Monday I posted “ What Did DPD's Hodge Say?” It concerned an MSNBC report of the forum held at NC Central University last April at which then DA Mike Nifong said would continue to seek to indicte Duke lacrosse players despite DNA evidence from the state crime lab which the public had just learned was negative for all the lacrosse players tested.
MSNBC’s report included this:
"I don't think we would be here if it wasn't (a strong case)," Maj. Ron Hodge, the assistant (sic) chief of the Durham Police Department, said after the forum. (Hodge is deputy chief. The parenthetical "a strong case" is in the MSNBC story. – JinC ).Responding to the post, two Anons provided links to a Raleigh News & Observer Jan. 13, 2007 story reporting reactions to Nifong’s decision to recuse himself and turn the case over to the NC Attorney General’s office.
In that N&O story we find a subhead,
A police view,followed by this:
Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge said Nifong's stepping aside won't change the substance of the evidence collected by the department's detectives that a sexual assault occurred.My reactions?
Hodge said he thinks that the case will still go forward and that the remaining charges will be prosecuted.
"I don't think it changes anything that we've done," Hodge said. "It just means that we'll have to deal with a different attorney."
Wow! And thank you, Anons. I’d either missed or forgot the Jan. 13 N&O story.
But look at how significant it now is.
Three months after that story appeared NC Attorney General Roy Cooper announced to the world there never was any actual evidence collected by DPD or Nifong. And just a few weeks ago Nifong himself admitted during a court hearing there was no evidence.
So why was Hodge last April talking to MSNBC about a strong case?
Why was Hodge telling the N&O in January about “evidence collected by the department's detectives that a sexual assault occurred?”
Didn’t Hodge know DPD never had any credible evidence? He was in day-to-day charge of DPD during much of “the investigation, wasn’t he?
Why did Hodge say DPD had a strong case to arrest and help indict and prosecute for multiply felonies three men when there was no evidence of their guilt?
Aren’t police department administrators supposed to prevent that kind of thing from happening?
Is it possible Hodge didn’t know his department had no evidence of David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann’s guilt?
Was Hodge lied to about “this horrific crime” the way the public was?
Is it possible Hodge sincerely believed what he was saying because Nifong, DPD Cpl. David Addison, the department spokesperson who kept proclaiming crimes had been committed, and other DPD officers misled him?
The Durham City Council has asked the Whichard Committee to find out why DPD arrested and charged three men without any evidence of their guilt.
Surely the committee members will ask Hodge about the MSNBC and N&O reports.
The City Council and the public need to hear his answers.