I don’t recall the Durham Police Department and the Durham Herald Sun ever teaming up to give the members of the 2006 Duke Men’s lacrosse team any kind of “present”.
But they did recently, just in time for the holidays. And it was a big one.
If you’ve followed the Duke/Durham hoax, frame-up attempt and their ongoing cover-up, you’ll spot the “present” in this Dec. 16 H-S editorial - -
That said, we must say the results reported so far are encouraging, both as the process reflects the department's intent to take the concerns seriously and as so far it has revealed that the postings were more innocent than at first feared.
The department has yet to complete its investigation into the allegations against one officer, so the full extent of the case remains uncertain.
One officer has been cleared, another disciplined -- not for racist remarks, as it turns out, but for comments about women's rights. And while we don't condone that, the remarks were relatively mild, teasing his fiance, investigators reported, about the 19th amendment and women's voting rights.
The racial connotation was originally inferred because the officer confused the 14th and 19th amendments to the Constitution, an embarrassing slip in its own right but the sort of casual error not uncommon in rapid-fire web postings and e-mail.
The department, Deputy Chief Ron Hodge told The Herald-Sun's Gregory Childress, has been weighing officers' rights of free speech against the public perceptions that can be created by what law enforcement officers are saying.
"We take very seriously any activity by a police officer that has the potential to create a weakening of public confidence," Hodge said.
Had the officer not identified himself as a police officer, "you probably have a citizen expressing a political opinion," he said. It's a delicate balance the department appears trying hard to get right.(emphasis added)
Although at least one council member has publicly worried that the investigation might be a cover up, we, like Mayor Bill Bell, are encouraged by the news so far.
We hope the final findings of the investigation are soon in coming, and similarly encouraging.
For those who didn’t know- - -
Beginning in March 2006 and continuing for almost a year thereafter, certain
False statements about a “horrific crime,” “stonewalling” and “really strong evidence” were just part of it, with the false statement of “really strong evidence” coming from Deputy Chief Ron Hodge himself.
The Herald Sun went along cheerleading all of that and more.
Imagine the surprise of faithful H-S readers when our State Attorney General told them and the rest of us there never was any credible evidence of a crime.
When Hodge subsequently appeared at a public gathering, he assured his listeners, he could think of nothing wrong DPD had done.
His claim was greeted with laughter.
But the Chalmers-Baker report and Hodge’s claim that what DPD did to the lacrosse players was appropriate police procedure are now the position of Durham City and Police as they defend themselves from suits brought by the players.
Need I add the Herald Sun is not happy the players now hold Durham Police (and its “lead investigator,” the disbarred former DA Mike Nifong) and others responsible for their flagrant disregard of the Constitution and the laws of our state?
And need I tell any of you why the recent DPD investigation and Deputy Chief Hodge’s statements, so nicely recorded by the H-S, are a big “present” to the laxers, their families and their attorneys?