Local News

Former Police Chief's Deposition Played in Court

Posted October 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Ex Durham Police Chief Jackie McNeill hasn't testified yet, and he's already been thrust into the center of a police brutality case involving one current and one former Durham police officer.

The chief's videotaped deposition on his philosophy of police brutality was played Friday in court, taking center stage in the only case on record of a police brutality case charged going before a Durham jury.

The day started with everyone watching the videotaped deposition of the chain of command at the Durham Police Department, and their approach to using force. Jackie McNeill was still police chief when he was asked when prosecution would be in order in a police brutality case.

Former Chief McNeill sits in court each day waiting for his turn on the stand. His testimony is expected to be pivotal in the case. Plaintiff Reginald Craig, his attorneys, and their expert witness, a former FBI agent turned consultant, say McNeill presided over a bad department.

Ex-officer Michael Nischan and current officer Jim Cleary say they acted in self defense when they struggled with Craig three years ago. The officers' attorney finally got the chance to question the plaintiff's expert witness. They made it a point to bring up his fee of $150 an hour for case preparation and $250 an hour for his testimony on the stand.

Chief McNeill is expected to take the stand, along with all 13 Durham City Council members, and the ex-city manager.

Photographer:Ed Wilson