Sunday, July 01, 2007

Neff, Liestoppers, and Bad News for the DPD

Two important pieces regarding dubious conduct by the Durham Police Department appeared today.

First, in the N&O, Joe Neff has pored through the State Bar’s depositions, and uncovered the latest dubious act by ex-Nifong investigator Linwood Wilson. “One of the most intriguing questions” from the depositions, Neff noted, “is whether the police department was punishing or ostracizing the one officer [Sgt. John Shelton] who, from the beginning, concluded that Crystal Gail Mangum was lying when she accused the three players of gang rape.”

Police Chief Steve Chalmers won’t say. Neither will City Manager Patrick Baker. Neither will anyone else from the DPD. (The real “wall of silence” appears again.) Yet in his deposition, Linwood Wilson claimed that he was asked, by Capt. Jeff Lamb, to interview other Durham police officers as part of an investigation into Shelton’s conduct. As Neff observed, “It would be highly irregular for a police captain to turn to someone outside the department to assist in an internal affairs investigation.

Bill Thomas called Wilson’s actions “a transparent attempt to discredit this officer first on the scene and in the best position to evaluate her credibility.” And Alex Charns told Neff that “in the past, internal affairs has been used to punish officers who displease those up the chain of command.”

(The article also has a classic photo of a portly Sgt. Mark Gottlieb observing the Dave Evans press conference from last May.)

Meanwhile, Liestoppers has analyzed what the depositions have to say about the decision to arrest taxi driver Moezeldin Elmostafa after Elmostafa came forward as an alibi witness for Reade Seligmann. Nifong&Co., it turns out, can’t get their story straight: the DA, Wilson, and three Durham officers give separate, and often contradictory, explanations for the decision to arrest Elmostafa.

The five versions:

  • Nifong: He directed Wilson to do a background check; when Wilson found the misdemeanor warrant, he presented it to Nifong, Ben Himan, and Mark Gottlieb, with Nifong telling the duo to arrest Elmostafa.
  • Gottlieb: He had no involvement, wasn’t even at the meeting that discussed arresting Elmostafa, and Himan might have mentioned it to him on a very busy day in the office.
  • Himan: Wilson found the warrant and gave it to Himan and Officer Clayton at a meeting that Nifong had left; Wilson pressed the officers repeatedly to arrest Elmostafa.
  • Clayton: His notes don’t mention attending a meeting with either Nifong or Wilson to discuss Elmostafa.
  • Wilson: As Liestoppers summarizes the ex-investigator’s less-than-credible tale, “Anonymous or unknown tipster from within DA’s office or maybe the Clerk’s office leads Wilson to warrant by suggesting that Elmostafa may have written a bad check(!). He presents warrant in meeting with Gottlieb, Himan, Nifong, and Candy Clark. Alternately, he or Nifong hands warrant to Himan or Gottlieb. Wilson didn’t expect Himan and Gottlieb to serve the warrant themselves.”

Liestoppers has the full documentation here.


Michael said...

"The five versions:"

Arrest them all and let the courts figure it out.

mac said...

I wonder if Mr. Elmostafa has
yet obtained an attorney?
If he hasn't, he must be in
hiding; I'm sure there are no
shortage of offers for

Anonymous said...

So Shelton, an honest man, who got it right is under investigation while several member of the group of 88 have been promoted. What a bizarre world.

mac said...

"It was a good case - (against
Elmostafa) - although he was
found not guilty."

What malocclusal logic.

mac said...

Shelton would be an excellent
interim Chief - (since we don't
know how he'd actually perform
once in office) - if only because
he'd have a lot of axes to grind,
lots of housekeeping to take
care of, lots of scores to settle.

When we were kids and we had
a rat problem in our back yard,
we only resolved it when we put
a big blacksnake in the entrance
of the rat's lair.

Later, after the rats disappeared,
Mom took the snake out to the

Anonymous said...

joe neff deserves the POLK AWARD for investigative journalism for NIFUNGS enabler, Linwood Wilson---joe was the first journalist to ask 'who is linwood wilson and how did this dummy who investigated bad checks got to investigate BAD CHICKS

mac said...

Neff surely deserves more than
that. Hope he writes a chapter
in KCs book, or is given a
chapter with regard to his

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What dirt does Candy Clark have on her hands in relation to this case? Nifongs PA and supportive cohort in the DA offices's game plan?

The Durham DA's office requires a complete disinfecting!

Anonymous said...

On we go,
Mike Nifong has now been exposed and beaten and will continue to suffer for his crimes.
The group of 88 have been exposed for their race baiting agenda and hateful personalities. They have been spared & protected by one of Blue walls of silence (Duke).
The Wendy Murphy's and Nancy Grace's of the world will forerver spew crap, at least they were exposed for what they really are here.
Duke, with it willingness to settle quicky, has seemed to put much of this behind them, obviously their goal. The University leadership was exposed for its cowardice and poor leadership.
Time now to go after the DPD (the other, and only other) Blue wall. They are yet to be exposed fully and the time for them is coming. In a nation predicated on the notion of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to try to railroad innocent people to a lifetime in prison (and 30 yrs. would be just that), to me warrants an punishment in the severe category. The DOJ needs to be all over this, it smells of corruption on so many levels.


Anonymous said...

Candy Clark, her name sure is popping up more & more as we dig deeper in this case. Greta has always said an investigation into the DA's office is needed.

How much did Ms Clark. Nifong's legal assistant, know? Sounds like she was an active Hoaxster?

DA Hardin better start an investigation into that office and who did what?

Anonymous said...

What about the judges, Stephens and Titus? Nifong and the corrupt DA's and Durham police couldn't have done what they did without help from Stephens and Titus. What can be done about these two judges?

mac said...

Stephens should be held in comtempt
of his own court.

Anonymous said...

This whole damned crew, judge them up or down, no matter where you begin to judge them are more akin to a Keystone cops' version of an incompetent home grown gestopo. The only thing that would rigt-side-up this crew is/was their power. Take away their power, and like turning over a rock, everyone of them is slithering away. The Duke administration and a Group88 partnered with this crowd? How much like them?

Michael said...

re: 12:46

Reminds me of that screwup down south where they wound up arresting the victim. The police spokesman said that it was a good arrest; they just got the wrong person. It's pretty odd to hear what the definition of success is with police departments and prosecutors.

Something as silly as justice doesn't seem to be in their vocabularies.

Anonymous said...

The Elmostafa matter is a huge problem for Nifong. It proves he used hard ball tactics to get the result he wanted and couldn't care less about justice. He was particularly nervous when Williamson was asking him about those matters.

His defensive interjection in the answer "It was a good case. We had a video tape...although he was found innocent" is telling.

1) The tape he had showed nothing more than a taxi driving away that is what he did for a living how is that incriminating in anyway? That is what the jury saw and promptly acquitted him.

2) So in the quest to convict three innocent men he attempts to convict a fourth and this time it isn't three white rich kids its a defenseless poor immigrant.

That is why many think merely losing his job is not sufficient. Nifong put many peoples lives in danger for his own ambition.

This part reflects much worse on Nifong and the DA's office than on DPD however that picture of DPD officers attending the trial makes it look bad.

mac said...

That's why the current case against
Nifey won't be the last, and 30
days will likely stretch out to 3 years.

Not 30, as he wanted to apply to
the young men, but more than
a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

Was Shelton the officer who pulled CGM out of the car in the grocery store parking lot and said she wasn't raped ?

Anonymous said...

2.22 again
The Elmostafa case shows what a tin ear Nifong had for justice. A taxi driver who lives in an apartment seems by all evidence an honest man. That is all he does and certainly is not living above his means. Somehow a warrant exists because he took a client to a shopping center and asked him to wait. Client returns and then is driven back home.

No untoward action at all by Elmostafa,, not even as the ADA at his trial suggested a "fast gettaway" tape showed he drove off normally. From this they tried to show he was part of a conspirary to shoplift. what universe.

Look at the cast of characters in the lacrosse case. Three young men from well-to-do families that happen to be intact picturebook american families. As applepie as you can get. On the other side an impaired escort service "worker". Mental history as well as history of filing questionable charges of rape.

The odds of the accuser's story being true had to be astronomical. Rich college students rape escort service worker with 36other guys standing around..(as Nifong explained if they had just said something it wouldn't have happend)... In human history has there been a case like this?

Nifong is pretty weak on BAD GUY indentification. Or maybe it was just when it was his advantage to do so.

Again Elmostafa hangs Nifong because it takes away the arguement that only the rich are being protected by efforts to sanction him. He drew blood from a poor hardworking immigrant and for that he should pay.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has and is paying. He has been humiliated, lost his job, disbarred and a public disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has paid precious little in comparison to what he was willing to do to others.

mac said...

Yes. Shelton called Mangum a liar.

Anonymous said...

There is something else that we need to understand about the Elmostafa case that no one has yet written. The woman who was originally arrested for the shoplifting was pressured by police (Nifong, Himan, Wilson, who?) to testify against Elmo and name him as a willing accomplice.

Moreover, Ashley Cannon admitted lying in court (according to Michael Gaynor) about the case. (She was the one who pursued it.)

What I am saying is that the Emostafa case ALONE presents enough criminal evidence to put a number of police officers and Nifong in prison. This is a case that needs further investigation.

We are dealing here with perjury and subornation of perjury. These are serious charges and if one is guilty, there are long prison terms to follow.

Thanks for keeping up the pressure, K.C. This is important.

mac said...



Anonymous said...

The Elmostafa arrest and prosecution has the potential for really biting them in the ass. It's just witness intimidation, pure and simple, and is about as big a no-no as you can get.

At first, I thought that the 'Fong was just bringing these charges to keep his job and that he planned to drop the charges at some point--rationalizing that if the charges were dismissed that it was no harm no foul.

Although it's hard to believe that someone would actually want to convict innocent people, what else is there to believe now?

There should be no mercy for 'Fong. None. He is a criminal--pure and simple. A criminal. He needs to go to jail for a very very long time, along with the rest of the rats.

The bar needs to look at the Elmostafa prosecution now. Are there NC lawyers who are willing to file a complaint?

Anonymous said...

Nifong has and is paying. He has been humiliated, lost his job, disbarred and a public disgrace.

Yep. But he owes a good deal more, sorry.

You attys are going to have to get over the idea that you are immune from accountability. Better get on the right side of that argument now.

Anonymous said...

Let's be real now.

On what grounds do you think Nifong is going to investigated? The arrest warrant for ElMo predates Nifong's stint in office.

Anonymous said...

1. Conspiracy to maliciously prosecute innocent students.

2. Conspiracy to hide exculpatory evidence.

3. Conspiracy to obstruct justice and intimidate witnesses.

4. Conspiracy to falsify and manufacture evidence.

5. Conspiracy to SILENCE governmental dissent.

What more do the Feds need? Will the SBI get involved in the case against the real defendants? MOO

I like the Shelton as interim Chief idea. The idea seems smart and just.

Go get'em, K.C.! Gregory

Anonymous said...


the issue is not executing the arrest warrant, the issue is what they did after. The Elmo prosecution stinks, and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

In the Elmo case, the prosecution tried to get people to lie. That is a felony. Nothing more needs to be said.

Furthermore, it was clear from the "evidence" shown at the trial that there was no basis for the arrest and charge. Fong was trying to intimidate Elmo into changing his story, which is subornation of perjury.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson's point is amazing too. Not only do we intimidate the alibi witness but to make sure we do it right we intimidate another witness just to make the pressure greater.

Its unconscionable mentality for a prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

4 41 the answer to your question is simple. He is the DA that made the decision to bring the case against Elmostafa to trial. He is the one that promised the jury proof of Elmostafa guilt by saying a tape would show Elmostafa's taxi making a fast gettaway.

He couldnt prove and thing and tried an obviously innocent man. We have no idea what caused the original warrant it could have been the mere allegation. But Nifong has the duty to look at facts. How can we draw any other conclusion that Elmostafa was being punished for ruining Nifong's case.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Sheldon is a nice guy, but should he not have been shouting at the top of his lungs - Liar - Lies - Hoax - Frame. I do not remember seeing any press conferences, where Sheldon thought it, his "duty" to criticize Nifong,the DPD or his superiors in public? How come this guy is so great? Nifong had no evidence - that is what ruined his case - not the cab driver.

Anonymous said...

Elmostafa arrest:
Taken together, the Gottleib, Himan, and Clayton accounts hold together faily well, although they don't answer the question of why Elmostafa was arrested. When the Nifong and Wilson accounts are tossed in nothing makes sense. I suspect Nifong and Wilson are both lying.

Anonymous said...

We have perjury from everyone who testified at the Bar hearing, except Wade Smith and Bannon. We have perjury from others over a period of thirteen months. How come, none of the perjurers, with the evidence has been given to Hardin? Maybe they did not committ perjury at all?

Anonymous said...

Is Bill Anderson a commie?

Is Anserson his real name, or is it Aronson?

Anonymous said...

6:17 There has been much written regarding whistle-blowing, and how most times it ends up being very, very detrimental to the person who stands-up. Whistle-blowing is a very high-risk endeavor.

Anonymous said...

"Bitter Enders". It took me time to figure out why this term bothered me. The Bitter End is a place in the BVI, the last island in a chain before one hits open water. It is beautiful and conjers up beautiful thoughts and memories.

The Gang of 88, and all of these other Duke hoax frauds are neither beautiful, nor do they evoke anything positive.

The Bitter End

Besides there will never be an end to these evil, shallow, frauds, so the name makes little sense.

Anonymous said...

Missed Sheldon's press conference " condeming DPD and Nifong as liars and the hoax a frame," Where was his "duty" to notify the public and stop Nifong"
Whistle blowing is recommended by those whose job is not impacted. Whistle blowing is normally done by folk a lot higher in the organizational chart than Sheldon and Levicy.

Anonymous said...


It struck me in reading your post that many thought that the accused lacrosse team would act the way the accusers would or do act as if they too were/are off or from the streets. I don't think so, and the so-called wall of silence was not silence at all. They said they had not done anything. Nifong and his ilk and the potbangers and the Duke administration and the Duke Group88 just couldn't or wouldn't or refused to hear them.

Anonymous said...

No, Bill Anderson is right!

Anonymous said...


The term "bitter end" relates to the cliche, eg, he fought to the bitter end. The term implies that the hoax continues to be agenda driven.

I don't employ or work with stupid, untalented people. Why does Duke feel the need to be so generous with the cognitively challenged?


Anonymous said...

Looks as though Whichard is serious about getting some answers:

Whichard wants a lawyer on committee

BY RAY GRONBERG : The Herald-Sun
Jun 30, 2007 : 10:12 pm ET

The retired state Supreme Court justice leading an investigation of the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case wants a lawyer to staff his committee so it doesn't have to rely on aid from city administrators.

Lacrosse committee Chairman Willis Whichard is handling the hiring search himself, said Assistant City Attorney Kim Grantham.

He wants someone with a criminal-law background and may seek recommendations from his fellow lawyers.

Meanwhile, administrators have identified $50,000 in Durham's new budget that the City Council can use to pay for the committee's work.

They had intended to use the money to pay a lobbyist to push the city's legislative agenda, but now are holding off until they know how much money Whichard needs.

Whichard recently conferred with city officials and made it clear he considered staffing the investigation's first order of business.

The full 12-member committee hasn't met yet, and it now appears the first session won't occur until the week of July 9.

Grantham now is assigned to help the lacrosse committee. But Whichard has indicated he doesn't want to rely on one of City Attorney Henry Blinder's assistants or a lawyer from the city's police attorneys.

The police attorneys answer directly to Police Chief Steve Chalmers, and Blinder's assistants deal mostly in civil matters.

Blinder answers directly to the City Council, not to City Manager Patrick Baker. But he and his staff do an assortment of legal work for the city administration.

Whichard also believes the lawyer who assists the committee will have to work full-time on the investigation until it's complete. Blinder's office doesn't "have capacity to provide someone" for the committee full-time, Grantham said.

The chairman "had somebody in mind" for the job but had to restart the search because his first choice is in the process of retiring, Grantham said.

City officials are waiting for orders to provide documents to the committee. The Police Department's records on the case are "in order and ready to go" on demand, officials say.

Officials also suspect the panel will want access to the depositions State Bar lawyers took from various players in the case in anticipation of disciplinary proceedings against now-suspended District Attorney Mike Nifong.

The Bar has released depositions from Nifong and Police Department Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. A deposition from Nifong's former investigator, Linwood Wilson, also surfaced on Tuesday.

City Public Affairs Director Beverly Thompson confirmed that administrators are eyeing the lobbying money as the potential source of funds for Whichard's investigation. It wasn't clear last week whether such a diversion would force the city to scrap any lobbying plans. Thompson said Baker and his staff are studying that.


Anonymous said...

Is Bill Anderson a commie?

Is Anserson his real name, or is it Aronson?

Jul 1, 2007 6:27:00 PM

Gee, there I go again, misspelling my own name....

It has been a while since someone asked me if I were a commie.

Actually, I did have some correspondence with Harvey Aranson, but after the case began to go south, he decided not to return my emails. I have noticed that NY Times reporters and other journalists simply do not like to be shown to be mistaken. Even if one is polite, which I was, nonetheless they don't like it when they are wrong, and their weapon is to ignore everyone else.

Anonymous said...

It's Dumm, not Derm or Durm, or any other name. Just plain Dumm. Got it?
An embarrassed resident, JL

Anonymous said...

6:17 - "I am sure Sheldon is a nice guy, but should he not have been shouting at the top of his lungs - Liar - Lies - Hoax - Frame."

How the devil can someone read the reports of Officer Sheldon's actions as "shouting at the top of his lungs", unless the news is so unwelcome to 6 :17 that she has stuffed her ears full and yet failed to exclude the simple report given by Sheldon?

As the investigator on the spot when Mangum was discovered by the police, he called it as he saw it. That's professional. It's 6:17 who's shouting at the top of his lungs, in a cheap attempt to slander Sheldon. That's merely political correctitude, and has nothing to do with facts.

Anonymous said...

Nifong: He directed Wilson to do a background check; when Wilson found the misdemeanor warrant, he presented it to Nifong, Ben Himan, and Mark Gottlieb, with Nifong telling the duo to arrest Elmostafa.

IIRC, Nifong told Lane Williamson at the NC bar hearing that he didnt know Elmostafa was going on trial until after the case was heard. How likely is that if it was Nifong who ordered his arrest?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Is Bill Anderson a commie?"


Is Karl Marx a commie?

Anonymous said...

Is Vladmir Lenin a commie?

Anonymous said...

Is Nikita Krushcev a commie?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

My question was Why was Shelton not shouting and holding press conferences criticizing the case ? Like Nurse Levicy was supposed to do.

mac said...

Shelton was being investigated
by his own department for not
believing Mangum, and he stated
at the hospital that Mangum was
lying. Neff reports that this
made Shelton "very unpopular."
Did you read Neff's article?
(KC posted the link.)

He was being coerced in a very real

How far do you think a cop gets
when he has a reputation for

mac said...

Why was Levicy not shouting
from the rooftops?

Levicy was supposed to provide
credible evidence. She did not,
since she was unable to discern
relatively simple things about
epithelium and so forth, claiming
that a rape could have occured,
even without a condom, leaving
no DNA. This was in her testimony.

This is in the report; it's on Lie
stoppers. Look it up.

Let's just say that her uninformed
opinion made Mr. Nifong believe
that he could get away with the

If she had spoken up - (assuming
that she knew what the hell she was
talking about) - the case would
have imploded. She still is silent
on the issue of CGM's so-called
rape. Apparently doesn't fit into
her claim - which she made - that
rape victims never lie.

mac said...

You don't know anything about Mr. Elmostafa's arrest and prosecution,
do you?

I suggest you look that up,
like a good little blogger.
Like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Please allow me a few minutes to explain police operations as they might have been applied in this case.

In the police hiearchy, patrol officers are on the bottom of the ladder. Their jobs are primarily to answer calls, do quick preliminary investigations, and do traffic and general patrol work. Most police agencies not only don't want patrol officers doing indepth investigations, they write their procedures to prevent it, and supervisors are constantly riding patrol guys and girls to finish their reports as quickly as possible so they don't have to pay them overtime at the end of their shift. In dumber departments, patrol officer initiative in doing more complete investigations is actively discouraged, even punished.

Detectives are higher up on the ladder and usually have substantial "juice" within an agency. What they want, they get. Being appointed detective is usually a promotion, and promotions tend to be handed out only to those who are, first and foremost, "team players." In other words, they know whose rear end to kiss, how quickly and how often. Yes, ability is considered, but in many agencies, it's decidedly secondary. Detectives commonly work M-F, 8-5 with holidays off. They have offices, are assigned vehicles, and are assumed to be far more experienced and capable than patrol cops. Some are, some aren't.

Now, as to Officer Shelton. Keep in mind that I don't know this officer or department, so I can only speculate based on nearly two decades of police experience at all levels.

Generally speaking, in any case, if it's clear that an accuser is lying, that will doom the case early on. But there are correct ways to express that opinion, and an officer might do so incorrectly. If it's done incorrectly, the officer's supervisor usually explains how to do it right. To correctly express an opinion, a patrol officer should write a complete and factual report, leaving out any opinions or editorializing. Any competent detective should be able to pick up on the warning signs. If an officer feels strongly about it, or perhaps if they aren't sure, but just have a bad feeling about the accuser, they should tell their supervisor (usually a Sgt.) or stop by to tell the detective assigned the case. Once that's done, the smart "team-playing" officer drops it and moves on to their next quicky investigation or call. If the detective discovers that the officer's hunch was wrong, he can procede appropriately. If an officer follows the procedure I've laid out, and if they were appropriately deferential to the detective involved, they should be in good shape and the right outcome is assured. But if they go beyond that, they're in trouble on many levels.

Police agencies have a pathological aversion to airing their dirty laundry in public. On one hand, this is wise, because there are certainly more than enough folks out there ready to sue the police at any moment for no reason at all. And the public should be able to trust that the police can and will handle misconduct internally. On the other hand, this understandable impulse can serve to cover misconduct from the lowest to the highest officer on the force.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Officer Shelton is a diligent cop with a conscience. He does his job properly, and becomes convinced, based on evidence and his experience--his gut feeling, if you will--that the accuser is lying. His initial report is properly written to factually document conflicts that would indicate to any competent supervisor or detective (to say nothing of a competent prosecutor) that the accuser is lying. He moves on to the next case.

But after awhile, the public hoopla causes him to pay attention again and he discovers that not only has the case not been closed as unfounded, but it's going great guns and three obviously innocent (to him) people have been arrested. Let's also suppose that this officer knows the prosecutor enough to know that he is, should we say, ethically challenged? So what does he do? He starts asking questions of his supervisors and the detectives, and he again tells them that he knows that the accuser is lying.

His superiors are now in a bad position. They know what the prosecutor wants. The prosecutor doesn't need to tell them to lie, they know that the police department's relationship with the prosecutor's office (remember, they know the character of the DA too) is in jeopardy. They know that if he wants, the DA can make their jobs miserable and virtually impossible, and they know that they have no power to stop him if he is the kind of personality prone to do such a thing. While most cops won't lie under these circumstances, they know that they may have to be sparing with the truth, and not volunteer anything beyond what might be helpful to the prosecutor unless the defense directly asks such questions when they're (the cops) under oath. But there's this damned pipsqueak, boy scout patrol- man who thinks he knows better than his betters what's good for the police department!

So do they directly lay out the facts and tell him to shut up? Not if they're smart. His supervisors might say something like this: "Look, you did a good job on this case, but your job is over. The dicks and the prosecutor have it. Leave it alone and concentrate on your next shift; that's your job." If the officer is a good "team player" he'll take the message and pucker up. But if he really believes all that stuff they taught him at the academy and during in-service training about integrity, justice and the rule of law, he'll keep pressing.

That's when things get interesting. He might start getting unfavorable duty assignments. His supervisor might start finding nitpicking violations of the uniform rules, or of other departmental rules. His performance evaluation might begin to suffer, particularly in the "works and plays well with others" categories. Other officers might begin to kid him, saying things like: "man, what did you do to get the Chief so pissed off at you?"
And if he still doesn't pucker up, an internal investigation will be launched.

Officers hate internal investigations because there is always at least a 50/50 chance that they are instigated as a means of punishing an officer for some real or imagined slight rather than for legitimate purposes. Don't believe this? Consider that each and every day an officer works, they make dozens of judgement calls. That's what we pay them to do. Could any of these judgement calls be called into question if an officer's superiors aren't willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as usual? You bet. In fact, even the most diligent officer will violate a variety of the rules and procedures of his department. They're written that way. In addition, there is always a significant possibility that such investigations are used to find a scapegoat for politically expedient purposes. Remember. This officer works with these people. He know their character, or lack thereof. He knows of what they are capable.

At this level, if he doesn't let up, if he has the audacity to defend himself, if he decides to push forward, even hire an attorney, he may as well kiss his job goodbye, certainly any hope of promotion or advancement, possibly even his career in that or any other law enforcement agency. Even if he is exonerated, those who tried to do him in in the first place will never give up, considering their defeat a personal affront. He'd be smart to seek other employment far away no matter what happens. And this bad result supposes that what's going on is only the usual, petty internal politics. What if it's bigger, as in the Lacrosse case?

Is this what is happening in this case? Perhaps. It continues to be interesting, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

The city of Durham might just as well contact their liability insurance provider right now and tell them they are going to max out the policy. Then they can plan what taxes they are going to raise and what services they are going to cut to cover the REST of their civil liability.

If the town acted themselves and sent these guys to jail before the civil cases are filed, they might avoid punitive damages....

mac said...

Mike 8:55

Thanks for the (latest) of your
informative, well-written, coherent
explication; it explains a lot.

Have you seen the link about the
investigation of Sgt. Shelton?
Sounds like you might have seen


mac said...

All the more reason to put Shelton
temporarily in charge, if he's
got the qualifications.

Gary Packwood said...

Mike 8:55

...He'd (Sheldon) be smart to seek other employment far away no matter what happens.
Yes, thanks for your great review and recommendation. Very helpful.

Anonymous said...

ref Mike 8:55 PM comment.
Do you realize that John Shelton is a Sgt? He is ranked above Detective Himan and equal to Detective Sgt Gottlieb. Which leads to more credence to his first observed opinion of Mangum. This is not a rookie or beat patrol officer making a decision. Sgt's who take initial calls of this nature, probably are near the area of the call and to keep a beat patrol officer from having to respond, took the call himself. Would be interesting to find out who was the watch commander that night, be it a Lt or Captain and get their opinion of Sgt Shelton's first opinion. Bet they will concur with him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous:

Regarding your point that Shelton is a Sgt., this changes the dynamic only slightly. Though theoretically a Sgt. in any division of a police agency is higher in rank than anyone in any division without that rank, in practice, detectives have more political juice, and due to the chain of command, supervisors in one division generally do not give orders to subordinates in another. If a patrol Sgt. has an issue with a detective, he takes it up with the detective's Sgt. who is under no obligation to do what the patrol Sgt. wants. Also keep in mind that while a Det. Sgt. and patrol Sgt. have the same rank, the Det. Sgt, will virtually always have more prestige, pull and power than a patrol Sgt., and usually make more money. Detectives usually have their offices down the hall or in the same building as police administrators and schmooze with them daily. Not so for patrol officers and supervisors.

That said, a Sgt. might have more credibility than a patrol officer, but he is also more likely to know which rear ends to kiss--he wouldn't have been promoted otherwise--and he has more to lose in terms of prestige, retirement, etc. than a patrolman. Keep in mind that a supervisor leaving one agency and taking a position in another virtually never starts at the same level, but begin all over again, at the bottom of the ladder as a patrolman.

Therefore the reaction to a Sgt. speaking out of turn will be different than that to a patrolman because supervisors are judged differently and are more insulated, but it may be no less vehement.

I don't know how this PD is organized, but in medium sized forces, shifts are commonly commanded by Sgts. or Lts. at the most, and divisions are commanded by Lts. or Captains.

Sgts. sometimes take calls, but in this case, he was probably not taking the call, but stopping by to see how things were going, which would be the more usual procedure. It is usually Sgts. who must call out detectives, notify police administrators, speak with the media, etc.

Keep in mind that police agencies have a built in mechanism that prevents learning from mistakes, particularly if they are made public. Why? They have to admit that they made mistakes, and that often opens them to expensive liability and forces them to fire people they don't want to fire. These are surely not comfortable days for the Chief of police of this department.

Again, this continues to be an interesting case.

Anonymous said...

10:55 to much speculation in your analogy.
Sgt Shelton is superior to Det Himan, nothing more than a rookie cop with not even 3 yrs experience best as a beat patrolman.
Patrol Sgts do not take shift matters up with Detective Sgts. They take matters up with their shift watch commander, be it a Lt or Capt. Patrol Sgt's are never watch commander over a shift. They serve as support and back-up to the regular beat patrol officer. As a matter of fact some prefer to be Patrol Sgts over Det Sgt's. They have more freedom and are not tied down to desk and paper work.and oh yes, don't forget the donut and coffee shops freebies, plus the businesses that love having a patrol officer or sgt frequent their business and return their delight with discounted or free merchandise.
I do know how the PD is organized.
I do know that Sgt Shelton was the first responder to the call from Kroeger's.

I despise the red neck phrase "been there and done that" but is applies here.

Anonymous said...

3:13 PM --

Whatever he's paid, it's not enough.

Anonymous said...

Because the rape kit exam, Levciy participated in cleared the team. As usual, you all play fast and loose with other people's duty and jobs.

Anonymous said...

Whew. I'm becoming a bit confused by all the anonymous folks here. I believe I've made it clear in my few posts that I'm providing general, not specific information only, and that I do not know the specifics of this case, nor do I pretend to know them. I merely have suggested plausible scenarios and/or motivations based on nearly two decades of police experience.

Detective Sgts. and patrol Sgts. speak to each other every day, and as a matter of following the chain of command and out of professional courtesy, generally do not issue orders to each other's troops, but allow the supervisor in their specific chain to do so, and this is usually done, though no supervisor is obligated to do what another supervisor of equal rank asks. Perhaps my only other point regarding rank is that an officer's specific rank does not always directly correlate with their prestige, influence, and political pull in a police organization.

Sgts. are often watch commanders over shifts, but such things depend on the size of an agency, smaller agencies tending to have fewer officers and fewer supervisors and administrative types. The point is simply that in a smaller agency, a Sgt. may well do the job of a Lt. or Captain in a larger agency. For the record, I do not know the exact size or organizational structure of the police agency at issue here. Again, I'm providing general information for what it's worth.

And I do, of course, know that some officers might prefer to work in patrol as opposed to being an investigator and vice versa. I don't believe I suggested otherwise.

Regarding Sgt. Shelton, if he was indeed the first person on the scene, thanks for informing us all, however, I only asserted that Sgts. do not usually perform that function, not that they never do, nor did I suggest that Shelton absolutely did not in this case.

Regarding another "anonymous" who suggested that I might be playing fast and loose with other people's duty and jobs, again, I'm providing common police organization and practice. I do not know the specifics of this organization or this case, nor have I ever asserted that I did.

So, to put it in the jargon of yet another "anonymous," not only have I been there and done that," I got the t-shirt too.

mac said...

Welcome to the world of the blog!
Potshot artists arrive all the time!

12:16 made some points that might
be helpful, and everyone commenting
might want to read the DIW link
to Joe Neff's article (it's
highlighed red/pink and says
"lates dubious act." The link
to the article is in this same
"Neff, Liestoppers and Bad News
for DPD."

One of the things you mentioned
is that grandstanding-type tactics
are despised: Himan calls Sgt.
Shelton's actions that night
You also mentioned internal
investigations: that seemed to be
in the pipeline for Shelton,
as well. (someone asked why Shelton
didn't shout from rooftops, and
it's clear that they would know
why he didn't, if they'd read Neff's

Thanks again.
Don't take attacks personally!
(And don't feed the trolls!)

MikeZPurdue said...

Sgt Gottlieb is a dirty cop.

Officer Shelton didn't view this as an
opportunity to win an election.

GaryB said...

I have to say it: "Something happened " in that ... police department.

MikeZPurdue said...


when you're right, you're right (good one!)

Nifong said that Shelton did not appreciate the
seriousness of the situation when he arrived at
that Kroger parking lot.

I think he DID realize the seriousness of the
situation. He most likely recognized the social
disaster power-keg. The smelling salts was a
good idea. Perhaps he knew about Ms Magnum's
little joy rode in a stolen car (I think it was a cab)
where she almost hit a police officer and ended
up hitting a police car. Why do I say this?
Because she did the same thing there: when
they finally apprehended her, she feigned passing out.

And please let's talk about acting professionally.
When they came to present alibi evidence to
Nifong, he had an asst come out and say that he
"has no time to listen to fiction" -- is that
professional behavior? Then he laughed in
court when the alibi evidence was discussed.
Is that professional?

Of course, these are minor compared to Nifong's
numerious egregious ethical violations ...