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NAACP Applauds Cooper Promise in Duke Lacrosse Case

Posted January 18, 2007
Updated January 22, 2007

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— The president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP on Thursday reiterated his call for a fair and thorough investigation in the Duke lacrosse case and for the case to play out in court.
All the Rev. Dr. William Barber wants, he said, is the truth.

"What heals the public is when people have a clear perception that everything was done fairly, meticulously, thoroughly and without favoritism either way," Barber said.

Barber called on attorneys to refrain from leaking information about the case to the media, citing it could contaminate a potential jury pool and heighten community emotions.

Instead, he urged them to let the court system handle the case.

Thursday's news conference was the first time the North Carolina Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has commented on the case since Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong removed himself as prosecutor last week.

Barber, however, would not comment on Nifong's decision but applauded Attorney General Roy Cooper's decision to have his office take over the case.

"We applaud the statement of the attorney general, where he said his prosecutors would put on blinders and would follow the facts and go wherever the facts lead," Barber said.

The attorney general's office is poring over thousands of pages of files. Cooper, during a news conference on Saturday, promised a complete new look at everything.
Barber said he is holding the attorney general to his word.

“We expect no less in this case, despite the high level of controversy and the notoriety which have attached to this case,” he said.

Also on Thursday, the North Carolina State Bar met behind closed doors. It is considering an ethics complaint filed against Nifong, but members would not confirm or deny reports that they may be looking into new charges against him.

Earlier this week, a congressman from New York called for a federal civil rights investigation into Nifong’s handling of the case, a step first requested by North Carolina’s Rep. Walter Jones.

The lacrosse case stems from an off-campus team party last March, when an exotic dancer hired for the party claimed that players raped and sexually assaulted her. Rape charges against three players were dropped last month after Nifong’s office determined that the accuser could not testify to details necessary to prove rape. Kidnapping and sexual assault indictments remain.

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  • k2u65 Jan 19, 2007

    I just have to say that the NAACP are the most racist people out there in the world today.They want to always say white people this and white people that, talk about people who dont have any rights the "White People".I am sick of all this crap white people cant have anything because if we do we are racist what if we created a white college fund or a group that only white people could join? I dont support the KKK either they are ignorant also, before the NAACP blame them for my statement.I support and love everyone of all colors but fair is fair and innocent is innocent stop trying to make a dollar out of this.While you're playing this for everything someone out there really needs your help and start helping all people not just black people because God would want you to do that.To this young woman I hope through therapy and pray you get through this because its not been easy for you.To the guys I hope your futures were not completely ruined by this.Good luck to all of you.

  • jamaica0527 Jan 19, 2007

    I've never known of the NAACP, New Black Panthers or Nation of Islam to lynch white people. If the NAACP did not exist, who would ensure that blacks' civil rights were not infringed upon. The civil rights "ACT" should be a LAW...why isn't it? Huuum..Not everyone "complains" about race relations, but unfortunately it still exists. Just look at the news, crosses are being burned by hooded cowards in Durham and hate mail spread in local neighborhood mailboxes. These boys have as much moral grounding as the stripper, considering they arranged for her to come and "dance" for them. I guess this is just a reflection of their true taste in women. My goodness, black women were raped without consequence to their slave-master-owners for decades.

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Jan 19, 2007

    OK let's get one thing straight! Barber is speaking his opinion on this case not speaking for all African American or even every member of the NAACP. If this case were racially reversed every "good ole boy" in this state would be reved up ready for a hangin at high noon. So please get off the NAACP or any other black organization being racist. Everyone wants justice not vengance for whatever crime that may have been committed. If no crime was committed then it will come out in the end.

  • leebmad Jan 19, 2007

    The NAACP doesn't want this resolved, if it was, then they would have to find another story to latch onto so they could get this same kind of exposure.

  • beachboater Jan 19, 2007

    From Barber's comments on the NCAACP web site, he's the only witness needed to convice the 3 students. No need for the special prosecutors to spend the time to review all the evidence.

    Racism?? Read Barber's comments.

  • S-O-L Jan 19, 2007

    You can be a racist in this country as long as you are not white. Just look at this guy in charge of the naacp. He has about the same education and mentality as your basic klansmen. This so called reverend needs to get the accuser in church and keep her bloomers on!

  • LTL Jan 19, 2007

    Blueridgelab, you hit the nail on the head

  • huntleyperez Jan 19, 2007

    So......Nifong was re-elected while holes in his case was coming to light so exactly when did the need to do the right thing kick in? Nifong will probably get his hand slapped and God help any other possible innocent person who comes before his office for a trial!

  • A_Patriot Jan 19, 2007


  • seankelly15 Jan 19, 2007

    Mr. Barber wants the case to "play out in court". I am sorry sir, but this is not "play". If there wasn't crime then the men should not have been indicted. If they should have been indicted and facts are unearthed that indicate prosecutorial misconduct then the charges should be dismissed. Sir, you are ignorant of the effect on someone's life if they have been charged but no evidence exists. If they are found not guilty it is not exoneration; it is simply a not guilty verdict. They will still have to tell a potential employer that they were charged with rape, sexual assault and kidnapping. People will continue to believe that something did really happen (a cardiac affirmation - I feel it in my heart), and that skilled attorneys freed them because of legal technicalities. I am unclear why a supposed man of the cloth would put his own political motivations (why else would the NAACP be involved) ahead of someone'
    s rights and show such callous disregard for the lives this woman has rui