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Durham Police to Release Report on Duke Lacrosse Investigation

Posted April 30, 2007

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— City leaders have asked the Durham Police Department to put together a report detailing how it conducted its investigation in the Duke lacrosse case.

Since the beginning of the investigation, questions have been raised about police conduct. State Attorney General Roy Cooper noted in his report on the case that there had been discrepancies between the department’s actions and its policies.

On at least four occasions, Durham police sat Crystal Mangum down  to identify the men she claimed had attacked her at an off-campus party. Investigators showed her an array of photographs, but all the men in the photos were Duke lacrosse players.

Investigators didn’t show Mangum "fillers," or pictures of people not connected with the case. Guidelines that the state suggests to police departments recommend using extra pictures to avoid "suggestive" lineups.

The policy of the Durham Police Department also says to use fillers in photo lineups. However, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong instructed officers on how he wanted them to conduct the lineup.

City Manager Patrick Baker ordered the Police Chief Steven W. Chalmers to compile a report laying out how the department went about the investigation. The report is also expected to outline Nifong's role in the investigation and what impact that had on the case.

Durham City Council member Eugene Brown cautioned that the police department must be candid and honest about reporting on its own actions.

“I just think we have to be very careful and not have this report end up a word game or semantics, like was this really a lineup, a witness lineup, or what,” Brown said.

The report is expected to be released sometime next week. WRAL has made numerous requests for interviews with Chalmers concerning the lineup, Cooper’s report and the upcoming report from the department. Each request has been denied.

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