Monday, September 03, 2007

“Durham's Silence Is Sickening”

Remember Raleigh N&O new columnist Ruth Sheehan’s “Team’s Silence Is Sickening” column which began:

Members of the Duke men's lacrosse team: You know.

We know you know
Well, a JinC Regular, Locomotive Breath, has parodied Sheehan’s column after reading the "Attorney Alex Charns Interview" post in which Charns noted Durham City’s more than year-long “silence” in the face of investigative travesties by DPD officers and their supervisors has put the city in the worst possible position as it faces legal action by Duke students who are victims of those travesties.

If you haven't read Sheehan's column recently, you may want to. It will add to the fun of reading LB's parody.

Here’s LB’s parody: “Durham’s Silence Is Sickening.”

Employees of the Durham City Government: You know.

We know you know.

Whatever happened in the Courthouse and City Hall gone terribly bad, you know who was involved. Every one of you does.

And one of you needs to come forward and tell the public.

Do not be afraid of retribution from the insurance company. Do not be persuaded that somehow this "happened" to one or more "good guys."

Since what the lax team says is true -- that civil rights were denied, trampled on, hidden and buried -- the employees responsible are not "good."

This seems an elementary statement, I know.

But I can see loyal government employees sitting around convincing themselves that it would be disloyal to turn on their fellow employees -- why, the employees who were involved were just a little "over the top." In real life, they're funny. They ignore their work for months to be with their mothers. They share investigation notes with co-workers. They sing gospel.

On this case, they were just a little too power mad, a little too "worked up." It was a scene straight out of "L.A. Confidential" by James Ellroy. Indicative of the times.

The courtroom death threats slung at the defendants, who were lacrosse players? Those were just ... jokes. Ditto for the ugly remarks overheard in the DA's office: "We're f**ked." Har, har.

After all, these people are not just employees, but trusted professionals. The municipal dream.

And the police? They were... just doing their job, for Pete's sake.

I can see the city going down this path, justifying its silence. And it makes me sick.

Because, of all the occupational hazards that must come with government service, one of them should be personal responsibility. And no, trolling on the internet for MILF doesn't make it better.

Unfortunately, because the people are employees at such a fine municipality, there is a tendency to presume that this was an aberration. That these employees are "good guys."

I see it in the references to the "Serpico" atmosphere allowed to flourish at the police station.

I sense it in the "dismay" expressed by Mayor Bell over the "situation" -- the hiring of C. Destine Couch and the (shocking!) serving of NTOs to an entire lacrosse team.

But NTOs are one thing. The implication that this event, is somehow just a normal case that "got out of hand" is just plain wrong.

Railroading is not part of a spectrum of professional duty, the regrettable end game when publicity and votes are ignited by a larger pension and fanned into flames with the activists’ permission.

No. Railroading is a crime. A very serious one.

Those who commit it are criminals, not "good guys."

I don't know what happened in that Courthouse, and in that DA's office, over in Durham. Ultimately, that will be a matter for the Federal courts to decide. But who was in that cabal is something the public needs to know. Now.

They shouldn't have to wait for the Whichard Committee to be restarted.

Every employee of the Durham Courthouse and City Hall knows who was involved.

Until the city employees come forward with that information, forfeiting a false rape prosecution isn't enough.

Shut down the city.

Thank you, Locomotive Breath


Joe T. said...

Ruth Sheehan, also, doesn't live in Durham, so she won't have to be affected in any way by lawsuits against the city. A number of the troublemakers are in that (lucky) position. (Still, she did, at least, apologize. But if she's really sorry she should write even more on the case).

DukeEgr93 said...

Ruth parodies can be pretty fun to write, all in all.

Anonymous said...

Excellent parody, LB. LMAO. Keep up the pressure on the "bad guys". slipknot

Anonymous said...

LB and MG,

Fun, but unsportsmanlike, guys; Ruth is so easy to parody she did so herself in her unkept 23 Apr 07 promise to STFU.

-- No, not that Glenn

Ralph Phelan said...

"Shut down the city."

I believe Sullivan and Scheck are working on that.

DukeEgr93 said...

Woohoo - I beat her by a week, then, 'cause mine was posted on April 15th :-D

kbp said...

Thanks John!

Great of you to post that. LB did a wonderful job there!

Thanks also to Dukeegr93!

Locomotive Breath said...

Bill Anderson beat us both as he pointed out to me at liestoppers

I was unaware of dukeeger93's as well. There is so much material there that we've got about four more that could be written. Maybe we could have a contest?

As far as not picking on Ruth, she's back to shilling for John Burness with the idea that the problem was all the lax team's fault. She used up her forgiveness.

Lacrosse house ... what if ?

Ruth Sheehan, Staff Writer

Published: Jul 30, 2007 12:30 AM
Modified: Jul 30, 2007 12:47 AM

John Burness, vice president of public affairs and government relations for Duke University, had just begun our tour of the university's community outreach efforts when we turned on Buchanan Boulevard.

He slowed as we passed a ramshackle white cottage with black shutters hanging from the hinges.

"There's a house I've seen before," he said.

Me, too.

We both sighed.


DukeEgr93 said...

LB - I had some fun with that one, too. But, I suppose, to paraphrase 10:00 AM, it's so easy, even an engineer can do it!

Anonymous said...


But, but, but, I am an engineer. Just one with a lot to do who spends too much time reading blogs. And meditating on the literary significance of 47. :-)

-- No, not that Glenn

DukeEgr93 said...

One of my favorite stats from Duke is that the "middle 50% range" of SAT *Verbal* scores for entering engineers has higher brackets than those for entering Trinity students... Mwahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

sbt, I can't hold it back anymore...

"Them what can, does. [etc.]"

And them what can neither do, nor teach, scribble in newspapers.

-- No, not that Glenn