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Media bias against Crystal Mangum has been evident for some time… made obvious by the unflattering and misleading moniker given to her “the False Accuser.” This title which is almost always affixed to her name is false and misleading. She stands by her story that she was sexually assaulted in March 2006, and a court has not made a ruling in the Duke Lacrosse case, as North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges against the three Duke Lacrosse defendants.
However, the A.G. took an unprecedented step on April 11, 2007 of proclaiming the Duke Lacrosse defendants “innocent,” a proclamation which was overreaching and which carried no legal weight. People in the legal profession and most media-types are aware of that and realize that only a jury, or a judge in lieu of a jury can determine “innocence” or “guilt.” If the Attorney General possessed such power, there would be no need to hold a trial. The A.G. could simply review the evidence presented by the prosecution and render a decision.
The media could barely contain itself, anxious to declare that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were “innocent,” “exonerated,” and/or “falsely accused.” Never mind that it was aware that it was misleading the public by declaring the defendants “innocent” and by labeling Ms. Mangum as the “False Accuser.” Its goal was to mold the minds of the gullible flock to believe that the determination of “innocence” had been legally reached and carried legal weight.
During the February 17, 2010 incident involving Crystal Mangum and her ex-boyfriend, the media toned down its coverage after realizing that the charges against her were a bunch of crock. A domestic violence call was placed to 911 by Crystal’s children because she was being beaten up by her ex. When police who responded became aware that Ms. Mangum was the accuser in the Duke Lacrosse case, all attention was focused on trumping up charges against her which would result in a lengthy jail sentence. So Durham Police, who were the only ones with motive, means, and opportunity, set clothes in the bathtub on fire, made no attempt to extinguish them, and called the Durham Fire department.
Police were so intent on trumping up charges against her that they purposely did not even address the fact that Crystal’s ex-boyfriend instigated the physical clash between the two by repeatedly punching her in the face.
Charges brought against Crystal by police were excessive and without merit, and she was placed under a million dollar bail. Media-types, aware that the charges against Mangum were bogus, devoted most of their news stories to re-hashing Mangum’s role in the Duke Lacrosse case… which also afforded the opportunity to mention that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were “innocent.”
Although the charges against Ms. Mangum were pathetic, the jury sided with the prosecution on the misdemeanor charges. Despite a feather weight defense by Mangum’s counsel, the jury could not bring itself to wrongfully convict her of the arson charge, and Ms. Mangum walked away from court with a sentence of 88 days time served.
The city’s unjust treatment and incarceration of Ms. Mangum was the proximate cause of her losing her job, apartment, being dropped from graduate program at NCCU, losing custody of her children, losing personal property, and losing her independence. Furthermore, the notoriety from that case in combination with media vilification regarding the Duke Lacrosse case, made it impossible for her to just pick up from where she was at the time of her arrest on February 17,, 2010. She had trouble finding employment and someone willing to rent her an apartment. This situation spawned her ill-fated symbiotic relationship with Reginald Daye.
Reginald Daye, at 46 years of age, was 14 years senior to Crystal. From what I had been told, Daye’s reputation was anything but sterling. Sources told me that he had had run-ins with the law, that he was a heavy consumer of alcoholic beverages, that his alcohol induced drunken states had led to clashes with police, and that he had the capacity and a reputation for physically abusing women with whom he had relationships.
The media, however, refused to sully Mr. Daye’s reputation, printing and broadcasting only the positive… of which there was very little, and some fabrication. To my knowledge, there was never any mention of his criminal record, which I have been told is extensive. Yet, the media stresses Mangum’s record, and gives credence to the charges stemming from the February 17, 2010 incident in which she was an assault victim and against whom charges were trumped up.
In an ABC-11 online article, Reginald Daye was said to have been employed at the time of his stabbing, working at Scotts Painting and Decorating, however, my sources have informed me that he was unemployed at the time. It is further my understanding that he was two months behind in his rent payments when he met Ms. Mangum. In addition, it was Ms. Mangum who was employed, doing the only work she could get at the time, dancing. She had been attending a trade school in preparation of seeking another position which would be considered more socially acceptable. I was told that she was anticipating getting a sizeable tax refund, as well.
By moving in with Daye, she prevented his impending eviction and was able to provide shelter for herself and her three children. Whether or not an intimate relationship between the two existed, I do not know.
I was told that early Sunday, April 3, 2011, Crystal and Reginald were involved in an argument about money which she had earned. She wanted the money to go towards rent, and I believe a money order or check had been made out to go towards rent. He wanted the money to go towards something other than rent. Money that he had not generated. However, the media only reported that a search warrant stated that responding Durham police officers said Daye told them that Mangum stabbed him and took his money. This statement by Daye was evidently enough for police to charge Mangum with two counts of larceny, regardless of the fact that they were cohabiting and possibly in a relationship. Again, an example of aggressive over-charging by the Durham police.
According to WRAL 5 news, Daye underwent emergency surgery for his stab wound to the torso and was expected to make a full recovery. However, the wral.com article posted on April 5th, two days after the incident exhibited prime examples of shoddy biased reporting. The headline, for example, blares, “Police seize knives from Duke Lacrosse accuser’s apartment.” The apartment was, in fact, rented by Daye, and not Ms. Mangum… therefore, police seized knives from Daye’s apartment. By conferring apartment rental status to Mangum, it suggests that its contents belonged to her and not Daye. Mention was made of a set of brass knuckles, but reporters made no attempt to determine its ownership. My guess would be that the brass knuckles belonged to Reginald Daye. Ownership of the knives which were confiscated during the execution of the search warrant was not addressed in the article.
WRAL’s article further states that in the February 2010 incident Mangum was accused of assaulting a “different boyfriend” and setting his clothes on fire. This statement is disingenuous and misleading as Ms. Mangum was the victim of the assault, being repeatedly punched in the face in the incident instigated by her ex-boyfriend. WRAL is trying its best, along with other media, to establish a pattern of specific criminal conduct that does not exist.
As is usual media protocol, wral.com misled the public by stating that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were declared innocent. Not only that, but an attempt was made to give credence to the innocence declaration by stating that officials, plural, were responsible for the determination... but, in fact, the media had based its claim of Duke Lacrosse innocence solely on the April 11, 2007 promulgation by Attorney General Roy Cooper.
This article is a prime example of media reporting on a Duke Lacrosse case related story that is false and misleading throughout.
In addition to Reginald Daye’s criminal record which is publicly available to the people and media alike, a source of mine also procured a copy of Reginald Daye’s death certificate which lists the cause of death as “pending.” However, CNN writer Maria White, in her April 14, 2011 piece takes the liberty to mislead by claiming that Daye died “as a result of the stabbing…” Keep in mind, this is well after WRAL reported a couple of days post-op that Daye was “expected to make a full recovery.”
In an article in “The Daily Beast” by David Graham titled “Murder Charge Latest Twist for Duke Lacrosse Accuser,” a friend of Daye’s told the “Beast” on April 5th, two days following surgery, that Daye was recovering. The rumor in the Durham community was that Daye died due to something other than as a result of his stab wound… a rumor which is only logical. Whether Daye’s death was due to complications from another unrelated pre-existing medical condition, due to medical mistakes, or the result of premeditated homicide, it is unknown, but I believe it is safe to say that he did not die due to the stab wound he received on April 3rd.
For a death which has the potential for being the handiwork of a homicidal fanatic who might have been motivated by a strong desire to see charges against Mangum to be upgraded to murder, the Durham Police department and Durham County District Attorney’s Office seem to approach this incident in a lackadaisical manner. To my knowledge, the potential crime scene was not secured, surveillance cameras were not reviewed, and no steps taken to ascertain whether or not Daye’s care might have been intentionally compromised or sabotaged. Instead, without even having a cause of death, the prosecutors make a dash to the grand jury seeking an indictment on the charge of first degree murder.
According to the article in “The Daily Beast,” the Durham County Medical Examiner stated that an autopsy might not be available for 120 days, or roughly four months. And he stated that there would not be a preliminary autopsy report issued. The postmortem treatment of Daye by the medical examiner is not routine, and there is a reason for that… to conceal, to shield, to coverup, to obfuscate the truth. Rest assured, that had autopsy findings directly linked the Mangum-inflicted stab wound to Daye’s death, a final report would have already been published and eagerly carried by the media to the people.
Some media outlets try to suggest Daye’s April 13th death was a result of the wounds he received ten days earlier on April 3rd. ABC-11 News, which is extremely biased in its reporting stated that “Daye died days later..” suggesting that he succumbed to wounds sustained. This is an example of misleading media spin at its best.
David Graham’s article in “The Daily Beast,” is one of the most balanced accountings of the April 3rd story that I have seen. Unfortunately, like the rest of the mainstream media, it too insisted on referring to Mangum’s rape allegations as false… as though decided by a court of law. Duke law professor James Coleman questions the appropriateness of the first degree murder charge against Mangum that was handed down by the Grand Jury on Monday, April 18th. Taking their domestic relationship into consideration Coleman represented that a more suitable charge would be voluntary manslaughter.
I don’t know what kind of investigation the Durham Police Department undertook with regards to the stabbing incident, but with Daye’s criminal record (which I have been told includes an assault against a female) there is a great likelihood that the April 3rd stabbing was an act of self-defense on Crystal Mangum’s part.
There is no doubt in my mind that the authorities, courts, and media are, and have been, out to get Crystal Mangum because of her accusations in the Duke Lacrosse case. The excessive overcharging, the exceedingly high bail, the secrecy with public reports, and biased, selective, and misleading reporting by the media has been engaged for the purpose of punishing Crystal Mangum because of her claims about being sexually assaulted in 2006.
The success in carrying out their vendetta against Ms. Mangum can be attributed in large measure to the silence of politicians representing Durham. To my knowledge, U.S. Congressman David Price, State Senator Floyd McKissick, and State Representatives Mickey Michaux and Larry Hall have been silent and made no attempt to challenge the gross mistreatment of Ms. Mangum by the authorities and the court. Likewise, civil rights organizations, such as the NAACP under state President Reverend Doctor William Barber has been quiet as dormice. As far as I know, women’s rights organizations and those which profess to protect battered women, stand by while Ms. Mangum is slaughtered by the state and the media. The viciousness of the attacks against Crystal Mangum rivals only those launched against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.
Although I am not a Durham County resident I have been appalled at the recent treatment of Ms. Mangum by the state, and on the morning of Monday, April 18th, I mailed letters to Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez and Durham District Attorney Tracy Cline advising them against seeking to indict Ms. Mangum in Reginald Daye’s death. I later learned that at the time I was dropping off my letter at the post office, a Grand Jury had been convened and had given the prosecution the murder indictment against Ms. Mangum that it had sought.
An indictment for first degree murder when the victim’s cause of death had not even been determined in a patient who postoperatively had the prognosis of making a full recovery. First degree murder wherein the victim and the offender were in a domestic relationship wherein the possibility of self-defense was not even considered by the authorities. First degree murder in which the victim was well on his way to recovery and close to discharge when he suddenly and without explanation lapsed into a deep and irreversible coma. First degree murder in a man whose death was without doubt not related to a stab wound he had received.
I wrote the letters to Lopez and Cline in hopes of preventing the murder indictment which I felt might come against Mangum, but which I strongly believed was based on irrational Duke Lacrosse case bias instead of the objective and fairly applied rule of law. Durham County, in a swirl of Duke Lacrosse aftermath litigation, is dead set on taking its frustration and hostilities out on Ms. Mangum, Mike Nifong, Mike Nifong supporters, and others with empathy towards Nifong. I have made my voice heard on the Duke Lacrosse-related issues, while the voices of Price, McKissick, Michaux, and Hall have remained silent. They remain hushed because they lack the will and the courage to protect their most vulnerable of constituents from the bullying and vindictive individuals in positions of power in law enforcement and the prosecutors’ office who are motivated to carry out the vitriolic vendetta against those perceived by the Powers-That-Be to be on the wrong end of the Duke Lacrosse case.
Towards the unethical goal of unjustly saddling Crystal Mangum with a first degree murder conviction, the media is doing its part by portraying Reginald Daye in the best light possible… amplifying the good, concealing the bad, and giving an ambitious makeover on the ugly.