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Former Police Chief's Deposition Played in Court

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Reginald Craig says he was brutalized by Durham police officers.
DURHAM — Ex Durham Police Chief Jackie McNeill hasn'ttestified yet, and he's already been thrust into the center of a policebrutality case involving one current and one former Durham police officer.

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

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

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

Ex-officer Michael Nischan and current officer Jim Cleary say they actedin self defense when they struggled with Craig three years ago. Theofficers' attorney finally got the chance to question the plaintiff'sexpert witness. They made it a point to bring up his fee of $150 an hourfor 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 CityCouncil members, and the ex-city manager.

Photographer:Ed Wilson

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