Friday, April 13, 2007


Readers Note: JinC Regulars know Alex Charns is one of North Carolina’s leading attorneys in the areas of constitutional law and police malfeasance. Since last May I’ve been reporting and commenting on Charns work representing an unindicted Duke lacrosse player Charns believes was libeled, as were his teammates, by a Durham CrimeStoppers poster telling the community a “horrific crime” had been committed the night of March 13/14 the players attended.

The CS poster text was produced by Durham Police Cpl. David Addison who serves as CS coordinator (both DPD and Durham CS state they are separate organizations). The text was sent in email form to area media. Copies of the text on a “Wanted” poster were subsequently distributed in the community by DPD on department letter head.

If you’re new to the story, see this post: Addison Series #5 – “Major Duke Involvement” for background and links to related posts.

Also, a facsimile of a CS “Wanted” poster distributed by Durham Police can be viewed at a post here.

Charns has just released to media the following email. I hope other bloggers copy or link. The word needs to get out there.



Dear members of the media:

Last spring you or your news organization received an e-mail with the attached Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster or an e-mail with the same text about "This horrific crime."

Has Cpl. Addison, CrimeStoppers, the Durham Police Department or city of Durham officials apologized to the 46 exonerated Duke Lacrosse players? If so, I haven't heard them. One city council member suggested that Mike Nifong should resign, but who at city hall has asked for a review of faulty Durham police procedures that allowed 46 innocent young men to be vilified as gang rapists or witnesses to a gang rape in a Durham police poster?

I've not seen any reports that anyone at city hall has asked why Durham Police officers e-mailed and posted an incendiary and outrageously false poster last spring (that included an official Durham police header) which read in part: "The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community." (I've attached it and included it in the text below.)

I'm still waiting for Cit Manager Patrick Baker's response to my request last year to make public the Durham police review, if any, of the DPD's Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster. I've copied Mr. Baker and the members of city council with this e-mail hoping to finally get a reply.

I work in Durham. I live in Durham. I'd like to see my city officials publicly apologize for what city employees did to these 46 students.

By the way, it would be nice if the apology was sent to the same media outlets that received the original e-mail, including: Editor Que Pasa; Herald Sun; WRAL; G105; News and Observer; Saunders, Barry; Time Warner Cable; Triangle Tribune; UPN; WB22; WNCN; WRAL; WTVD; and WUNC.

For purposes of full disclosure, I represent one of the 43 players who was not charged.

Thank you,
Alex Charns

Charns & Charns Attorneys at Law


Joe T. said...

Whenever I see those vigilante posters, I'm shocked by the stupidity of whoever was behind them. It's like saying, "Please, please, bring 40 lawsuits against me."

Anonymous said...

The lawsuits need to be filed. If this excellent attorney sues just on his client's behalf, the discovery and court process would likely uncover many things that badly need to be uncovered. The posters were clearly libelous and one was published in a major North Carolina newspaper.

Anonymous said...

what about the charges against the accuser? Oh yeah i am sure the police must have beat her into making up the charges.I find all this hoopla coming from Mr Charns funny, its always the "mans"wrongdoings.He should be calling for charges to be brought against the "accuser",if he Really wants justice served.