Friday, June 06, 2008

Eugene Brown, Voice of Reason

City Council member Eugene Brown has been one of the few voices of reason from Durham's political leadership over the past two-plus years. The N&O's Bull's Eye blog recounts this detail from yesterday's City Council meeting, regarding John Shelton--the police officer who saw through Crystal Mangum's lies from the start:

Councilman Eugene Brown told Lt. J.C. Shelton, the Durham police officer who first encountered Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum and was skeptical of her rape claims, that "I wish the hell we'd have listened to you."

Shelton met an intoxicated Mangum in a Kroger parking lot the night she had been paid to dance at a Duke lacrosse team party. He said loudly after transporting her to Duke Hospital that he thought she was lying about being raped. The N.C. Attorney General agreed more than a year later. The Durham District Attorney lost his job and spent a night in jail for pushing the case, and now the city faces several lawsuits for their roles in accusing three lacrosse players.

At a City Council work session today, the recently promoted Shelton was speaking on an unrelated matter.

As he prepared to leave the podium, Brown said, "I think several years ago you were on duty that fateful night in front of the Kroger's. I just have one thing to say: I wish the hell we'd have listened to you. Otherwise that issue would have been cleared up in a day or two instead of a year and a half."

There was some shifting among council members, and Councilwoman Diane Catotti mumbled something about that being inappropriate while the city is facing litigation.

Minutes later, Brown asked the clerk to strike his statement from the record.

This is the same Diane Catotti who aggressively backed Nifong's election in November 2006; and who, as late as June 2007 (two months after the AG's report) still seemed to think a rape might have occurred; and who went out of her way first to block and then to neutralize any investigation of why the Durham Police so mishandled the case.

No wonder Catotti was troubled by Brown's statement.


Anonymous said...

The last line from the blog entry is interesting -- pressure to conform to the party line and an attempt to airbrush history.

Anonymous said...

No one was prepared to . . . well, uh . . . know the truth because er, well, er . . . "You can't handle the truth." So it goes, the University, the administration, the faculty, the city, and a part of the greater public at large "can't handle the truth."

Gary Packwood said...

Ms. Diane Catotti's response to the hoax needs to be studies as she has earned a graduate degree in public health where she learned the importance of staying on message with whatever 'narrative' is being touted for 'the little people' as the truth.

She appears to be a good soldiers for the Duke G88 and their view that white privileged males are the root source of all evil.

I wonder if she has learned that reality is often the antithesis of one's narrative?

Facts matter, Diane.

Anonymous said...

For a change, thanks to the N&O, striking the comment from the record is not going to work, this time.

Debrah said...

"I wish the hell we'd have listened to you."

Amen to that.

Diane Catotti is a vile human being. How dare she utter a word when Eugene Brown stated the obvious.

Anonymous said...

And amen to what Debrah has said. Catotti is a vile person, and if it had been up to her, Reade, Collin, and David would be in prison right now.

Don't forget that she got more votes than anyone else on the council, so she is one of the most popular politicians in Durham. So much for Durham wanting the truth.

Debrah said...

Interesting item concerning the Durham City Council

W. R. Chambers said...

There is some irony in Councilwoman's Catotti observation that Mr. Brown's comment "is inappropriate while the city is facing litigation." As if the litigation were the problem, the barrier, the impediment to the City saying something obvious and sensible. First, it was certain City officials who got in the way of the City doing the right thing. Now it's the litigation that's in the way. The City of Durham can't catch a break.

lrbinfrisco said...

I'm sure thousands of Durham taxpayers wish the hell they had listened to Shelton as well.

Anonymous said...

Problem is that, short term, Council Member Brown is going to get in more trouble than the hoax enablers. When is he up for re-election?

Jim in San Diego said...

Diane Catotti, and a handful of her clones, is the specific reason that Durham is in the litigation pickle it is in.

To the extent Durham's current behavior is being shaped by litigation strategy, which it apparently is, here is a suggestion.

Remove Ms. Catotti from any position of responsibility with Durham, immediately.

That will immediately make the City of Durham a more sympathetic defendant to any jury, and therefore would be a good litigation strategy.

Jim Peterson

Debrah said...

Here's a recent column in the H-S.

It's clear that the paper is trying to help NCCU and the rest of those who made up the mob-style environment in that town in the Spring of 2006 to "move on" and rewrite their sorry history.

Much like Duke's Gang of 88.

This NCCU student is as clueless as the rest of Durham. She brings up Governor Mike Easley who is perhaps the dumbest governor the state has had.


No shame in being an NCCU graduate

By Candra Broadie : Guest columnist
The Herald-Sun
Jun 2, 2008

As a proud student at N.C. Central University, I must strike back to defend NCCU. I feel I had to respond after reading the demeaning article in the May 15 Duke Chronicle about the school where I hope to one day be honored with a degree.

First, my heart goes out to Kristin Butler, the recent Duke University graduate who is obviously filled with hatred and malice toward an entire university due to an incident beyond the university's control. It was an incident the court dismissed, and we should likewise dismiss it from our minds, to learn from it, and move on.

I can no longer sit back and allow outsiders who have never attended the university to speak about NCCU in such a degrading manner. Is it up to us to hold one back from success in life because of a mistake that was made years ago? Whatever happened to forgiveness?

It saddens me to know that someone from a high-status university could have such an ignorant mind. It's unfair to stereotype an entire university because of the actions of one student. I'm so grateful that God is a God of second chances. According to Butler, no one deserves a chance to live a successful life after having done wrong. Is it really that much of a greater accomplishment to obtain a degree from anywhere but NCCU?

Just like students anywhere else, I have pulled many "all-nighters" studying for tests, writing papers, doing homework and reading assignments while completing community service hours required by the university. A degree from NCCU is not handed out to you. So to say that our degree will be meaningless is just a mean-spirited proclamation being uttered by someone whose mind is sham-shackled and myth-tangled.

Let's talk about a few accomplishments at NCCU. The university is third in North Carolina in recruiting National Merit Scholars. The director of our Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, Ken Harewood, has been appointed by Gov. Mike Easley to serve as a member of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology.

The completion of the Biomedical Research Institute & Technology Enterprise which is a statewide initiative to make North Carolina a provider of skilled workers for the biotechnology industry, and not to mention the many accomplishments of our prominent law School. I could go on and on.

And the list of illustrious alumnus include Gov. Easley, Ernie Barnes, a famous artist and former professional football player, Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor Atlanta and Willie Gary, a prominent black attorney, and CEO of MBC.I could go on and on.

Candra Broadie is an NCCU student.

Debrah said...

This brand of evasive letter is all Ashley & Co. will print.

After the national mess that Mangum instigated, IMO the unvarnished truth should be told about her at long last.

Is the H-S afraid of a riot on its offices?

I certainly wouldn't put this past those who brought the New Black Panthers to Durham to threaten the lacrosse players.

Why is it that the truth of the events cannot be revisited honestly?

H-S letter:

Apologies needed

While I agree with Joyce Scarborough [Letters, May 27], I have to wonder if she really did not think some people would object to the woman at the center of the Duke lacrosse case being allowed to graduate from N.C. Central University. She ruined three young men's lives. They will always be remembered for this case, even though it was proven they did not rape this woman. She was allowed to go free and resume her life. She should have been prosecuted for her crimes.

I do agree this case has caused some serious racial problems in Durham. I lived in Durham for 21 years. I was born and raised there. As long as the media continue to stay involved in the Duke lacrosse case, there will always be problems.

Let me close by saying that not only does the writer of the article you referred to need to apologize, but the woman at the center of the Duke lacrosse case also needs to apologize publicly to her victims. That might help Durham recover faster. Until she does acknowledge that she lied, this case will continue to hurt Durham.

Cindy Wrenn
Yorktown, Va.
June 5, 2008

Debrah said...

Kristin Butler does not need to apologize for anything!

What for?

Telling the truth?

Debrah said...

Interesting post on blogging in the N&O's Under the Dome

Debrah said...

Under the Dome also has this post which they seem to be beating to death.

The subject was also covered on the Bull's Eye blog.

Franklin is a nice man and endurance through the decades for any man or woman garners respect; however, I must agree with Thomas Sowell that so many old timers like Franklin are used as mascots by the media.

The guy has written, lived and breathed one thing his entire life: Race.

There are plenty of 93 year-olds who have endured lives of great hardship. Many came to this country with nothing and had to scrape and almost starve, taking any menial job they could find.

And many of them suffered bigotry and discrimination, but without the safety net people like Franklin had.

They were not given a free ride into Harvard as was John Hope Franklin just because of his race.

Franklin is a learned man.

I have heard him speak and have read some of his writings.

He is no grand scholar or intellect.

But for his race, he would be just another 93 year-old professor.

The fact that on every issue he discusses he feels compelled to offer some kind of personal, self-massaging account and always goes into his own emotional journey seem to indicate that there is very little scholarship to the course study of RACE.

Franklin is always for lowering standards in schools so that more "minorities" will receive an easier academic experience.

And like Julius Chambers--(of the Chambers-Bowen report)--he cannot talk about anything in a public arena without this old worn-out "woe is me" schtick.

And that's what it is.

People like Franklin live like kings and do very little in the way of real work. It's a life led much like a recording artist who has one big hit and lives off the royalties of that one flash in the pan for the rest of his/her life.

Forgive me if people like Franklin are beginning to make me sick.

I don't recall that he has ever said anything helpful at all regarding the Duke Lacrosse Hoax which was right under his "civil rights"-loving nose.

Everyone gets old, chronologically.

There is no point in trying to deify someone who certainly views his mission through such a selective prism.

I'm frankly so tired of this guy's schtick.

Lastly, one enormous reason no other black candidate for president ever got this far before is because the ones in the past were simply not the quality of candidate that Obama is.

But people like Franklin will always dwell on race as being the sole factor.

Debrah said...

A glance at the Durham City Council

Debrah said...

I didn't skim through all the minutes of the Durham City Council on their website from 2006 when the Lacrosse Hoax was taking place.....

......however, what I did read mentioned nothing about the case.

Everything appears to be watered down into almost no information at all.

Why bother posting such sterilized information?

Without a doubt, there was much discussion in the Spring of 2006 among those council members.

Anonymous said...

"Minutes later, Brown asked the clerk to strike his statement from the record."

So the militants who spread vicious lies can bang pots and hang libelous posters, but some know the truth allow themselves to be cowed into silence.

Sure glad our country's Founders weren't so easily intimidated.

Duke Prof

Debrah said...

I don't care for this guy as an anchor, but his comments here are of value.

This case really does rank up there with Watergate and certainly with the OJ case.

KC's got to start on another book!

Anonymous said...

Although Eugene Brown remains the only Durham official to have expressed genuine regret for Durham's role in the frame, he remained silent until a month after AG Cooper declared the players "innocent" and that there was "no credible evidence" that a crime had even occurred.

Brown did not have to listen to Lt. Shelton. He simply needed to review the many media reports and use some common sense.

He, like all other Durham officials, ignored numerous warning signs that the DPD "investigation" was seriously flawed. He asked no questions and raised no concerns during the period when those questions might have had an effect.

Brown ignored stories in the N&O between April 10 and June 24, 2006, that described an investigation that was fatally off-track:

(1) pictures that contradicted the allegations,
(2) negative DNA tests,
(3) the tape of the responding officer that Crystal was "passed out drunk,"
(4) Seligmann's alibi evidence,
(5) the unethical raid on the players' dorms,
(6) the reports of Crystal's prior allegations of gang rape,
(7) the deeply flawed identification procedures,
(8) the failure to secure the alleged crime scene for more than 2 days,
(9) the failure to interview witnesses, such as Jason Bissey,
(10) the failure to search the suspects' rooms for weeks,
(11) the refusal to review evidence offered by the defense,
(12) the Elmostafa arrest and apparent attempt to intimidate a witness,
(13) the lack of descriptions of the alleged attackers provided through late May and disclosure that the accuser had failed earlier identification attempts,
(14) the report that Kim had characterized the allegation as a "crock" and described the accuser as "talking crazy,"
(15) the release of portions of the medical report indicating that the accuser did not have injuries consistent with the allegation,
(16) the statements made by both Nifong and Addison were not consistent with evidence provided through discovery,
(17) the accuser had several one-on-one "dates" in hotel rooms, and
(18) the semen on the accuser came from her boyfriend.

Despite these warning signs, Brown and his colleagues raised no questions.

At best, they were utterly oblivious to a deliberate frame carried out right underneath their noses in one of the highest profile criminal cases in Durham's history. At best, they completely abdicated their oversight responsibilities and permitted the DPD to conduct a deliberate frame of three innocent young men for a crime the DPD knew had never occurred.

We must ask the questions: How could they possibly have ignored so many warning signs that the DPD "investigation" was so deeply flawed? Were Brown and the other members of the City Council truly so inconceivably incompetent or did they play a role, if not in the frame itself, at least in its coverup?


Debrah said...

TO J Swift--

All very good points.

Did you take a look at the make-up of the Durham City Council? There's always a fight to make sure the number of black candidates outweighs the rest.

At times I feel badly for Durham. There are some decent and accomplished people living there.....which is the main reason I get so angry.

Where were they throughout this Hoax? Why did they stay silent?

It cannot be repeated enough that if the races of the accused and the accuser had been reversed, this would have been a totally different story.

And for those of us who all our lives have tried to show that race is not the most important issue among people on this planet.....this is an assault on that sincerity.

There are many people in Durham in the black community whom I know quite well. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, but I have been shocked by the whole atmosphere over there.

Eugene Brown has put forth some effort in the right direction, but as long as the town is run by the black community with one standard for themselves and another standard for others, people like Brown will pay a price for speaking out.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a kind of gift because I don't have a need to be liked.

If I were Eugene Brown, Diane Catotti would know never to question my right to free speech.

If what you do is the right thing, people will respect you if they are honest themselves.

Eugene Brown could do a great deal of good if he is able to stand up to the people who run Durham.

However, I don't think any of them will go out on a limb.

Anonymous said...

I have seldom had any reason to disagree with you, but your Post Heading: "Eugene Brown, Voice of Reason" is misleading!

Brown is just as guilty as Dianne Catotti and the rest for allowing, then perpetuating the Lacrosse Hoax.

See Quotes Below [MaggieF - Liestoppers Posting]:-

Crowd gathers for 2nd protest - Ralliers march at house of alleged gang-raping
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - March 27, 2006
Author: From staff reports


During the earlier part of the protest, Durham City Council members Eugene Brown and Mike Woodard watched from the East Campus wall across the street.

"This is tragic and deplorable," Brown said of the alleged attack. "The wall of silence hopefully will be lifted soon."

The latter remark was a reference to police comments that every member of the team had refused to cooperate in the criminal investigation. Three of the team captains reportedly live at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

City blasts lacrosse team - Actions by police defended by officials - Council members call alleged rapes appalling, horrific and abhorrent
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - April 7, 2006

City officials on Thursday defended the Durham Police Department's handling of the investigation of an alleged gang rape, and blasted the Duke University men's lacrosse team that's at the heart of the controversy.

"For years [the team] has been a ticking time bomb that has not been dismantled," City Councilman Eugene Brown said .

Brown said Duke President Richard Brodhead did the right thing Wednesday by ordering an investigation of claims that the team was out of control even before the March 13 party that produced the rape allegation.

Brodhead's order was "a positive step toward getting a handle on a group of players that had gotten out of hand," said Brown, who lives at 410 N. Buchanan Blvd. The alleged rape occurred at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.


Team has swaggered for years
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - April 9, 2006
Author: Jim Nesbitt ; Benjamin Niolet ; Lorenzo Perez , Staff Writers


'Preppy arrogance'

The case has ripped an already frayed town-and-gown relationship, underscoring the friction between the school, with its $41,000-a-year cost and walled campus, and the surrounding city.

"It's this preppy arrogance that they will never be held accountable for what they've done -- that their daddies will get them out of it," said Eugene Brown , a Durham city councilman who lives on Buchanan Boulevard, a block from the rental house.

"What do you do when you walk out and some guy is urinating on your house and you ask him to stop and he refuses?" Brown said . "We've been living with this for years, and the lacrosse players were the worst."

Duke balked at hotline for neighbors' calls - East Campus area residents sought help prior to party
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - April 16, 2006


Trinity Park residents have alleged that the lacrosse team was a source of trouble, much of it alcohol-related, long before last month's party.

"A lot of the neighbors will tell you, [when you ask them] how do you define fear and trembling, it's when you find out you're going to be next to or close [to] a lacrosse house," said City Councilman Eugene Brown , who lives at 410 N. Buchanan Blvd. "That's how notorious they are."

'A small minority'

Brown added that repeat offenders cause a lot of the neighborhood's headaches.

"Ninety-five percent of the students who live in Trinity Park are fine," Brown said . "It's just a small minority that creates a lot of the havoc and chaos, and they're very good at doing that."

City: Duke holds power over parties
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - April 18, 2006


But City Council members questioned whether Duke administrators are serious about dealing with the situation.

Councilman Eugene Brown singled out for criticism Duke Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta. Moneta deserves blame for vetoing the request by neighbors of the campus for a 24-hour complaint hotline, and for reducing scrutiny of off-campus drinking, Brown said .

Moneta also has made public comments that suggest Duke isn't taking the problem seriously, Brown said , singling out a January 2005 article in The Herald-Sun that quoted Moneta as saying, "If we looked at every off-campus noise violation, every alcohol violation, we would be doing nothing else."

Residents brace for last classes day
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - April 26, 2006
Author: Anne Blythe, Staff Writer


“You'd think these kids would get the message," said John Dagenhart, a Trinity Park resident. "Do they think they're invisible?"

Eugene Brown , a City Council member who lives in Trinity Park, plans to share several ideas with a Duke committee today.

"One of the things I plan to say is, 'Duke is a private university, but guess what? Some of your students are a public nuisance,' " Brown said Tuesday. "Another thing is, 'Duke is a first-rate institution with third-rate housing.' And the third thing is, 'This is not the time for political gesture.' "

Brown praised President Richard Brodhead for trying to tackle problems caused by a minority of Duke students living off campus. He hopes to persuade officials to consider an off-campus housing policy adopted by Wake Forest several years ago.

"The way I understand it, what they do is, living off campus, it's not a right, it's a privilege, even for seniors," Brown said .

Lacrosse panels question Duke's response to alcohol violations - Good policies on books, but action doesn't match them
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - May 3, 2006


City Councilman Eugene Brown called the reports "a positive step forward" and also endorsed a policy similar to Wake Forest University's.

"I think everyone on both committees realizes that the status quo is not working, and that meaningful change is mandatory," Brown said . "The bottom line is that Duke is a first-rate institution with a third-rate off-campus housing policy. That has to change. And it's in everyone's best interest to see that it does change."

Durham police chief will retire in 2007
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - July 14, 2006
Author: Samiha Khanna, Staff Writer


Officials instead were briefed on behalf of Chalmers by City Manager Patrick Baker, who said the chief had been in regular contact.

"I was a little surprised with [the chief's] absence, but I felt the city manager did a good job in presenting the police and the city's response," council member Eugene Brown said Thursday.

With things 'shipshape,' Chalmers' time is coming - Police chief says plans to retire in late 2007 should be no surprise
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - July 15, 2006


City councilman Eugene Brown agreed that the search needs to be top priority for Baker.

"The city manager three-and-a-half years ago botched the entire process," Brown said , referring to the two men Conner hired before Chalmers got the job.

Conner originally hired George Watkins, who resigned weeks after taking the position because of allegations of domestic violence. Watkins' replacement, Doug Scott, was named chief but then backed out.

"We really were the laughing stock of the state," Brown said .

Chalmers drew criticism early in the media frenzy about the Duke lacrosse case. He said Friday there was a large gap between perceptions of him in the media and perceptions of him in the community.

Early in the unfolding Duke case, Chalmers kept a noticeably low profile. A report on the case requested by the City Council was delivered by Baker instead of Chalmers.

Brown said the chief's low profile surprised him.

But Chalmers said the media was the source of the criticism.

"The people I've come in contact with have really commended me for not getting involved in the media," he said.

Chief's take on Duke case tanks
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - May 12, 2007
Author: Joseph Neff ; Matt Dees , Staff Writers

DURHAM -- Police Chief Steve Chalmers on Friday defended his department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case, saying his investigators never abdicated responsibility and pursued all investigative leads.

In his first substantial report on the case, Chalmers acknowledged that his investigators botched the crucial lineup that led to indictments of three lacrosse players.

The Friday afternoon police report, however, landed with a thud. Mayor Bill Bell and three council members said they want an outside review of the department's conduct. Bell went so far as to telephone Attorney General Roy Cooper, who dismissed the case in April and declared the three men innocent.

Bell said the police report lacked the answer to a basic question: Who was in charge of the investigation, the police department or District Attorney Mike Nifong?

Councilman Eugene Brown joined Bell and councilmen Thomas Stith and Mike Woodard in backing a third-party probe. "We've been in bed with the mendacities and deception for a year," Brown said . "We need candor."


Council backs look at police
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - May 25, 2007
Author: Matt Dees, Staff Writer

DURHAM -- City Council members confirmed on Thursday their intent to set up a third-party investigation of the Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

But they agreed on little else during a fractious debate in which questions flew about what such a report would achieve, who would conduct it and how much it would cost.

They plan to discuss it again June 1 after a budget work session. The council voted 6-1 Thursday on a very open-ended resolution to continue pursuing an outside inquiry. Council member Diane Catotti dissented, saying she couldn't support a proposal she called "nebulous."

The State Bureau of Investigation has recommended a list of eight former or active high-ranking police officials from across the state, some or all of whom could be involved in reviewing the Police Department's conduct in the explosive case.

Catotti said that asking active chiefs from "rival" cities to review the Durham department struck her as "extremely odd." Council member Thomas Stith said that, rather than commission another study, it was time for the City Council to acknowledge that the Police Department had made mistakes, though he stressed his idea that the primary mistake was heeding advice from District Attorney Mike Nifong.

But council member Eugene Brown said a third-party review is essential to unearthing hard truths.

Brown said he'd been reviewing the facts of the case in recent days.

"I'm overwhelmed by the evidence, and I am underwhelmed by our Police Department's response," Brown said .

Council members have a slew of follow-up questions for Police Chief Steve Chalmers, whose May 11 report they said failed to explain key investigative actions -- or lack thereof -- that allowed a case now thoroughly discredited to drag on for more than a year.

So why can't the council just ask Chalmers directly?

Brown said council members don't have time to dig through all the case files to adequately prepare for a Senate-hearing-style grilling of Chalmers.

"I will say, the more I look into it, the more disturbing it gets," Brown said .


Potential lacrosse case panelist has ties to police - Rape crisis center received at least $167K to train officers
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC) - June 6, 2007


"To me, the premise is very simple: There was no rape," Councilman Eugene Brown said , echoing their argument. "We need to answer the basic question of how did three innocent residents of Durham end up having to go to Raleigh and the attorney general's office to get justice, and what role did the Durham Police Department play in assuring that they could not get justice here."

Debrah said...

Hillary is now finally endorsing Obama and it seems strained.

She has to do it for her own political survival and to salvage some of Billy Jeff's legacy.

Getting her to let go of this fight is like watching Durham when the hustlers there were forced to give up on Mangum's many tall tales.

Debrah said...

Everyone's going to hell!


It's 100 degrees in the Triangle today.

One degree higher than yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Back on subject, anyone who thinks that there would be no fallout from NCCU's decision to confer a criminal justice-type degree on a person deemed not fit to stand trial is an imbecile.

It is a sad fact that this young woman was not prosecuted solely because she was black. Clearly, she was mentally competent and accountable for her actions (which played out over an entire year), since she graduated from such a prestigious institution (so the author tells us). The decision not to prosecute her was a politcal one, made by an aspiring governor.

The author of the letter asks what role forgiveness can play?

Answer: forgiveness is the child of contrition. Clearly, the forgiveness issue isn't ripe.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase James Carville: "It's the law, stupid."

Luckily, then-Sgt. Shelton was on the streets in 2006.

As for Catotti, she invited one of the dadburn lynchers to sit on the Whichard Committee. She's one of the most dangerous people in Durham.

Finally, it appears that Durham has a word limit for some letters to the editor and no word limit for others. Imagine that!

Debrah said...

This woman is such a horrible writer and one of the loony Mangum supporters.

The H-S must hire people like this because they won't have to pay them well.

I agree with her that a lot of things put Durham on the map.


No doubt the pop-eyed wonder, Diane Catotti, will be mesmerized by the Costner visit.

He must really need a new gig for his little band.


Bully time at game

A lot of things put Durham on the map -- Duke, the arts scene, unfortunate legal issues -- but for the general public, it was the 1988 movie "Bull Durham" that etched this Bull City into the public consciousness.

It did for me, anyway, and I was too young 20 years ago to watch the R-rated movie. But I still remember it coming out, and that it was a baseball movie about the Durham Bulls, a real team. It came out at a time when a lot of baseball movies were making the rounds, from "Field of Dreams" to "Major League." Now Kevin Costner is coming back to the ballpark to perform with his band on the Fourth of July.

When I moved here a few years ago, I thought it was cool that I was coming to a place with a minor-league ball team that had as much name recognition as many major-league teams. I went to my first Bulls game last summer. I sat between third and home. It wasn't long before Wool E. Bull passed by. I watched as he stopped for hugs and high fives with kids. And some adults. And I wanted to be one of those adults. I like mascots more than the average sporting event attendee. I don't know why. Maybe because they're like giant stuffed animals. I know it's just a person inside, but still ...

I'm more a fan of mascots in the shapes of animals rather than people, but still get excited if the Duke Blue Devil is on the scene. I like the UNC Ram, too, of course.

I even like obscure mascots that don't even make sense, like the Pulaski, Va., Rangers' Neon Leon. The farm-league baseball team's mascot is a giant neon green fuzzy thing. The mascot for the Salem, Va., Avalanche is Mugsy, a Saint Bernard. Later the team added Misty, his female counterpart, a la N.C. State's Mr. and Ms. Wuff. One thing I wish the Bulls had that the Avalanche does is freebie nights. Oh, you can sign up for the special packages to get Bulls gear, but there's no "First 1,000 People get a Free Bobblehead Night." Granted, the Bulls don't need to draw folks out like lesser known teams. But if they had Wool E. Bull bobblehead night, you can bet your hot dogs and peanuts that I would be there in line early.

So back to my first Bulls game -- Wool E. Bull kept walking back and forth. I turned to my husband and expressed my excitement each time, and took some photos. I wanted to get up and give a hug or a high five, but in the interest of adult decorum, I thought I might look a little immature. So I waited. And pondered. And finally went to the souvenir shop, because, since there were no free bobbleheads, I needed to buy some Bulls souvenirs myself. (I got a T-shirt and a sticker.) Lo and behold, guess who charges in? OK, he didn't charge, but that seems like a bull verb. Anyway, I decided I could care less how immature I looked and I asked Wool E. Bull if I could have my photo taken with him. He obliged. I smiled for the camera. I smiled as I walked back to my seat.

So I'm excited that Kevin Costner, who helped bring recognition to the Bulls and Durham, is coming back here on July 4. Who knows if he'll be a decent singer. Doesn't matter. He's bringing Durhamites together at a fun place on a fun day. And when he's gone, we'll still have Wool E. Bull to keep us smiling at the ballpark.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan may be reached at

Debrah said...

This was posted on BET.COM about Mangum's NCCU degree.

Debrah said...

Read the comments by Marybeth Gasman under "The Academy Speaks".

Debrah said...

Some might enjoy this sarcastic attempt to show that all negativity is a myth.

Truth About Durham

Debrah said...

Butler's column making the rounds.


Debrah said...

Check out yet another conversation defending Mangum's degree.

And of course, there's always that mantra...."something happened".

Anonymous said...

CGM with her new BA in Police Psychology is now qualified to:

A.) Work as a profiler for the DPD.

B.) Invent even bigger and better criminal hoaxs that put more innocent people in jail.

C.) Become a council women for the City of Durham.

D.) Get a full scholarship to Duke Graduate School, Dept. of Angry Studies.

E.) All of the above.

I'm betting on E.

Oh the Irony, even the Gods have to laugh...

Mr. Ed

Debrah said...

Legal bills climbing in Durham

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought, perhaps Ms Mangum accused the team members of rape for research for her degree? How else to explain all that occurred subsequent to her actions that night?

How could anyone on the faculty at NCCU, if they had any ethics at all, have attended a commencement where a dgree in police psychology was awarded to such a person? For someone who was so distraught and disturbed that she was unable to be charged and tried for a criminal act which she committed, I find it hard to believe that she was able to do the work to achieve her degree.

Debrah said...

There's a photo on this page that is priceless.

Apparently this is from the summer of 2006.

Scroll down to the third set of photos and you will find Durham's playful foursome.

Then-DPD Chief Chalmers, Durham manager Patrick Baker, Dicky Brodhead, (who, btw, was looking as fit and buff as I've ever seen him), and Mayor Bell.

No doubt these guys were having many more nights out and secret discussions during this time.

Given all that has happened since the summer of 2006, this photo screams.

The attorneys handling the civil suits need to check it out to see just how coordinated and close these guys were at the time.

Jamie said...

There are, sadly, few unmitigated heroes in this case, few people who actually stood up against danger to instis on what was right. Elmostafa's one, there may be one or two more. There have also been equally few voices of reason, at least among those directly involved in the case.

Officer John Shelton merely saw what any other policeman should have seen right away. Perhaps he is special not because he detected the obvious, but because he announced it.

Similarly, the rueful Eugene Brown at that recent Council meeting was simply stating a painfully obvious point. Yes, people should have listened.

However, because a grasp of the obvious, or at least a willingness to ackowledge it, is so rare in Durham, these two stand out. One practically wants to shake their hands.

Otherwise, just about no one outside of the blogosphere wanted to acknowledge Mangum's or Nifong's or the NBPP, etc.'s pathetically transparent motives -not the Duke admin, not the local or national news media, not the preachers, or the local, state or federal politicians, or the agendist faculty or the horde of other professional race-and-gender pimps who quickly surrounded this dead dog of a case like flies.

Almost no one, it seems, could stomach what was right in front of them - and as Ms. Catotti proves, many of them still can't. They hate what actually happened, and they hide from themselves the fact that they were perfectly willing to send humans they had never met to a long, undeserved term in prison just to safeguard their cherished prejudices and positions.

Unitl they can find the guts to say "I was wrong; here's why I recoiled from the truth", such people have no right to rail against other injustices. They have proven themselves to be indecent.

Anonymous said...

Clearly NCCU is proclaiming one of the following:
Criminals can be granted a diploma
Mentally insane people can be granted a diploma

Which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either she's guilty of filing false police reports (multiple times) or she's nuts. Perhaps, it's both.
At the very least, she's morally bankrupt and ethically challenged. Though far too many have tried in vain to portray her as ethnically challenged, it just won't wash.
It will be believed, however, only in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter lives and breathes!

Anonymous said...

I would no sooner discredit Solomon, than I would other convicted felons who went on to peruse careers in journalism and earn college degrees such as Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu Jamal and Malxolm X.

All you have to do is look historically at “news stories” of Black/Latino/Muslim people to see that the media has a long history of disproportionately portraying us negatively. Just because you don’t read about it, does not mean it does not occur. - this is not to say that Black people aren’t guilty of these crimes as well, but you don’t always see the media reporting in a balanced way.

and yes. I do think, in the context of Butler’s article, Solomon and Crystal are the victims of an attack. Why shouldn’t they be entitled to peruse a degree? and why should NC Central be condemned for helping them improve their lives? I agree that the Duke players were also victims of the same American “justice” system. They should have been innocent until proven guilty, instead of expelled. But that’s not NC Central’s fault.

The author of this post is obviously highly educated. After all, the "lying whore" and the "convicted criminal" are most assuredly entitled to peruse a degree--they just shouldn't be allowed to pursue one!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, debrah, for posting at 9:51 AM the site discussing the Mangum graduation and Butler article. I found this there, from one of the afro-centric regulars:

"The worst thing about colored conservatives is that most of you [...] are pretty well educated...which means you KNOW that your anglo masters are lying and trying to rewrite history and yet, you support and assist in the bullshit." (emphasis added)

I thought this was particularly ironic, given that one of the "anglo masters" of the Duke diversity crew was caught rewriting the history on the N&O site just recently.

Debrah said...

I thought this was particularly ironic, given that one of the "anglo masters" of the Duke diversity crew was caught rewriting the history on the N&O site just recently.


Such a great point.

Wonder if they are fans of the Tyson urchin?

Some of these comments seem to just write themselves.