I may not be a law enforcement officer, but I’ve seen enough episodes of NYPD Blue to know that this isn’t how you run a photo array:
Defense attorneys are questioning the method used by Durham police to obtain a woman’s identification of two Duke University lacrosse players in an alleged rape last month….
A written report of the April 4 identification was turned over to defense attorneys Friday, and sources told NBC17 that the attorneys are considering asking a judge to suppress the evidence, claiming it was improperly conducted.
To obtain the identification, Durham police showed the woman a photo array that included only photos of the 46 [white] lacrosse team members, sources said. The woman said she was 100 percent certain that Finnerty and Seligmann were involved and 90 percent certain that a third player was involved.
Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said Tuesday that he is still collecting evidence in the case and hopes to indict a third player soon.
No other photos were shown to the woman, sources said, and the defense attorneys maintain that police should have included photos of other young, white men in the photo array to make the identifications legitimate.
The bad news for me is that it shoots my theory of why Seligmann got ID’d to hell. Oh well.
The identification was on April 4. Let’s review what had already happened by April 4:
This news puts some real meat on the bones of the theory that Finnerty was set up because of his previous arrest, particularly if the defense can produce credible witnesses who have him at Cosmic Cantina when the rape allegedly occurred.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this ID is not good news for Mike Nifong’s case—not just against Seligmann or Finnerty, but against anyone else she subsequently IDs. He’d better start hoping that second round of DNA comes back with a match real soon…
The press has exposed more warrant follies from the Durham Police Department, this time from the list of items taken from Reade Seligmann’s dorm room. They took among other items his iPod and, presumably, a Beck EP—are they planning to sic the RIAA on him or something?
Here’s the full list of items taken; apparently they weren’t content just to take his iPod… they also made off with his iTrip FM adaptor, which I’m absolutely certain is just going to bust this thing wide open.
I am slightly curious what a “scouting report” relating to 1105 Urban Street on December 3, 2005 would be; you’ll note that this is the adjacent address to 1103 (a duplex?), where certain members of the lacrosse team were living at the time of the party. 1103/1105 is another of the properties acquired by Duke University in February. Perhaps this is an indication that the authorities did have some interest in the 1103 house too. No warrants have been served for a search of that address; at least, none that are known to the public—some enterprising reporter might want to see if this is another “double-secret” warrant that never got turned in to the clerk’s office by the presiding judge.
I have a busy day today, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t link this AP report on the second dancer in the case, now known to the public as Kim Roberts, 31, of Durham. Roberts was arrested on March 22nd on a parole violation, one week after the alleged rape at the Duke lacrosse party, although it’s unclear at this point what provision of her parole she violated.
At the very least, this part looks bad:
On Monday, the same day a grand jury indicted lacrosse players Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, a judge agreed to a change so that Roberts would no longer have to pay a 15 percent fee to a bonding agent. District Attorney Mike Nifong signed a document saying he would not oppose the change.
What an amazing coincidence…
Our cabbie’s 15 minutes of fame continue in this WRAL report, which adds even more detail on the second taxi pickup as the Duke lacrosse party was breaking up:
After dropping off Seligmann, [Moez] Mostafa said, he returned to the house to pick up four more passengers. When he arrived, it looked like a party was breaking up, with people crowded on both sides of the street.
While waiting for the men whom he would later drive to a nearby gas station, the Sudan-born driver saw a woman walking through a crowd of men toward a car, and heard someone say, “She just a stripper. She’s going to call the police.”
Mostafa said the woman, wearing jeans and a sweater, appeared to exchange words with some people in the crowd before getting into the driver’s side of a car.
“She looked, like, mad,” he said. “In her face, the way she walked, the way she talked, she looked like mad.”
When asked by a reporter with CBS News if he had a feeling that something had gone wrong or someone had been hurt at the party that night, Mostafa said, “Yeah, I got the feeling something had gone wrong.”
ABC 11 explains what they think the envelope seizure was all about:
The envelope likely was taken to prove that Finnerty lived at the dorm.
Never mind that the envelope would have been addressed to Finnerty’s P.O. box in the Bryan Center, not his dorm room, but whatever…