the Durham community, and thereby enhance Duke's credibility as a ‘good citizen’ that values fairness, justice, and mutual respect, I am deeply disappointed that two students whose behavior has been the antithesis of those values would be among those deemed worthy of this honor. IMO, this is nothing less than a slap in the face for a lot of people who deserve better.”
Such praise makes all the more indefensible the administration’s decision to reward students who had sent a harassing e-mail (Nartey) and published disparaging, factually inaccurate op-eds (Malaklou).
For those who missed it, John in Carolina has an important post on Sgt. John Shelton and his role in the case. The only police officer who got the story right from the start was harassed by his superiors and possibly subjected to an internal affairs inquiry.
Yet City Manager Patrick Baker and outgoing Police Chief Steven Chalmers saw no problems with how the DPD handled the case.
The Kansas City Star had a well-done editorial blurb responding to figures like Anne Ream or John Feinstein, who continue to attack the lacrosse players even after the exoneration:
“Defending” the Duke lacrosse players in this context hardly means defending them as models of virtue and sterling moral character. It means, simply, arguing that they are probably innocent of charges of rape and sexual assault. And it is deeply ironic that the same feminists who quite rightly insist that a woman’s character flaws should not be used against her in a rape case when she is the victim hold a completely different standard for a man when he is the accused.
More bad news for the Durham Police Department, after a North Carolina appeals court set aside the conviction of Gregory Wright for heroin trafficking. The reasons? Officers didn’t read Wright his Miranda rights before questioning him.
DPD spokesperson Kammie Michael declined specific comment, but cited the department’s general order requiring officers to treat suspects constitutionally and “in a fundamentally fair and just manner without regard to any personal consideration or bias.” Just like the DPD has a general order requiring five filler photos in all lineups.
The first meeting of the Whichard Committee, charged with investigating the Durham Police Department’s mishandling of the lacrosse case, is scheduled for July 20. The lead-off witnesses will be some of the defense attorneys—who are, in a remarkable case of turnabout, effectively positioned as the prosecutors in the case.
Among those not expected to appear: Police Chief Chalmers. No reason was given as to why the perpetually absent chief would not testify.
Tamara Gibbs reports that the committee is considering issuing a subpoena to Mangum. The rationale for such an act, however, is unclear, unless the entire committee has accepted Councilwoman Diane Catotti’s apparent belief that the inquiry should be used to retry the lacrosse case, rather than to determine how the police managed to secure indictments against three demonstrably innocent people for a “crime” that never even occurred.
In a lengthy letter in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Charles Falk noted that even as the falsely accused players were pronounced innocent and Mike Nifong disbarred, the case “won't come to a finale unless and until Duke deals with the so-called ‘Group of 88.’”
For Falk, this was a case of “88 very politically correct, tenured intellectuals sitting in their comfortable academic chairs, indicting, trying and convicting the three young student athletes before the facts were completely known and before truth could be discerned.” He wondered whether “we logically expect that our youth would learn good examples of objectivity, rationality, civility and fair-mindedness in a place like Duke that cossets the Group of 88.”
Falk’s conclusion? “The presence or absence of character at Duke University will be determined by how the despicable actions of Group of 88 are addressed by the Duke community.”
The latest in the litany of items from the true believers came from Mike Stark, who produced a recent column claiming that Mike “Nifong crossed the line when he used prosecutorial practices routinely used against ordinary working people to target the powerful and privileged.” The most Stark can say is that Nifong is “no hero” and that the ex-DA “botched” the investigation, although he ends with piece by approvingly quoting Nifong’s “something happened” statement to the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
Liestoppers, meanwhile, revisits an earlier dispute by posting June 2006 commentary from Alan Hirsch of the Truth about False Confessions website and Paul Logli of the National District Attorneys Association.
Logli came across as from the Norm Early school of justice—he accused Hirsch of trying to “denigrate” Nifong and allowed the elements of Nifong’s misconduct then known to all (his improper public statements, refusal to consider exculpatory evidence, and reliance upon a procedurally improper lineup) to pass without comment. Yet Hirsch was also off-base, sharply criticizing Nifong but then “contending that such conduct is not uncommon.”
In this case, Nifong effectively functioned as Police Department spokesperson for a critical 10-day period (when he made false and misleading statements); supervisor of the police investigation (in which he ordered the police to violate their own procedures and seek indictments without probable cause); and prosecutor (when he lied to the court and withheld exculpatory evidence). That one prosecutor would act in all three capacities and then commit massive misconduct in all three is not common.
Hat tips: K.M., DPK, R.K.