Sunday, October 07, 2007

Suit filing & DPD Cpl. Addison (Post 1)

Readers Note: I promised to post today concerning the suit filed October 5 on behalf of David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann and two of the persons named as defendents in the suit: Durham Police Cpl. David Addison and his DPD supervisor, Maj. Lee Russ. But I'll post today with my focus primarily on Addison and leave Russ for another day.

Three of the reasons for that are: 1) There's so much about Addison in the filing and in my archives. An archive search this morning using the entry word "Addison" produced 84 "hits," many to major posts dealing primarily with Addison;

2)While Addison and Russ are linked by virtue of a supervisor-supervisee relationship, I can fairer to each of the officers and better serve you if I focus in a post primarily on one or the other officer. By doing that, I'll be able to more carefully manage data I'm presenting that may very well involve criminal conduct. Being very careful with such data is something I owe Cpl Addison and Maj. Russ most of all but you as well.

Now lets begin with Addison.

In the 155-page filing, Addison is mentioned very often. If you're a JinC Regaular whose been following my Addison posting since last May and you've read the filing, I'll be interested to know how you think what I've posted looks when placed beside the filing.

My view is that what I've posted stands up very well. I've read it once through and most sections dealing with Addison a second time. I haven't found anything in my posts that is contradicted by the filing.

However, the filing does suggest Addison had a bigger role in the attempted frame-up and subsequent cover-up than I've suggested.

That said, here's what I'll do in the rest of this post. Present the text of The Durham Police Statements portion of the filing; link to and say a few words about The Addison Series posts I published this past February and March; and then make a few comments to end this post.

The Durham Police Statements were taken from the full text of the filing as a Word document which you can find here.

The Durham Police Statements

156. The Nifong Statements were entirely consistent with similarly false and
inflammatory statements made by other members of the Durham Police.

157. Upon information and belief, at all times relevant to this complaint, Defendant Ronald Hodge was the Deputy Chief of Police and the second-highest-ranking official in the Durham Police Department.

158. Upon information and belief, at all times relevant to this complaint, Defendant David Addison was assigned by the Supervisory Defendants to serve as an official Durham Police spokesperson.

159. Beginning on March 24, 2006, Addison and Hodge made a series of public statements in which they, like Nifong, stated falsely that Mangum had been
brutally assaulted by members of the Duke lacrosse team and that the members of the lacrosse team were obstructing justice (the “Durham Police Statements”). At the times they made these statements, Addison and Hodge knew or should have known that they were false.

160. Examples of Addison’s and Hodge’s false and malicious statements include the following

a. On or about March 24, 2006, Addison told a reporter for WRAL TV:
“You are looking at one victim brutally raped. If that was someone
else’s daughter, child, I don’t think 46 would be a large enough number
to figure out exactly who did it.”

Case 1:07-cv-00739 Document 1 Filed 10/05/2007 Page 50 of 155

Page 51

b. On or about March 25, 2006, Addison told reporters from CBS and
ABC News that a “brutal rape” occurred at 610 N. Buchanan.

c. On or about March 25, 2006, Addison told the Durham Herald-Sun that
when Durham Police served the search warrant at 610 N. Buchanan on
March 16, 2006, the Duke lacrosse players who lived there had refused
to cooperate.

d. On or about March 25, 2006, Addison told the Durham Herald-Sun that
there was “really, really strong physical evidence” of a crime.

e. On or about March 25, 2006, Addison told the Raleigh News &
Observer that an attack had occurred, that some or all of the Duke
lacrosse players knew about it, and that the players should stop
obstructing the investigation and come forward to provide evidence.
Addison repeated these statements to the Durham Herald-Sun, ABC
News, and WRAL TV on or about March 25, 26, and 28, 2006.

f. On or about March 28, 2006, Addison colluded with Himan and
Durham Crimestoppers to produce a “Wanted” poster, which he caused
to be disseminated in and around the campus of Duke University. The
flier stated that:

On Monday, March 13, 2006 about 11:00pm, the Duke University
Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The
victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan.

Case 1:07-cv-00739 Document 1 Filed 10/05/2007 Page 51 of 155

Page 52

The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The
victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific
crime sent shock waves throughout our community. Durham Police
needs your assistance in solving this case. We are asking anyone
who has any information related to this case, please contact Inv.
Himan at 560-4582 x229.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Durham Crimestoppers at 683-1200 or by email to
(Please use an anonymous email account). Durham Crimestoppers will pay cash for any information which leads to an arrest in this case.

g. In subsequent days, Addison, acting with the approval of senior
command officers in the Durham Police Department, and pursuant to
existing Department policy and custom, colluded with Himan and
Durham Crimestoppers to produce different versions of this same
“Wanted” poster.

h. On or about April 11, 2006, Hodge was interviewed by MSNBC while
attending the public forum at North Carolina Central University with
Nifong. When asked if Durham Police had a strong case against Duke
lacrosse players, Hodge told MSNBC, “I don't think we would be here if
it wasn’t.”

161. The Durham Police Statements also had direct and foreseeable consequences for the criminal process instituted against David Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann.

Case 1:07-cv-00739 Document 1 Filed 10/05/2007 Page 52 of 155

Page 53

162. The Durham Police Statements foreclosed any objective search for truth and committed Durham Police to arrest three Duke lacrosse players. The Durham Police Statements also inflamed the public, including those who would eventually serve on the grand juries that indicted Plaintiffs, by marking the Plaintiffs as violent sex offenders whose guilt was already established beyond doubt.

163. Upon information and belief, Addison made each of these statements while under the supervision and with the approval of the Supervisory Defendants, and he was acting pursuant to existing Department policy and custom. Upon information and belief, the Supervisory Defendants were aware of Addison’s statements and did not retract them, remove Addison from his position, or reprimand him.


The following five posts were published last February and March. If you were interested in the filing portion above, I think you'll be very interested the Addison Series posts below. The provide background to the events described in the filing and more.

The Addison Series #1 – “This horrific crime” 2/16/06

Addison Series #2 – “CrimeStoppers will pay cash” 2/20/07

Addison Series #3 – “Not my poster” 2/25/07

Addison Series #4 - "They call it 'squeezing'" 3/2/07

Addison Series # 5 – “Major Duke Involvement" 3/11/07

Now a few closing comments: If you haven't yet, I hope you find time to read the Addison Series posts. I'll be referring to them in future posts.

In the "squeezing" post I suggested what things might be like for Addison in the event a Federal inquiry into the Hoax frame occurred. Currently he's a defendant in a civil suit. But much of what I said in the "squeezing" post applies to his current situation. In fact, I think he may be facing a far more difficult situation with the attorneys who'll depose him in the civil suit than he might with federal investigators. Have any of you ever seen Brendan Sullivan in action?

The Addison Series leaves no doubt that as the civil suit progresses we're going to learn a lot more about not only what Nifong and DPD did but what Duke University did as well.

More tomorrow. It's your turn now. I'm sorry this got so long.


JeffM said...


I have only one comment, and a lawyer's critique of it would be welcome. Suppose Addison's defense is that: (1) he merely repeated what he was told by appropriate persons in the DPD, and (2) he personally had a right to rely on the accuracy of that information. I very much doubt that a police corporal will be found to have an independent duty to investigate the information he receives from authorized personnel in his department. (By the way, I greatly doubt that a press spokesman can be prosecuted criminally for presenting accurately information received from the proper authorities even if the information is utterly hokey. Absence of criminal intent.)

If that analysis is correct, and I do not assert that it is for sure, the question becomes why did very good lawyers bother to name him in the suit. I suspect there are two reasons. First, Addison was an AGENT of the DPD and the city of Durham so the defense outlined above may help Addison personally but will do nothing to help the DPD or the city because they ARE under a duty to speak truthfully about those accused or under suspicion. Second, to present that defense, Addison will have to explain where all his information came from. That will invariably turn out to be other agents of the DPD and city who knew or should have known that the information was false. The DPD and city are in for a very bad time.

Anonymous said...

Yep....could be addison is being squeezed. Durham, Duke and the rest of the DPD better be careful.

Anonymous said...

Dont forget also, Duke PD was in on a lot of the early discussions. even if they werent what addison was saying was not objected to in any (public) way by duke.

Anonymous said...

The truth, John, is never too long. Bravo!

Anonymous said...


"....Addison colluded with Himan and Durham Crimestoppers to produce a “Wanted” poster...."

Poor Corporal Addison. Durham DPD will sell him out faster than he could ever imagine.

He better act fast.


scott said...

What is confusing to me goes back to your earlier posts concerning Russ' and Baker's statements 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.

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?

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).

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).

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.

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.

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?

Anonymous said...


The relevance of "...tells me to change some wording, I would tell him or her to go pound sand..." is ambiguous. You might take that course, but might you instead take heed, depending on the advice?

That said, jeffm coyly suggests, as JiC posited way backalong, Cpl. Addison would be a spot to squeeze, and IMHO that was and remains true.

Aside, I suppose a witness in a civil case can invoke the 5th and get away with it. This trial is not about guilt and innocence. That trial comes later.

--no, not that Glenn

bill anderson said...

As far as I am concerned, David Addison is a criminal who is armed and dangerous. The best thing would be to see him in a prison cell, where he and his fellow criminals belong.

The police department in Durham demonstrated that it is a haven for criminals and nothing else. Other than Sgt. Shelton, there are no other honest people in that department, only crooks and liars. Will no one come forward to tell us what they know about the criminal activity in the DPD? Since no one comes forward, I only can conclude that all of the police officers approve of framing suspects, lying, fabricating false evidence, and stonewalling.

I can only hope this lawsuit exposes the criminal nature of Durham city government and the DPD.

Anonymous said...

I second 8:17PM. No need to apologize for giving a detailed report. If the press gave more information and less opinion, we'd all benefit.

DukeEgr93 said...

Addison is part of a system in place to bring extrajudicial pressure to bear on criminal cases. What this case - and this lawsuit - shows is such pressure can, and does, cross the line from what is legal to what is not. This suit - and likely trial - will hopefully expose that system for what it is, and seeks to improve it by providing recommendations with which most reasonable people should agree. (I know that's the kind of language up with which Sir Winston, it is apocryphically said, would not put, but still).

Jim in San Diego said...

It is possible Addison initially produced and published the wanted poster on his own, and unilaterally decided to announce a horrific crime had been committed.

The Duke PD and through the PD the City of Durham become liable by the process of ratification.

If they learned of behavior; had the authority to change the behavior; but, did nothing - then the PD and City have adopted the behavior as their own.

That is ratification, which will as surely lead to liability as the original act.

Anonymous said...

Jim in San Diego:

"It is possible Addison initially produced and published the wanted poster on his own, and unilaterally decided to announce a horrific crime had been committed."

While it was possible, its unlikely someone in the department would go to the trouble on his own. (They certainly have enough to do.) Since it had the Crimestopper identification on it, the obvious conclusion is someone from Crimestopers requested it.

There was a pretty secure blackout on who ran Crimestoppers once the frame-up unraveled. That part of the puzzle should be answered once Addison is deposed.


Ralph Phelan said...

"Aside, I suppose a witness in a civil case can invoke the 5th and get away with it."

Yes. But under rules of civil trails, the jury is then to assume the worst about what he would have said.

I don't think he will, because
doing so would be bad for his personal liability, and good for Durham's. And multi-defendant suits are all about blame-shifting.

It's in Durham's interest to make it look like he was acting on his own against city policy and therefore not covered by "qualified immunity." That would let the city off the hook for some portion of his bad acts.

It's in Addison's interest to claim that he was following orders and policy and what he was doing was legal, thus sticking the city with liability for his acts.

Given that the city released a report saying that the police did nothing wrong, that should be pretty easy for Addison to claim.

If the city wants to claim they're not responsible for his acts, they're reduced to arguing that any reasonable person would have recognized that their orders and policies were illegal and refused to follow them.

Anonymous said...

This is like the Michael Vick case. A bunch of people are going down....and the first one to come clean will get the best deal.

The real losers will be the taxpayers of Durham, because this is going to cost a lot more than their $5 million liability insurance will cover.