I spoke yesterday with two members of the Durham CrimeStoppers board, Dean Sue Wasiolek and Dan Hill. They gave me details of the group’s monthly meeting, which was devoted solely to the issue of last spring’s “wanted” poster in the lacrosse case. (Dean Sue had asked that the issue be placed on the agenda.) Cpl. David Addison, the Durham Police liaison to the CS board, was out of town on a previously scheduled matter; Major Lee Russ briefed the board.
Russ reported the sequence of events as follows:
1) On March 28, 2006 (four days after Mike Nifong, improperly, assumed personal command of the police investigation; and after a weekend in which Addison, serving as DPD interim spokesperson, made a series of comments about the case that proved either misleading or outright false), Addison sent out an e-mail to various list-servs with which he deals. The e-mail read:
On Monday, March 13, 2006 about 11:00pm, the Duke University Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan. The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.
Hill and Dean Sue reported that while
2) Soon thereafter, a district commander of the Durham Police heard that an anti-lacrosse protest was going to occur outside 610 N. Buchanan. For reasons that are unclear, he decided to create a flyer to distribute at the rally. That poster is scanned here; it was produced on the stationery not of CrimeStoppers but of the Durham Police Department.
3) On April 10, Major Russ fielded complaints from people who considered the language in the Police flyer inappropriate. At that point, for the first time, he reviewed the wording of
4) After Russ saw the revision, he realized it still was not correct, and ordered
5) Russ said that to his best recollection, no blogger asked either him or DPD spokesperson Kammie Michael about who served on the CrimeStoppers’ board. (John in
6) Both Hill and Dean Sue reiterated that neither they nor any other member of the CS board ever made any attempt to hide their connection with the organization. Both have been completely forthcoming with me, both over the phone and via e-mail, when I have approached them on the issue.
7) The Durham Police Department has changed its procedures on how it deals with CrimeStoppers e-mails. Now, at least one other person reviews
8) Both Hill and Dean Sue reiterated their hope that CrimeStoppers will not be judged on this episode, since the organization has done much good in dealing with the problem of crime in
Two conclusions regarding police behavior on this matter:
2) In June, John in
My thanks both to Dan Hill and to Dean Sue for speaking with me about this material.