Thursday, November 20, 2008

Duke Magazine's "Crime Happens" lax case treatment

The Nov/Dec '08 issue of Duke Magazine's "Crime Happens" article deals with crime and safety issues on and around Duke's campus includes some statements which a friend very familiar with the Duke lacrosse hoax and frame-up attempt says are "very disturbing." I agree.

Excerpts from the article are in italics; my friend's comments in plain.

--- " In the spring of 2006, allegations of an off-campus rape by Duke students exploded into a racially charged, nationally followed case that has come to be known simply as lacrosse ."

There is no mention of the fact that these allegations were completely false and that the AG declared the players completely innocent . In fact the only offenses were those committed against the players by CGM, Nifong, DPD and officials from Duke.

--- from Larry Moneta in discussing how Duke deals with parents' concerns about their sons/daughters' well being -- " One of the things we tell parents during orientation is to contact us if something doesn't seem right, " ..." We ( Duke ) take elaborate precautions to mitigate risk."

As we now know, when Duke officials advised the lacrosse players not to tell their parents and not to engage lawyers, these officials exposed the players to great risk.

--- more from Moneta in speaking about crimes committed against Duke students off campus --- " ... Duke officials do follow criminal cases very closely, and work with the local law enforcement agencies and the attorney general's office to expedite prosecution when appropriate and feasible."

Ironically, in the lacrosse case it sure looked like Duke wanted the players to be tried for crimes that never happened.

--- " The two agencies ( i.e DPD and DUPD ) have a concurrent jurisdiction agreement, which means that Duke can ask Durham police for help with crimes on campus, and the Duke police can respond to crimes involving members of the Duke community who live in surrounding neighborhoods. "

It's my understanding that, by NC statute, DUPD has primary responsibility /authority for investigating crimes on campus. During the lacrosse incident Brodhead publicly stated that Duke did not have the authority to conduct such an investigation.

In summary, the biggest dangers the lacrosse players faced were from Duke ( officials and faculty ) and Durham authorities.

The entire article's here.

Folks, it's a long article but I hope you give it a look.

Your comments are welcome but won't be moderated until about 6 PM today because I'm traveling until then.

Thanks, friend.



Anonymous said...

"On any given day we'll get a call from the Durham police about an intoxicated Duke student. We have the discretion not to arrest him, to take him back to his dorm or put him in detox overnight. This is a common occurrence, but not one that's highly publicized, because if it was, it would read like, well, here's another privileged Duke student who's getting yet another break."

I suppose this explains why Duke students receive more than 30 times the number of alcohol violations as NCCU students...?

Ex-prosecutor said...

I've read the long article. It's easy for Duke officials, and to be expected, that they will try and protect their students from becoming victims of crime. To do otherwise will garner bad publicity, scare off prospective students and expose Duke to civil liability.

However, it takes wisdom and courage to rationally deal with a situation highly charged because of the nature of the alleged crimes and strident pc and self-righteous clamoring of persons and groups who correctly pegged the Duke officials as gutless.

They may feel they are entitled to pat themselves on the back for plans to protect Duck students from crime. However, when tested, they showed that they are cowardly. If I had caved-in the way Duke did, I'd be ashamed of myself, not self-congratulatory.

If they had any courage and sense of shame, they would have identified and acknowledged their sins and apologized to the lacrosse team the three falsely charged.

It goes without saying that I'm rooting for Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck. I hope that, when the depositions start, they treat the Duke officials with the dignity they deserve.

Anonymous said...

While my previous comments focused on the lacrosse incident, the article downplayed and/or omitted some important issues about the safety of Duke students in general which the lacrosse incident helped bring to light .For example,

--- the unfair targeting of Duke students by Durham authorities which Duke knew about and condoned/supported. This is discussed in the civil suits filed by the players' attorneys, in particular the suit filed by Bob Ekstrand .

--- the corruption that apparently exists in DPD as well as in other areas of Durham's govt.

--- the animosity, based on race and class, which many Duke professors , Durhamites and the local press hold for certain Duke students. This was such an important issue that the defense attorneys for the 3 indicted players filed a motion for change in venue in the event the case would have gone to trial.

--- the apparent lack of concern for the safety of the lacrosse players and other students when the Black Panthers staged a demonstration just outside the campus.

--- the alleged rape of a Duke coed at a black fraternity party in early 2007 which Duke has treated much differently (i.e.virtually ignored ) than the lacrosse incident.

--- the apparent increase in gang activity/violence in and around Durham

--- the vast majority of the violent crimes on and around campus are committed by non Duke students

--- the individual who was charged in the recent murder of the Duke graduate student was also charged in the recent murder of Eve Carson,UNC student body president

This article clearly understates the dangers that students face at Duke, both on and off campus.


Anonymous said...

Whatever became of the alleged rape that has been virtually ignored? I know that they had a suspect but searches on his name and about the incidenct seem to yield nothing after the point at which the suspect was arrested.

If this was bogus, I think we would have heard. If he was the wrong guy, ditto. If he went to jail, ditto. This thing has disappeared down the memory hole. Anyone know anything?

Anonymous said...

According to a recent post on the Liestoppers Board, the case involving the alleged rape in Feb., 2007 of a Duke coed at a black fraternity party is moving slowly through the NC court system. A hearing, which has been postponed several times, has been rescheduled for Jan.20. This case has received little or no attention from Duke nor from the local and national media.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the person charged with the alleged rape of the white Duke coed at the black fraternity party in Feb.2007, his name is Michael Jermaine Burch. He is black and not a Duke student. He was released on $50,000 bail. The bail for each of the three falsely indicted lacrosse players was set at $400,000.