"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
We read in today’s Raleigh N&O:
The three finalists for Durham police chief will meet with the public at 7 p.m. today.I’ve just sent the following email to Mayor Bell and similar ones to City Council members.
The finalists are Ronald H. Hodge, Durham's deputy police chief; William D. Green, the deputy police chief in Knoxville, Tenn.; and Jose L. Lopez Sr., the assistant police chief in Hartford, Conn.
City Manager Patrick Baker chose the finalists as he seeks a replacement for Steven Chalmers, who is retiring from the chief's job. The three have been in Durham this week to meet with the City Council and community leaders and to take part in the public forum tonight.
The forum will be held in the City Council chambers on the first floor on City Hall.
City officials have set aside time in advance of the forum for the finalists to take questions from news reporters. . . . (The rest of the N&O story is here.)
Dear Mayor Bell:
Why did DPD spokesperson Cpl. David Addison beginning on March 24, 2006 and for days thereafter make false statements to the public that the Duke lacrosse players had not cooperated with police when he knew the players had been extraordinarily cooperative?
There was the captains' cooperation on March 16 when they voluntarily answered police questions, signed statements, want to Duke Hospital and submitted to suspect kit testing, and helped police locate others who were at the party.
They did all of that without attorneys present.
Any one of the 46 white players subject to the court’s order, including those the police knew by March 23 were not at the party, had the right to appeal the court order to submit to DNA testing and mug shot and torso photographing.
Not one did. Every one of them went straight to the police station and complied with the order.
Have you or any member of the Council asked Deputy Chief Ron Hodge why his department promulgated such a terrible falsehood?
If Hodge has been asked the question, what was his answer?
If he hasn’t been asked it, why not?
I’m sure by now you’re familiar with the Durham CrimeStoppers Duke lacrosse wanted poster, the text of which Cpl. Addison sent on March 28 to DPD substations, media and others. A photo copy of the poster with a DPD header can be viewed here at Liestoppers.com.
Has Deputy Chief Hodge disclosed who told Addison to compose what was a false and libelous document?
Or why Addison was told to do it?
Or why it wasn’t corrected immediately?
Or why it was only corrected on April 10, the day the public would learn the first round of DNA testing had come back negative?
Why did Addison’s supervisor, Major Lee Russ, wait until then to tell him to correct the CS Wanted poster?
Has Hodge answered those questions to your satisfaction and the satisfaction of your fellow Council members?
If he has, shouldn’t the public know what he’s told you?
DPD spokesperson Addison’s repeated false and racially inflammatory statements and the false and libelous CS Wanted poster helped bring Durham to the point where you, wisely I believe, decided it was necessary to join with Chancellor Ammons and President Brodhead to take out newspaper ads calling for public calm.
Now City Manager Patrick Baker presents Hodge as one of three finalists to succeed outgoing Chief Steve Chalmers.
Yet Hodge was effectively running the police department during the period when the police repeatedly made false statements and issued the libelous CrimeStoppers Wanted poster.
Why did Baker pick Hodge as a finalist? Especially why did Baker pick Hodge when the public doesn’t have answers to the questions I’ve asked here?
John in Carolina