Monday, October 08, 2007

But if Addsion …?

We know it's good to ask sensible questions.

I thought about that a while ago when I read Scott’s comment which came in on the thread of "Suit filing & DPD Cpl. Addison (Post 1)"

To best understand what follows, you should be familiar with that post and the five Addison Series posts which I link to in it.

Now with Scott's comment in italics and my responses in plain; and allowing that during a busy work day I won’t provide links, but will post soon on everything I say here and at that time provide links, let’s begin.

From Scott:

What is confusing to me goes back to your earlier posts concerning [statements by DPD Cpl. David Addison’s supervisor, DPD Maj. Lee Russ, and Durham City Manager Patrick Baker ] that DPD and the City of Durham bear no responsibility for the Wanted Poster issued by Addison. They both claimed the Wanted Poster was a Crime Stoppers operation and Crime Stoppers is totally independent of the DPD, even though Addison is a DPD officer and draws a City of Durham (DPD) pay check.

Scott is referring to posts I published beginning last May. He’s done a nice job of highlighting some of what I was told and reported.

And there’s much more Scott could have said about claims made by Russ, Baker and others such as Duke’s Police Director, Robert Dean, who at the time the CS Wanted poster was produced was not only Duke’s Police Director but the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Durham CrimeStoppers.

Be sure to read those Addison Series posts and keep checking in here for more about Addison, Russ, Dean, Duke and many others, including Durham’s new top-flight justice fighters, Brendan Sullivan and Barry Schenk, the lead attorneys representing David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

If that is the case, how come Russ ordered Addison on April 10, 2006, to change some wording in the poster, not once but twice within the space of less than an hour, and Addison complied?

Russ directed Addison to make changes three times and over the course of some hours.

That aside, Scott’s question is a smart one. By directing Addison to change the CS Wanted poster and by Addison’s prompt change each time, didn’t all that indicate that Addison was answerable to DPD for what he was doing with the CS Wanted poster? And wasn’t DPD Maj. Russ “supervising” Addison?

Attorneys Schenk and Sullivan will surely ask those questions and others like them.

The DPD/Durham City defense will likely be that Addison was acting in his capacity as CS Coordinator and Russ was merely suggesting changes, much the way police officers often make suggestions to citizens who are working to help them.

I plan to post further on this line of defense once I've had a chance to update material I have and hopefully interview some of those involved.

Where I work, if I issue a memo and someone who has "no responsibility" for it (from a supervisory point of view) tells me to change some wording, I would tell him or her to go pound sand (politely, of course).

That’s right, Scott. And won’t it be interesting to hear what the DPD Supervisors, Baker and [Durham Mayor Bill] Bell have to say about all that and more.

A police officer can do a lot of plausible denying about what h/she knew or didn’t know about, say, a DNA report or what the officer talked about with the DA and the other officer during the 40 to 50 minute car trip from Durham to DNA Security’s lab in Burlington, (“Well, the one thing I remember for sure about that trip is as we passed a Bojangles, Investigator Himan said he really liked their fried chicken. Mr. Nifong disagreed. He said KFC extra-crispy was the best; and we all agreed, meaning no offense to Bojangles, you understand.”)

But it's hard to deny something there's a video tape of you saying; and it's hard to deny you didn't know someone you were responsible for supervising was making false statements that were being reported in every major newspaper and on every news program in your state.

Addison and Russ are right in the center of the "hard to deny" place.

Russ has stated that he is Addison's supervisor (or at least one of them -- it is possible that there are others in the chain of command between Russ, a major, and Addison, a corporal.

It’s very reasonable to think there would be others in a police chain of command between a Cpl. and a Maj. But Russ is Addison’s direct supervisor. Russ told me that during both my interviews with him. He also said he directly supervises a civilian DPD employee, Kammie Michael, who is DPD’s full-time spokesperson.

That a DPD Major, listed as third on the DPD’s organizational chart just below the Chief and Deputy Chief, directly supervises Addison and Michael is an indicator of the importance DPD, like all police departments, places on public statements made in its name.

Where I work, my supervisor definitely has the responsibility to "supervise" my work and if the "fit hits the shan", my supervisor is going to be held accountable, either because he was ignorant of what I was doing so he is negligent or knew what I was doing and did nothing to correct it or was in on a cover-up and enlisted me as part of that cover-up.

Scott, are you trying to tell us you don't work for Durham City?

Seriously, what Scott just said is a nice summary of what Russ will have to explain. And he can’t claim he and Addison were talking about KFC extra crispy. The statements Addison spoke and wrote are matters of public record. Russ surely knew about many of them. He surely knew they were false. What did he do?

Let's establish that I don't work for a police department nor do I work anywhere near Durham, so my experience may be totally unrelated to how things work in that organization and / or in that city.

But someone needs to tell me how Russ gets Addison to make corrections on a document when Russ / DPD doesn't have any responsibility (he claims) for that document and how Crime Stoppers is completely independent of the DPD when its representative (Addison) draws a DPD paycheck and reports to a DPD senior officer.

I’ll tell you that, Scott, if you'll tell me either how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or where Nifong keeps that smoking gun he never produced.

As a result of the civil litigation that is now underway, I hope Addison and Russ lose their jobs. They're both poor excuses for police officers.

Durham just has to do a better job of getting quality people in public service positions. But that's kinda the point of all this civil litigation, isn't it?

A lot of the civil litigation is intended to lead to outcomes that will make Durham less corrupt and safer. That’s going to be the hardest part of the suit.

The easiest part of it will be proving the young men’s civil rights were violated; that Durham City employees, officials and others inflicted grave harm on them; and that in inflicting harm on the innocent citizens the then DA and others may very likely have committed crimes.

Message to Scott: Thanks for a thoughtful comment.


Enoch said...

If the suit is against Durham and against Addison personally might the two parties have different interests? If Durham is paying for the lawyers, what do they care if Addison is found guilty personally of being a rogue? On the other hand, if Addison perceives himself at risk, wouldn't he be interested in showing the court how his superiors ordered and signaled him what actions to take?

kbp said...

Good point Enoch. I had just posted at LS that I felt Addison could be the only Durham employee held personally liable for a judgment of damages.

kbp said...

Thanks John!

I had to catch up on yesterdays posts and really liked to work you did pointing out what S&S had to say about Addison.

Your Addison posts are what first pulled me in to reading you on a dialy basis. It's been long enough that I do not recall if it was an Addison post I first commented on though.

I do recall your first response back to me was to question my comments on how I saw there was a conspiracy to frame prior to Mikey's involvement.

Oh my how clear it is now!

Keep up the good work on picking all the details apart, one by one!

Also, don't forget there had to be a reason Kammie Michael was not the one making all those public announcements.

scott said...

J in C --

Thank you for responding to my comment. Your comments back helped to flesh out what I was getting at.

About that angels dancing on the head of a pin thing ...

Seriously, I have enjoyed your posts and appreciate your insights on the frame/hoax all the way from the beginning.

In addition, I've been reading your Churchill series. The world could use a few of him right about now, couldn't it?