Saturday, September 09, 2006

Duke lacrosse: Another shoe drops in Durham

Stuart Taylor noted this point in passing, but now the News and Observer fleshes out the details.

Detective got tough with Duke students

Records show that the sergeant arrested a disproportionate number of Duke students, all on misdemeanor violations such as carrying an open beer on a public sidewalk or violating the city's noise ordinance.

Such charges usually earn an offender a pink ticket such as those issued for speeding. But court records show Gottlieb often arrested Duke students on such charges, taking them to jail in handcuffs
The facts are pretty damning. For instance, in his ten months as a patrol supervisor, "Gottlieb arrested 28 people. Twenty were Duke students." This despite the fact that his district included the "crime-ridden Oxford Manor public housing complex." Further, the other supervisors in his district made 64 arrests in the same period of which only two were Duke students.

This might be worse. Of the twenty students he arrested, he hauled fifteen off to jail in handcuffs. Contrast with this incident:

Gottlieb in 2004 wrote a young man a citation for illegally carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana, but records indicate he wasn't taken to jail. He was not a Duke student.
Just one of those things that make you go hmmm.

Two side notes:

First, this is a good piece of reporting and the N&O deserve credit for it. I cannot help but notice, however, that they tried harder to be fair to Sgt. Gottlieb than they did to the lax team. Contrast this headline and story with the infamous "Team has swaggered for years" (9 April 2006) story that recounted the lax players' misdemeanors.

Or take this quote:

A barrel-chested man, Gottlieb tends to walk with his shoulders back and chin up. Among his colleagues, he is known as outspoken and sometimes headstrong.
Such careful wording. I wonder how it would have read if Gottlieb was a lacrosse player. Would we have seen words like "arrogant", "bullying", or "overbearing"? Maybe even "swaggering"?

Second. Duke parents might want to ask what the administration was doing about a policeman who was targeting Duke students for harsh treatment.

UPDATE: Liestoppers weighs in here.

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