Durham Mayor Meets with AG Over Duke LAX Case
(05/14/07 -- DURHAM) (WTVD) -- Durham Mayor Bill Bell met with AG Roy Cooper Monday, in the wake of the report on the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse rape investigation.
Bell was not pleased with the findings in that report, so he asked Cooper if he could investigate the department.
Cooper told Bell he can not, because the Attorney General's Office deals with criminal investigations, and this review of whether procedures and protocols were followed is not criminal.
Durham Mayor Bill Bell says the city's report on what happened during the Duke lacrosse sexual assault probe lacked answers.
Bell said the report by Police Chief Steve Chalmers didn't say whether police or the prosecutor Mike Nifong was in charge of the investigation. In the report, Chalmers admitted botching the photo lineup of suspects for the woman who said she was assaulted at a March 2006 lacrosse team party.
Bell and three members of the City Council said an outside review is needed. The mayor left a message with Attorney General Roy Cooper after the report was delivered Friday.
Cooper's office took over the investigation after Nifong was charged with ethics violations. Cooper last month announced that the charges were being dropped.
Two documents were released Friday -- the one from Chalmers and a memo from City Manager Patrick Baker. But the reports didn't say whether Nifong or the police were in charge.
David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were charged with rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. Rape charges were dropped by Nifong when the accuser changed details in her story and Cooper dropped the remaining charges last month.
Cooper said the players were victims of a "tragic rush to accuse" by Nifong.
Eugene Brown is disappointed the Attorney General cannot investigate the Durham Police department's handling of the Duke Lacrosse case.
Brown wants the city to create an independent board comprised of people from across the state with a legal and criminal investigation expertise to look into the matter.
He says the council should consider creating this board to take an honest and more detailed look at the Duke Lacrosse case investigation.
Brown stops short of supporting a federal probe, but he emphasizes that a review of the case should not end with the police chief's report to the city manager.
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