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Duke players sue Nifong, police, and Durham

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--- Quote from: Runole on October 19, 2007, 12:47:36 PM ---I am all for using taxpayers money to correct mistakes which can lead to better more common sense decisions in the future.

Far better than using 100,000 times as many tax dollars to continue making the same mistakes over and over!!

--- End quote ---

Yep. Actually how about this: I am all for using taxpayer money (AKA my money) to ensure I don't go to jail for something I didn't do. Better yet, to ensure the DA isn't a fool who just wants to put me in jail in a gross abuse of power.

Jeez how hard is this?

these guys get that kind of money, it is YOU, the taxpayer that pays...


I am all for using taxpayers money to correct mistakes which can lead to better more common sense decisions in the future.

Far better than using 100,000 times as many tax dollars to continue making the same mistakes over and over!!

I'd also sue those Racist Bigots, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Greensboro — Three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape filed a federal civil lawsuit Friday, seeking an unspecified amount in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as numerous reforms to the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations.

The 155-page complaint – filed against the city of Durham, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, former police Chief Steve Chalmers and several police detectives and officers – calls for the appointment of an independent monitor who would oversee the police department for 10 years and have the power to hire, fire and promote police department personnel, including the chief of police

City spokewoman Beverly Thompson said the city's attorneys will conduct a "full and thorough review" and fight the complaint.

"We understand the complaint assesses claims against the city and its employees that appear to be based on untested and unproven legal theories," Thompson said in a statement. "In light of that, the City Council has directed legal counsel to vigorously defend the city and city employees in court against this lawsuit."

The city has 30 days to respond.

"We look forward to it," said Richard D. Emery, a New York-based civil rights attorney representing Reade Seligmann.

The complaint also seeks changes to the photo identification lineups that helped secure indictments against Seligmann and his teammates, David Evans and Collin Finnerty.

Other reforms include:

-Establishing a three-member independent citizens review panel that would review and publicly hear complaints of misconduct by the police department.
-Requiring all eyewitness lineups and identifications be videotaped.
-Requiring results of DNA and other scientific tests to include all raw data.
-Training current and new police personnel on the chain of command in criminal investigations, issuing public statements, conducting identification procedures, serving warrants, prohibiting threats against witnesses, standardizing notes and other documents, supervising private contractors and standardizing probable cause.
-Requiring the police department monitor to have prior approval to press releases, fliers, posters or other written or spoken material in an ongoing investigation.
-Requiring the police department monitor to approve all warrants and the way they are handed over to the district attorney.

"The demands here are to protect other people from false accusations that these boys suffered – other people in Durham and other people throughout the country – by using this case as a deterrent," Emery said.

The complaint also asks for an injunction prohibiting Dr. Brian Meehan and his private laboratory from providing any reports or expert testimony in a court proceeding for 10 years. Meehan, the director of DNA Security Inc., was hired to perform testing on DNA samples from 46 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team.

He told Nifong by April 2006 that testing had found genetic material from several unidentified men – though none from any lacrosse player – in the accuser's underwear and body. That information was not included in a report summarizing the lab's findings, and Nifong did not provide it to defense attorneys until October.

When he did so, the information came in the form of nearly 2,000 pages of raw data that took one of Evans' defense attorneys days to decipher.

Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann maintain their rights were violated in the yearlong investigation, in which they were indicted, then later declared innocent, of allegations that they raped, sexually assaulted and beat an exotic dancer at a party in March 2006.

The former Duke players filed the suit after apparently failing to reach a settlement with the city for a reported $10 million each and for the city to lead lobbying for legislation to limit the power of district attorneys.

The city is self-insured for $500,000 and the city's insurance company would pay a maximum of $5 million for any damages rewarded to the plaintiffs. Anything else would be paid from the city's general fund. Depending on the amount of any awarded damages, it could mean a tax increase to cover the excess.


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