At last night’s Council meeting, five members endorsed the idea, championed by Mayor Bill Bell. A sixth member, Thomas Stith, called for the Council to demand Mike Nifong’s resignation and accept responsibility for the DA’s corrupting the investigation. Stith’s position would be tenable if the wrongdoing were confined to the April 4 lineup, but given that apparent police misconduct ran from start to finish in the investigation, an outside inquiry would seem to be needed.
Two figures have particularly stood out in recent weeks. Mayor Bill Bell has been consistent in his calls for a thorough, public airing of what the DPD did and did not do in the case, so the department can avoid similar mistakes in the future. And Councilman Eugene Brown has been on target in his strong criticism of how the department has responded to the AG’s declaration of innocence.
Last night, Brown continued his criticism, commenting that the Baker/Chalmers report, which “embarrassed” many members of the police force, “probably never should have been issued.” He concluded, “We have endured 14 months of deception and lies and distortion about this case. For us not to get to the truth of this issue concerning the role of our police department would represent an absence of leadership and responsibility.”