Local News

Citizens March in Support of Accused Duke Lacrosse Players

Posted February 4, 2007
Updated February 5, 2007

— Duke University lacrosse players and their families have always stood by the three young men accused of sexual assault last year. Now for the first time, there has been an outpouring of support from the Durham community.

Duke fans, lacrosse fans and even North Carolina fans stood together at the Durham County Courthouse on Sunday, where Collin Finnerty, David Evans, and Reade Seligmann have previously appeared to face felony charges for sexually assaulting a dancer.

“We wanted to come out and support the boys and see what's going to happen, and we feel the charges will eventually be dropped,” said supporter Roger Greer.

Two activist groups spearheaded Sunday’s gathering -- Concerned Duke Mothers, formed in response to the initial rape accusations, and Ethical Durham,  a group that encourages Duke students to vote and support ethical causes.

After previous protests where people taunted the lacrosse players, supporters said it was time to step forward to show the accused players who’s behind them.

“It's a travesty of the system, what's been going on,” one supporter said.

More than 100 people walked three miles from the courthouse toward Duke’s lacrosse field in support of three young men. At the end of the walk, there was applause for the lacrosse team as they practiced on the field.

Many marchers told WRAL they've believed in the players' innocence from the very beginning. Others admitted they wouldn't have been part of this group early on, but are a part now. Their ranks included Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's former campaign manager, Jackie Brown.

“(We’re wearing) the fantastic lies buttons, for those fantastic lies (Nifong) told,” Brown said.

“That makes me feel like my son is in a good place at Duke, in Durham, and that there are other people who believe in justice,” said Tracy Tkac, whose son plays on the lacrosse team.

A hearing previously scheduled on Monday for the accused players is on hold until at least May after the judge in the case issued an order to stop all hearings. Special prosecutors and defense attorneys met with the judge last week.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office,  which took over the case after Nifong recused himself, issued a statement saying prosecutors will use the next few months to review the case.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Feb 5, 2007

    I think that the prejudice has remained in the hearts of those who fead it the most... And from the looks of it everyone posting here so far. Don't try and lash out on the NAACP for standing up for Equality. This case true has gotten out of hand. But "there jus the good ole boys...never doin no harm" RIGHT? So let the case play out and leave the sheets and torches at home OK.

  • Toni Feb 5, 2007

    I hope the liar(s) get what's deserved. Only the man upstairs knows what really happened and the intentions of the people involved. These boys lives and their families lives have been changed forever. This world has turned into a place filled with disrepect, disregard and hatred.

  • xrayscnu Feb 5, 2007

    Just goes to show who is prejudice? NAACP against whites?

  • xrayscnu Feb 5, 2007

    All Nifong wanted was the black vote from Durham.

  • cnsallen Feb 5, 2007

    smoothtip99, how about I'ma get paid!! The truth has come out. NO DNA........from anyone on the team but there was DNA from 4 other men. She is a lady of the evening, not a victim. The boys & their parents have spent an untold amount of money because this girl lied. She needs to go to jail.

  • finallysingle Feb 5, 2007


  • cnsallen Feb 5, 2007

    Why has the "exotic dancer" (lady of the evening)not been known to the public?? She needs charges brought up on her. How much money have these boys & their families had to pay out to prove they didn't do anything? I think she needs to explain her actions and pay for them!!!!

  • Mungo Feb 5, 2007

    Please, one guy had video of him at an ATM machine at the time of the supposed rape. And with the issues coming out about the DNA evidence?

    I'm not saying crap doesn't go on at college parties, it does. But I do not believe that accusations are genuine in this case. Is it fair to condemn three innocent men because of the transgressions occurring in parties across the nation? No.

    I don't believe the accuser in this story ever thought her excuses to the police would mushroom to this proportion.

  • BLA BLA BLA Feb 5, 2007

    awwwwww man, I missed it

  • Lovinit Feb 5, 2007

    Were Al and Jesse there?