Local News

Durham Mayor: 'We've Moved Forward'

Posted April 12, 2007
Updated April 13, 2007

The Duke lacrosse case not only put the university under a national microscope, but the city of Durham as well.

Now that the case is over, residents are trying to figure out how to move forward.

More than a year ago, the public call for justice in the Duke lacrosse case reached a fever pitch. Demonstrations depicted Durham as a hotbed of racial tension and class divisions.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell said he wasn't surprised by the public outcry over the case.

“That’s to be expected. People are very vocal in this community. We provided a forum for them to speak out, and they did it in a controlled manner,” he said.

Durham, Duke and North Carolina Central universities endured the weight of national scrutiny for more than a year. On Ninth Street in Durham Thursday, just blocks from Duke’s campus, people had various thoughts about the case.

“Everybody is embarrassed. It was a debacle,” said Durham resident Penny Shikowitz.

“You got to look at it and say, ‘They didn’t have the evidence. You got to move on,’” said resident Ita Yarborough.

For students at Duke, life after the lacrosse case means a new, more open dialogue amongst students.

“The administration has really made it a point this year to being groups together talking about prejudices that are there on campus,” said Jessica Lutkenhaus.

At N.C. Central, where accuser Crystal Mangum was enrolled, students said the case served to unite their campus behind their fellow student.

“We are still on her side,” said Montressa Johnson. “We supported her 100 percent. We were behind her.”

Student Corey Dinkins said the case brought the community together even more.

As Mayor Bell sees it, the relationship between Durham and Duke is stronger, and there’s a renewed and improved relationship between Duke and N.C. Central.

"By in large, we've moved forward," he said.


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  • carter Apr 13, 2007

    Who cares if you do not shop in Durham. Excuse me but wasn't it one of the innocent 3 that attacked a man in MD or DC before this incident

  • Dayum Krazy Apr 13, 2007

    they cut off my statement about where Al and Jesse are but anyone with common sense can figure where I was going and exactly what the truth is...

  • sorry Apr 13, 2007

    I will not shop in durham till i hear mr bell say sorry

  • nerdlywehunt Apr 13, 2007

    I agree with Duke 79.......boycot Durham business until the apologies are made.......I just cancelled my new car order from the Durham dealer.....went to Raleigh dealer and even saved some money.....and I didn't get held up in the parking lot.........let them stew in their own lies!

  • Coach K is GREAT Apr 13, 2007

    thenwhocares.... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. what she lied about is dispcible. She has ruined these boys lives with LIES. HOW DARE YOU COME TO HER RESCUE!!!!!!!!!

  • bronzegoddess40 Apr 13, 2007

    I am so very glad that this is over and maybe we can move on, but I still wonder what the response would have been if the accuser had been white and the players black. Would there be an outcry that things were not right? Like one of the players said just imagine this happening to someone that could not afford a big defense team. Well it happens all the time and no one doubts the accuser if they are white. Don't get me wrong I think that the young lady was wrong in doing this and destroying lives of innocent men. I waited on the evidence before I made a viewpoint and I could see that she was wrong, but this happens all the time to minorities guilty before proven innocent and sometimes it takes years. Maybe by walking in an accused innocent minority man's shoes, these three men can make the world better.

  • nerdlywehunt Apr 13, 2007

    NO WE HAVEN'T MOVED FORWARD!!!! An apology from "Reverand" Jackson, the mayor and all of the lynch mob that was demanding justice are now in order......WRAL.....is it not appropriate to ask these people to apologize to tthe real victims of this wrong doing?????
    The hyprocy in the black commuinty is amazing!

  • GIGATT Apr 13, 2007

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson stand for one thing...victimism. They are not interested in equality, but special treatment at the expense of the white man. They teach their followers to assume the victim role at all times so they can milk the white man for all he’s worth and destroy him. They are blinded to their own hypocrisy in the name of victimism and have now become the very thing they hate. They disgrace and spit upon everything that Martin Luther King fought for, lived for and died for. They, and those who follow them, should be very ashamed of themselves.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Apr 13, 2007

    from the looks of the posts on this forum.....maybe Durham hasn't moved as "Foward" as they thought!

  • Dayum Krazy Apr 13, 2007

    At N.C. Central, where accuser Crystal Mangum was enrolled, students said the case served to unite their campus behind their fellow student.

    “We are still on her side,” said Montressa Johnson. “We supported her 100 percent. We were behind her.”

    this comment above about being on her side is really confusing..."we supported her 100%. We were behind her."
    it seens they speak in a "PAST TENSE" but are still on her side...whatever Montressa, where are your leaders AL and Jesse at now that the case has been thrown out by the Attorney General of NC??? oh yeah they are in NYC getting TV time again and not paying for it as usual, maybe no one told you but IMUS takes priority over the Lacross case now because they were wrong and they are admitting it by not commenting on it...they love free publicity at the expense of others but NEVER admit when they are wrong so they pull this stunt and how lucky could they be right now since IMUS surfaced just before the Lacross case was shut do