A comprehensive late 2007 report on the Durham Police Department's handling of gang-related activity by Deborah Lamm Weisel and Buddy Howell:
Among its conclusions--none of which would surprise anyone who observed the DPD's performance from March 2006 through January 2007:
Durham has a long-standing reputation as a high-crime city with well-entrenched gangs. Further, the economic needs of Durham’s citizens are longterm and complex, and poverty is deeply rooted in an on-going discourse about race – a discourse that may become more divisive as the population continues to diversify . . .
Durham has a highly politicized environment. During this study, we saw extensive micromanagement of government agencies by elected officials – a political style more typical of very large mayoral cities in the U.S. . . .
A major finding in our assessment is the critical need to build public confidence in the justice system and its response to gangs. While our assessment was entirely detached from the Duke lacrosse scandal, we cannot discount its contribution to further deterioration in public confidence.
Given the backlog of prosecutions, Weisel and Howell and write, "The situation in Durham is egregious and tantamount to a state of emergency. We recommend that the City and County of Durham ask the Governor to provide immediate if temporary assistance in terms of judges, prosecutors, and other court personnel to redress the problem - particularly for gang-related offenders."