Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nifong Backers: "We're Afraid of Smith"

After 16 months in which Durham “justice” was widely ridiculed for following legal procedures that the rest of the country wouldn’t recognize, defenders of the Durham status quo are at it again. In Sunday’s Herald-Sun, former Nifong acolyte John Stevenson carried water for the disgraced ex-DA one last time, penning an article in which various Nifong defenders floated ways to change procedure so the disbarred Nifong could avoid jail time.

A judge’s power in contempt procedures—which can be civil or criminal, depending on the type of conduct and the severity of the offense—is almost absolute. That might be a bad thing. Perhaps due process would best be served for the trial judge to step aside and allow another judge to decide the matter. This approach, of course, would create its own problems: in contempt cases, judges would become prosecutors, or perhaps witnesses.

In the end, the system presumes a minimum amount of good faith, counting on judges to use the contempt power only to uphold the integrity of the system rather than to settle personal scores.

Nifong defenders, however, have suddenly discovered that they don’t like how North Carolina courts handle contempt cases. Instead, they want radical new procedures. Rather than petitioning the legislature for new laws, however, they’ve decided that Judge Osmond Smith should implement these sweeping changes unilaterally, and use the Nifong contempt hearing as the first (and only?) case in which they would apply.

Durham defense attorney John Fitzpatrick demanded that Smith recuse himself from the hearing: “Any time a judge is a potential witness, he may be asked to recuse himself . . . To be fair and impartial, you should have no interest in the outcome of the case . . . It can give the appearance of impropriety. I’ve always known Judge Smith to be very fair and am sure he will be now, but public perceptions are still very important.

Under that rationale, of course, every judge in every contempt proceeding in the country would be required to recuse himself.

Given Fitzpatrick’s concern with “public perceptions,” I wonder why he didn’t insist that Stevenson identify him as a 2006 Nifong campaign donor—and, indeed, someone who made a second donation to the ex-DA on October 1, 2006, well after much of Nifong’s misconduct was public knowledge. Instead, the article positions Fitzpatrick as a dispassionate observer, upholding due process on behalf of the Durham defense bar.

Durham defense attorney Fred Battaglia likewise wants Smith off the case:The accused has an absolute right to face and cross-examine the accuser. In this case, the court [judge] is the accuser. Sure, the lacrosse case was unusual. But that doesn’t mean you usurp constitutional law . . . I think another judge should be brought in. That would allow Judge Smith to be put on the witness stand under oath. Then Mr. Nifong could question him. To me, that is black-letter constitutional law.”

Under that rationale, of course, “black-letter constitutional law” would require every judge in every contempt proceeding in the country to recuse himself. Yet neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor, to my knowledge, any state Supreme Court, has accepted Battaglia’s definition of “black-letter constitutional law” as applied to contempt proceedings.

I wonder, moreover, what questions Battaglia would envision Nifongs attorneys asking Smith:

  • Judge Smith, were you present in the courtroom on September 12, 2006?
  • Judge Smith, were you awake when Mike Nifong spoke?
  • Judge Smith, did you verify that the person who purported to be DA Nifong on that date was, in fact, Mike Nifong?
  • Judge Smith, did Linwood Wilson ever approach you and ask you to change your testimony?
  • Judge Smith, do you challenge the underlying assumptions of Nifong’s handling of the lacrosse casenamely, that laws of space, time, and motion do not apply in Durham?

As with his treatment of Fitzpatrick, Stevenson neglected to reveal important information about Battaglia, who the article identifies merely as a “veteran lawyer.” Herald-Sun readers didn’t learn that Battaglia, like Fitzpatrick, was a Nifong campaign donor.

If they can’t get Smith off the case through recusal, Nifong enablers want to find a way to prevent the judge from making a decision. For Pat Evans, the contempt issue provided an opportunity to retry the lacrosse case. Evans commented, “Why don’t you err on the side of caution and give the man a jury trial? A jury trial would do so much to heal Durham(!).The people of Durham should decide which way this thing should go. Put twelve people in the box and let them decide.”

Much as Editor Bob Ashley did throughout the lacrosse case, Evans appears to be under the impression that the criminal justice system in this country exists to heal tensions in communities beset by racial strife.

Stevenson’s article noted that Evans had unsuccessfully run for Durham DA in the 1990s. But, as with his discussions of Fitzpatrick and Battaglia, the H-S reporter left out a rather significant item: Evans had publicly endorsed Nifong—an endorsement celebrated on the Nifong campaign website—for the general election. That endorsement, moreover, came in the fall, well after most of the ex-DA’s misconduct was known.

While Stevenson didn’t bother to obtain quotes from attorneys skeptical of the Battaglia/Fitzpatrick policy change—which was, in the Wonderland that is Durham, “black-letter constitutional law”—Evans’ suggestion was so bizarre that even the H-S reporter felt compelled to offer the other side. Attorney Mark Edwards noted that Evans’ proposal “is just not the procedure”; that “it’s not how it’s done or how it should be done under the law.”

Perhaps Evans should address her concerns to the state legislature, and explain to them why North Carolina should have jury trials for contempt cases, so that proceedings involving lawyers who allegedly lied to the court can be used to “heal” the community.

In the end, Stevenson—as usual—buried the lede. Rather than Nifong charge may be a first,” the paper should have headlined his article, “Nifong Cronies Desperate to Remove Smith from Case, Invent New Procedures.”

Indeed, it was nothing short of extraordinary to see a defendant’s backers launch a public campaign to oust the judge in the defendant’s case. Neither Stevenson nor Bob Ashley appear to have seen anything wrong with such conduct.


Anonymous said...

It wouldn't hurt to send compaint letters to the owners of Paxton Media in Paducah, Ky. Don't waste time writing to Ashley. The American Journalism Review should do a case study of the H-S performance in "covering" the frame of the lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, buried the lede -- lead?

Anonymous said...

JLS says.....,

A perfect tone to this one Professor Johnson. The Nifong defenders want what is not done in any other juris diction in the country. [I am not an attorney but this extends to the world as far as I know.]

And I agree that they raise an interesting issue of how contempt hearings should be constituted. And I completely agree if the current proceedure is lacking, the remedy is view the legislature. And that does not get Nifong a jury trial.

Anonymous said...

stevenson is a bad actor

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above post. Send letters to Paxton. Ashley it seems is dancing in rhythm with Duke administration And the Durham
power structure. Makes since that Ashley would carry Duke's and the Durham Power Brokers water or jock or whatever else they can carry.
A good article embarrassing article in the AJR could be nice.
Ashley enabled the frameup.

Anonymous said...

I bet Smith is kicking himself for not throwing Nifong in jail back in December.

Anonymous said...

Why do these people still bother backing Liefong? What's in it for them?

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Theya re afraid of the "potted plant." Brad Bannon wrote that Smith did a good job. I ahve to accept that, but I thought he was slow. BTW, as of April, o7 -none of these judges had ruled on the majory of the motions. These folk have their nerve, but it is Durham. I quess that is why Mike wanted a jury trial,

Anonymous said...

"Buried the lede" is correct. You could look it up.

Anonymous said...

"Bloggers and armchair amateurs", that's what you all are!



Anonymous said...

Okay...I'm not an attorney, but let me state my understanding of contempt hearings. I believe that the intial pronouncement that leads to the hearing is that the judge "finds the offender in contempt (meaning literally that the court is officially angry with their behavior)". Then a hearing is set that is basically a "show cause" hearing where the offender is asked to show cause why the court shouldn't bring down the entire house on them. Anything less than the maximum at that point is the judge being nice, or the offender having a damned good reason why they pissed the judge off. Thus, logically, the only one who can decide that the judge isn't quite so pissed anymore after the hearing is...THE JUDGE!!!

This isn't a typical "trial". The very fact that it's being held means that Nifong is already presumed guilty because the behavior occured in the courtroom and therefore does not require further adjudication, only the showing of mitigation (if any) and the meting out of punishment.

Anonymous said...

On my suggestion the Cascades Library of Sterling, Virginia will be purchasing your book, UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, for their circulation. I have preordered my own copy from Amazon.

Another excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Evidently, the article completely misses the point of contempt. The crime is not against the judge, but the integrity/legitimacy of the court system. Arguably, no judge could be unbiased. Fact is, the threshold for contempt is quite high. Unlike most other court proceedings, contempt is based almost always on conduct which has been memorialized in recorded testimony or filed documents.

What Nifong's enablers want is either jury nullification (I guess for healing's sake?) or for a judge to come in and simply ignore the law as it pertains to Nifong's conduct.

For crying out loud, the local judiciary in Durham has already bent over backward for Nifong. I still believe the odds are in Nifong's favor given past treatment of him by the Durham judges.

mac said...

This is why DIW is still so relevant,
when people like Evans call for
a jury trial for Nifong -
so that they can stir the pots
after they begin bangin' 'em again.

Talk about a racialist!

Meanwhile, Nifong sits quietly
on his thumbs like Little Jack Horner, mumbling:
"What a good boy am I!"

Anonymous said...

I have often heard that the print media is suffering because of the availability of instant news on television and on the "dumbing down" of young people. Could it have anything to do with the type of completely slanted journalism demonstrated by the H-S? Day after day, article after article--it's the same old thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Even on Groundhog Day the results were the same with every day.
The NAACP, on the other hand, has taken the completely opposite tack. They immediately jumped on the Nifong/Mangum Hoax and "demanded justice". Now in the Vick case, they are asking that we "not make a rush to judgment." Amazing how quickly they came to this new modus operandi. Maybe the Herald-Sun can take a lead from the NAACP (I really liked inman's updated NAAPC). Let's not even address the NYT. At least the trees will be the big beneficiary of their demise. Ole Al Gore will be happy!
The H-S and the NYT should print on Charmin. At least that way they would be useful. Maybe Nike, Reebok, Upper Deck and the others will shift their advertising to these two "fine" media outlets.

Anonymous said...

This whole affair will never be over for many of these people. They feel as though they have "lost" something, and , not knowing what that "something" is, they will continue to retry the lacrosse case. After all, the case was never about the "truth" anyway. It is a sad comment on certain people's character that they would willingly sacrifice three young men for the power to control.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that Nifong supporters are now complaining that legal procedures could "give the appearance of impropriety." Why weren't they concerned about the appearance (and reality) of impropriety sixteen months ago?

Incidentally, if Nifong is found guilty, he might do a month in jail. If Seligman, Finnerty, and Evans had been found guilty, they could have done thirty years.

As Shakespeare would say, methinks they doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

If the facts aren't on your side, argue the law. If the law isn't on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, find a friendly newspaper editor.

Anonymous said...

What would the court system look like if every person involved knew that the judge could not make a finding of contempt on his or her own? Would contempt become as common as drivers squeezing through red lights at rush hour?

What would happen if a 2nd judge were to hear the contempt case only to have another act of contempt committed in his courtroom? Would a 3rd judge be required to hear that case?

Anonymous said...

The trial judge has to have the unilateral power (subject to appeal) to find an individual in contempt otherwise the courtroom behavior could get completely out of control. There are plenty of instances where the defendant acts in an outrageous manner in order to disrupt the proceedings. The judge makes a finding of contempt and orders the removal of the disruptive party. If it is a defendant, the defendant can be placed in a different room and follows the proceeding via television. On some occasions, the defendant has been bound and gagged (remember Bobby Seale and the Chicago Seven?)


Anonymous said...

Just as there is no jury in Durham that would have found the Lax 3 not guilty, there is no jury in Durham that would find Nifong guilty.

The best the Lax 3 could have hoped for is a hung jury; for Nifong, it's the worst he would expect.

Evans' "thinking" indicates Durham dodged a bullet when she wasn't elected DA. Maybe she'll run again. If elected, Durham will remain a toilet, something the citizens of that foul city seem completely comfortable with.

becket03 said...

It will be a cold day in hell before judges give up the power to make rulings on contempt issues in their own courtrooms.


Anonymous said...

Contempt of court proceedings are normally handled by the court in which the contempt occured. Another judge may be assigned the case in cases of clear conflict of interest, illness, or other extenuating circumstances. In fact, judges often cite contempt without any kind of hearing or process. These pro-Nifong lawyers are the kind of shyster that gives lawyers a bad name.

mac said...

This is really scary, to see these
maladroits move against the system
in order to protect their "Order."

I can promise you this: it won't stop there;
I foresee a move against the internet, and blogs in particular
(except for the ones who agree with
them.) Look at China and Muslim countries who've subverted Google.
They could do as much here, too.

It's like campaign finance, where
McCain got snookered,
and Soros got to re-enact his weaseldom in spades.

When one freedom is subverted
by the desire to win or
from fear of losing, all freedoms tremble.

Anonymous said...

"Why do these people still bother backing Liefong? What's in it for them?"

I've been pondering that. I started thinking about the general difficulties of operating a large-scale long-running criminal conspiracy like the Durham justice system. The most successful such conspiracy I know of is the Mafia, and one thing they're famous for is loyalty. Loyalty is a very important part of their organizational culture, major disloyalty is harshly punished, and even the slightest hint of minor disloyalty will halt one's rise in the organization.

The Durham justice system could not have operated the way it does for as long as it has had it not evolved its own version of "omerta," which we now see on display.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Supreme Court requires a jury trial in criminal contempt cases where the possible punishment is more than 6 mos. in prison. NC law only permits Judge Smith to impose a 30-day jail term on Nifong. Therefore, federal constitutional law does not require a jury trial in Nifong's case.

The U.S. Supreme Court permits the judge who observed the contumadcious acts to preside in a subsequent contempt hearing. The judge must first issue a show cause order requiring the defendant to show cause why he should not be held in contempt. The defendant has the right to a list of the charges in advance, a reasonable opportunity to prepare his defense, the right to counsel, and the right to appeal. Normal rules of evidence and presumption of innocence apply. The only time such a judge might be required to recuse himself or herself would be where, e.g., the defendant tried to injure the judge.

AMac said...

Prof. Johnson's account of John Stevenson's article brings to mind that famous Mary McCarthy quote about Lillian Hellman:

"Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."

In fairness, the quip would have to be altered a bit.

"Every word he writes is misleading, including and and the."

Anonymous said...

5:51 that should read : "bent over 'forward'"

Anonymous said...

Hoo hoo hoo.

This is it. The rubber band is breaking. Remove a judge from a contempt hearing? Are they fooking insane. Yes they are because Nifong has them (Durham's whole bloody setup) by the balls and he's going to squeeze them over this lousy contempt citation because he's absolutely barking.

Or, I've had too much cheap detective fiction and coffee.

We report - you decide.

Anonymous said...

Any sightings on Crystal? Is she still in Raleigh?
Is she working? Who's paying her bills? Is she legally out of this mess? Can she sue Nifong?

Anonymous said...

Is Stevenson a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Durham defense attorney John Fitzpatrick worrying about giving the "appearance of impropriety" is too rich!

"Public perceptions are still very important” he says. Bwahahaha!

My hat is off: this is a funny, funny man.

Anonymous said...

I have to chime in on KC's witty hypothetical questions -- my laugh for the day.

Anonymous said...

Oh the wonderful irony of Nifong supporters calling for proper procedure and damning the appearance of impropriety.

What a comedy show Durham is. The HS and NO just keep making themselves look worse and worse. People like Bob Ashley, Melanie Sill, and others who work for those 2 papers must really hate the scrutiny that has been brought to their work. They have really been exposed as hacks.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Nifong simply confess and plead guilty as he wanted the Duke boys to do?

Why will he not come forward? Why do not his enablers come forward.

Perhaps, they all should go to one of Linwood's Gospel Sings and walk forward and ask for forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

I wondered about Crystal Mess from the beginning. I think she feared being incarcerated and/or committed and thought she could get out of it by starting the rape hoax.

Nifong (et. al.) actually hijacked the hoax for their own purposes. Once that occurred, Crystal Mess could not get off the train.

I am suprised that a civil lawyer has not pulled her aside and explained how she can exploit this for big money, but it is just a matter of time.

She will be claiming that she was forced into this by an evil white male prosecutor and that she told them evil white male police detectives that she was lying to stay out of jail. But they threatened her to either go along with the frame or they would make sure she did hard time.

The REAL problem though was Nifong and the cops didn't know she was a DNA cesspool and that she was so messed up she couldn't keep her lies straight. They began pulling mighty hard to keep it going. Eventually the whole hoax/frame fell apart under it's own weight.

They have made the judges down there look like fools. I think that the judge is going to throw the book at Nifong. Probably give him the 30 day maximum. I wonder though, if he will consider that there was multiple counts of lying and such and give him 30 days for each.

Just watch how this whole thing unravels though. The whole race, class and gender PC crowd will start howling again, blaming the evil white male power stablishment.

Just watch ...

Anonymous said...

What in the world would Crystal sue Nifong for? He lost his law license saying she was a victim...
so what is her case? And can you imagine her on the stand against ANYONE? Can you say credibility issues?

LarryD said...


In journalistic use, the "lead" is the first sentence or the first paragraph of a magazine or newspaper article. It can summarize the article, set the scene, or establish the mood of the story. The term is also used in broadcasting. For example, a "segue lead" is a transition to a related story, and a "quote lead" is a quotation.

...The spelling "lede" was not invented by journalists. This spelling (and several other variants) was used for all meanings of the noun and verb up through the 1500s; the spelling "leade" or "lead" starts appearing at this time.

For some reason, "lede" doesn't get into all dictionaries, I had to use Google to find it.

Anonymous said...

I think I actually agree with Nifong's defenders on this one.

The tradition of the offended judge hearing cases of contempt arises from the days when judges were in short supply. Given that this is not the case in Durham County, N.C., I think it would be better if a judge who was not involved in the earlier proceedings presides over this contempt hearing.

Anonymous said...

There is something about this which feels like a new and creepier area of Wonderland has been exposed.

OK. We've read about the gross injustice exposed by the Innocence Project, or the work of Rabinowitz or Anderson on the day-care cases.

All DAs run their mouth to the media, but they keep it more under control then Nifong.

All DAs are always running for election but ditto.

The media always rush to judgement in an idiotic way. And their judgement is almost always that the defendant is guilty. And by the operation of probabilities they are frequently right. (Amusingly, the Scott Peterson made-for-tv movie was out before his trial even started.)

All of the above are wrong, but they still feel essentially normal.

Thought flash:
Didn't we learn that, in Durham, the DA decides what cases go to which judges? Could this be some king of irrational extension of that idea?

No matter how you try to connect it up to get a handle on it, you are still left with a feeling of bad craziness.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: anon 5:51

You make an excellent point that the contempt is toward the Court not the Judge. Sure the Judge is the human manifestation of the Court, but the Court is the authority of the majority imposing certain behavior norms on us, allowing for certain individual rights. Thus contempt is toward society as a whole and the rights of ones neighbors to constrain our behavior again beyond certain individual rights.

And of course the commentators probably due to long practicing law in the corrupt Durham environment have long forgotten this, if they ever knew it. I suspect this too is another symptom of the imbalances created due to the Durham case management system.

Anonymous said...


"I think I actually agree with Nifong's defenders on this one.

The tradition of the offended judge hearing cases of contempt arises from the days when judges were in short supply. Given that this is not the case in Durham County, N.C., I think it would be better if a judge who was not involved in the earlier proceedings presides over this contempt hearing."

It may be that the current system needs to be changed, and new legislation is called for.

But where's the emergency that requires it be changed immediately by judicial fiat for *this* contempt hearing, and not for any others?

How many contempt hearings are currently scheduled in NC? They all are using the same traditional method as this one and therefore all the same objections apply to them as well, so why aren't Nifongs buddies calling for a global change rather than just in this case?

Whatever the merits of the notion of changing how contempt is handled in general, demanding that Mikey get special treatment is BS.

Anonymous said...

10:29 inre "The REAL problem though was Nifong and the cops didn't know she was a DNA cesspool and that she was so messed up she couldn't keep her lies straight..."

I think you miss an important point, they DID know that she was a "DNA cesspool" and "messed up".

Anonymous said...

If the people who live in Durham who were shocked and repulsed by what happened in the Lacrosse Hoax are really serious about changing that place for the better.......

.......they will take stock of all those who are running for some office there....find out whether or not they also were supporting Mike Nifong on into the November 2006 election......when it was clear the case was a Hoax.....

......and begin an open campaign against those Nifong supporters.....letting everyone know that they should not hold office in Durham with those kinds of value systems.

If the people living in Durham are serious about elevating Durham's image.

Get rid of people like Nifong supporters--part of the cancer.


Anonymous said...

For example, Durham voters:

Thomas Stith is running for mayor against Bill Bell. Stith came out early for Nifong to resign. Bell kept quiet---on EVERYTHING.

Diane Catotti is/was a huge Nifong supporter. She was even trying to stack the deck with PC's and rabid feminists--and succeeded--to serve on the Committee now investigating the DPD. She is now up for re-election on the city council. Voters need to scrutinize her with probing and embarrassing--to her--questions on her behavior and her views on justice in this country. Her hubby also works for Duke.

Those kinds of things should be done.


mac said...

I don't like Guliani as a possible
President, but he sure
would be a good antidote for Durrhhhh.
(Kinda like a civic enema...)

RR Hamilton 11:13
Change the rules for Mikey?
Sure, if you set the bail for Nifong at $400,000.
I would have to agree with Ralph,
though: why change for one case?
Is Mikey special?

Personally, I would like to see the ATF brought in
to surround Mikey's compound, as well as
having the FBI circle the various
lairs of the 88,
similar to the MOVE house incident in Philly.
The residents there and the 88 are
eerily similar in their

Anonymous said...

Nifang long resisted a change in prosecutor, but now wants a change in judge?

How bizarre!

Anonymous said...

"If the people who live in Durham who were shocked and repulsed by what happened in the Lacrosse Hoax are really serious about changing that place for the better......."

When charging windmills on horseback, one must be careful to avoid having one's lance caught by a passing blade.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how a jury trial for contempt would "heal" Durham. First, the claims that Stevenson was making (through mouthpiece lawyers) were preposterous on their face, and everyone knows it.

Second, this is not a situation of honest divisions. We had one large portion of Durham rushing to judgment, calling for outright lynching of innocent people, making death threats, and generally refusing to believe any facts, since they got in the way of the truth.

We also had the police department of Durham openly trying to frame innocent people, with a large portion of the community serving as cheerleaders for this monstrous evil.

Thus, Durham is not in need of "healing." Durham is in need of large-scale repentance. Nifong and his backers did evil not only to individuals, but to the very notion of justice itself. Furthermore, we have seen Duke University's wrongdoers refuse to admit even a sliver of guilt in this sorry affair.

Healing is much different than repentance. Until we start seeing people declare that they were wrong and are seeking to be forgiven for the evil they did, there will be no healing.

A jury trial of Nifong simply would bring out all of the liars, and it would be nothing but sliming of innocent people again. The Nifong backers know this, so instead of telling the truth, once again they seek to deceive.

Anonymous said...

Too funny!

DPD Chief Chalmers is all of a sudden a hands-on man:

Steven W. Chalmers: 'Operation Bull's Eye' to target crime

Guest Columnist :
Jul 28, 2007 : 10:12 pm ET

The Durham Police Department is in the process of launching a new initiative called "Operation Bull's Eye," which will focus resources on a two-square mile area for the next year. This is the first time we have done such an intensive project bringing together resources from throughout the community to address crime and social issues in one specific area of the city.

We chose the "Operation Bull's Eye" target area by analyzing "shots fired" calls and violent gun crime in Durham from May 1, 2006, to April 30, 2007. We also checked the addresses of validated gang members throughout the city. We discovered that while this area makes up 2 percent of the city's area, it accounts for almost 20 percent of the violent gun crime, "shots fired" calls and gang members in the City of Durham. More than 20 percent of arrests for such crimes as prostitution, possession of stolen goods and drugs also take place in this particular area. We believe this is an area where an intensive, concentrated effort can make a significant difference in the lives of residents. I believe that reducing crime in this area will reduce overall crime in Durham and make our city safer for all residents.

In recent weeks, members of the Police Department have discussed this initiative in great detail with city department heads, leaders of the Partners Against Crime and North-East Central Durham groups, members of our Latino outreach initiative, the faith community, the Durham Crime Cabinet, the RBA (Results Based Accountability) Initiative and other organizations. We have gotten positive responses and commitments to partner with us in this initiative. Community involvement will be crucial in order for "Operation Bull's Eye" to be successful.

Our primary goal is to improve the perception of safety in the target area while reducing violent, property and juvenile crimes. We will also employ prevention and intervention strategies to target social issues such as poverty, unemployment and underemployment, substandard housing and lack of education. The Police Department is committed to using aggressive enforcement, community outreach and education in this area.

We anticipate that it will cost approximately $225,000 to maintain a visible police presence in this area for the next year. We will use overtime funds as well as part of a federal grant to pay for supplemental officers. These officers will work varying schedules, which will be periodically adjusted to meet the needs of the community.

Officers have already started going door-to-door to the more than 3,400 addresses in the target area to provide residents with bilingual information about "Operation Bull's Eye." We are also providing residents with a list of telephone numbers for the Durham Police Department and other agencies that deal with quality of life issues, crime prevention information and brochures about some of our programs. The officers are urging residents to become actively involved in this initiative.

Starting next week, officers from several police divisions will be conducting covert and overt operations in the target area to reduce crime. Officers will also be highly visible while doing license checkpoints, serving warrants and responding to calls.

During the upcoming year we will be working with the Salvation Army and John Avery Boys and Girls Clubs to provide more programs for youth. Officers will be doing streetlight assessments to improve lighting in the area and they will start Park Watch and Neighborhood Watch programs throughout this area. We will be working closely with members of our Latino outreach initiative to address the issues of this area's Latino residents. We will also partner with the N.C. Division of Community Corrections to monitor juvenile and adult probationers in this area. These are just a few of the programs and partnerships that will be a part of "Operation Bull's Eye."

I want to assure the community that the focus on this initiative will not take away from crime-fighting efforts in other parts of the city. Patrol officers will still be available to answer 911 calls and we will continue to serve all residents of Durham with pride and professionalism.

I am soon retiring as Durham's chief of police and I am pleased and proud that "Operation Bull's Eye" was started under my command. I intend to remain actively involved with youth and mentoring programs in the "Operation Bull's Eye" target area after I retire. I would urge anyone who wants to be part of this program to call the Police Department's Community Services Bureau at 560-4438 for more information.

Steve Chalmers is the Durham police chief.


Anonymous said...

The July/August Duke Magazine arrived yesterday. Of interest were a few letters in the Forum section under the “Enduring Lacrosse” header. Each validates the notion that there are many, especially among Duke Alumnae, who need to read KC’s book. Either they are like the Klan of 88 and blind to the facts or they have not taken time to fully understand all of the dynamics involved. Regardless it is clear that more and not less light need be shown on Duke and the administration.

Why did the administration advise against securing legal counsel before meeting with police? Who released their email messages and provided access to their accounts? Was FERPA violated? Who authorized access to the dorms and rooms? Where was the voice to protect the student’s civil rights? Read the following letters

“…compelled to reply to some of the criticism written here (Duke Magazine) and voiced at various functions on campus……Our President took the high road and waited for the attorney general’s verdict…No one who did not experience that time in Durham could possibly know what the whole community went through…” – Mary D.B.T. Semans ’39, Hon. ’83, Durham, NC.

“The most important responsibility of every college and university president is they safety of their students, faculty , and staff…During the early stages of the case, President Brodhead was the one individual among those who were quoted often in the media who consistently reminded reporters and the public that under the law the accused students were presumed innocent…As President of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the organization f the thirty-six private colleges and universities in the state, I have viewed President Brodhead’s actions in the broader context of all highest education. Based on each o f these perspective, I strongly believe that President Brodhead mad the right decisions in accordance with the policies of the university and based on the evolving legal situation…” – A. Hope Williams, ’76 Raleigh, NC

“Recently, President Brodhead has endured some strong criticism…we have been quite supportive of the administrations response. On purely legalistic grounds, administrators are not bund by the same strict interpretation of the presumption if innocence that is supposed to guide judicial officers…” – J. Marshall Mangan ’69 and Jenny L. Newton ’70, London, Ontario.

On the other hand, Michael Robinson, ’89, Belmont, NC writes the fourth letter (note the editorial control in where the first critical letter appears). It says, “…I am compelled to add my voice …regarding the profound disappointment I have felt over the administration’s handling of the lacrosse players. …One of the characteristics of a great leader is to uphold principals that are just and right…in the face of public opinion…I cannot make President Brodhead apologize…I can stop my financial support for their shameful administration…” and,

“I am more troubled by the large number of Duke faculty who immediately tried and convicted the three players on the basis of flawed evident….it is not enough that President Brodhead readmit the students…The Duke faculty members who precipitously and summarily condemned the player need to apologize to the players, too, and admit not only that they violated society’s presumption if innocence but that they were intellectually sloppy in making a bad judgment on the basis of bad evidence. As a scholar myself, I hope that they hold their scholarship to a higher standard.” – Henry Hespenheide ’64, Los Angeles, CA.

How about this one!

“In the sanctimonious drivel emanating from the lacrosse player and their families, I’ve not heard a word about the root of their problem, i.e., the players’ stupidly immature choice of entertainment….I suspect the only ones who will take a hard lesson from this dismal affair are the Long Island daddies saddled with sizable legal fees by their voyeuristic sons. The reaction of Duke’s wimpy leadership and left-wing faulty – good riddance, Stanley Fish! – have earned it undisputed possession f the tile Berkeley East.” – Bernard. M. Kostebuk, LLB ’57, Lewes, Delaware

mac said...

"Don't send me to Durham!"

Anonymous said...

From a New Jersey laywer. I handle civil and not criminal cases and am not familiar with N. Carolina rules. However, Battaglia and any other attorney appearing before a court should know that "black letter constitutional law" does not require a jury trial in every case. For example, in cases where non-monetary equitable relief (an injunction, for example) is sought, the parties are not generally entitled to a jury trial. The same is true, for the most part, for contempt proceedings. Contempt proceedings grow out of the authority of a judge to enforce his or her own orders, thereby protecting the integrity of the judicial process. In other words, by contempt proceedings, the court is theoretically not protecting the rights of a party before the court, but rather the integrity of the process. I do have some concern with the judge hearing a matter having the authority to jail someone for contempt of court, because, in a sense, the judge whose orders are being flouted is the "victim," as well as the judge. However, none of the alternatives I have seen really address the concern of having the same judge preside over a proceeding and punish violations of court rules or orders with contempt.

Anonymous said...

Major Dick Winters just published a book “Beyond Band of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters.” When one reads the exploits about the Easy Company men (about the same age of the lacrosse team members) relative to the frauds in academia, and particularly the lack of leadership at Duke, one realizes the nature of the long term problem the modern academy is creating.

“Ten Principles for Success”, Major Dick Winters, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Easy Company’s story is not unique to the many that fought in WWII, but it is the basis of Stephen Ambrose’s “Band of Brothers” book, and the HBO series of the same name.

1. Strive to be a leader of character, competence, and courage. DUKE ADMINISTRATION AND BRODHEAD FAILED THIS ONE

3. Stay in top physical shape – physical stamina is the root of mental toughness. THIS IS CONTRARY TO THE KLAN OF 88 AND THE ADMINISTRATION – ATHLETES STAYING IN TOP SHAPE.

4. Develop your team. If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork. BRODHEAD HAS BUILT HIS TEAM AROUND THE KLAN OF 88.

5. Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs. You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination or your creativity. BRODHEAD HAS DELEGATED TO THE KLAN OF 88 WHO ARE CREATIVE IN MANUFACTURING DEMONS AND PROBLEMS THAT DO NOT EXIST. THEY ARE NOT PROBLEM SOLVERS, INSTEAD PROBLEM CREATORS.

6. Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles. Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ride and then make up you mind. IT APPEARS THAT BRODHEAD CONTINUES TO BE MAKING UP HIS MIND.


8. Take a moment of self-reflection. Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best. THE KLAN OF 88 ARE NOT SELF-CRITICAL. THEY ARE PARANOID ABOUT CRITICISM OF THEIR WORK BY PEERS AND OTHERS.

9. .True satisfaction comes from getting the job done. The key to a successful leader is to earn respect – not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character. BRODHEAD AND THE KLAN OF 88 ARE ALL ABOUT POSITION AND RANK. THEY ARE COMPLICIT IN DELIVERING FRAUDULENT EDUCATION. THEY DO NOT EARN RESPECT AND HIDE THEIR WORK SO THAT OTHERS CANNOT ASCERTAIN THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION THEY ARE CONSUMING.


Anonymous said...

1:37 inre bilingual; "...Officers have already started going door-to-door to the more than 3,400 addresses in the target area to provide residents with bilingual information about "Operation Bull's Eye..."

Is he referring to English and what is spoken/written in the Duke Humanities Dept?

Or is he talking about the NAACP's definition of fairness and the rest of the world's interpretation of the same term?

We know "rape" has been redefined to mean "something happened".

What exactly does he mean about bi-lingual?

Anonymous said...

From an inside source, we now know that Nifong's attorney is going to file the following motion in court on Friday:





COMES NOW, Defendant Michael Nifong, and files his Motion to Amend Procedures, showing to the Court as follows:

1. During proceedings in the above-referenced matter, it is constitutionally impermissible not to allow Defendant Nifong to paint his toenails while testifying....

2. In the alternative, the merits of the claim against him should be judged by a good old fashioned dog fight....

NOTE: If you substitute "Jury Trial" with "good old fashioned dog fight" and "painting toenails" with "Grand Jury Indictment," I think you have a slightly MORE frivolous pleading.


An attorney should never attempt to remove a Judge (or a Juror) unless he damn sure knows he is going to succeed. Otherwise, you are stuck with that person judging your client. This tells me that Nifong is afraid of Judge Smith. Nifong's attorney has a fool for a client, and that guy looking at him with the toothbrush is no winner either.

Nifong wanted two bites of the apple, a grand jury to indict him and a jury to try him. These are the same folks the defense sought to avoid by filing a motion to change venue.

Get ready to call Nifong a new name! After he is found in contempt, you can add "contemnor" to "disbarred," "disgraced" and "ex-prosecutor." You may even be able to add a sweet adjective like "jailed contemnor."


As for the Herald-Sun, I don't think they are appeasing Nifong now. I think they are just writing for the same audience they have from the start: African-Americans and anti-establishment whites. That audience CRAVES hearing that someone's rights are being violated, even when that someone never had that right.

On another note, I hope this is used as another exhibit in the defamation suit against the Herald-Sun. All a plaintiff has to show is that the reporting is substantially unfair, inaccurate or one-sided.

As K.C. Johnson noted, the H-S hid the agendas of the quoted attorneys, and the rag didn't provide a response from a sane attorney. Not world-beating evidence, just another example of the genre.


"K.C. Rocks" - Huey Lewis & the News. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Durham needs to be disinfected.

Anonymous said...

Awww, so poor Mikey and his minions are scared of the consequences of getting caught in some big fat lies?

And Mikey cannot be man enough to face the person that he lied to, look him in the eye, and take responsibility?

Y'know what, Mikey? You should have thought of that *before* you told all those lies. That was really pretty fuckin' stupid of you, don't you think?

DaveW said...

What a depressing post.

This post only makes clear what a sad, incestuous accountability free criminal justice system we live under. Judges and lawyers all making campaign contributions to a crooked DA and now sitting in judgment of said DA's attempts to frame 3 innocent men.

What a mess. Truly some sort of reform is needed and not just in Durham, because what is being described herein isn't that unusual structurally. Here in Texas these judges and DA's are also elected.

It is a sick, incestuous organizational structure that produces the same sort of (metaphoric) mutations and genetic deformities one would expect from literal incest.

My position is that Nifong's (and DPD's) behavior should be literally criminal. Maybe it is but it sure doesn't look like it is going to play out that way to me. Witness tampering, obstruction of justice, suppression of exculpatory evidence, perjury.

And the basic facts of all that have been known since last December 15th and everybody involved is walking around free as a bird whistling Dixie.

Apparently we're supposed to just ignore all this as the lawyers who post "time to move on" here in this forum so arduously desire. Ignoring it would only mean the people that are the majority of the victims of this behavior will continue to be victimized. Apparently the NAACP, group of 88 and the rest of the Nifong chorus either don't have the wit to see that, are invested in that outcome, or just don't give a sh#t.

Anonymous said...

I know Fred Battaglia. Typical Durham bottem feeder.

Fred Battaglia is an idiot. How a guy with his IQ made it through an accredited law school is a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

He has already been caught in lies - plural. Whats to be scared at this point?