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So Who Do You Believe?

IPD officer and FOP President Vince Huber says he doesn’t remember the night 15 years ago when he and another officer were called to the home of Eric and Paula Dickerson in response to a domestic dispute. A police report, brought to the public’s attention by incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Julia Carson this week, showed her opponent Dickerson being arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence charges in August 1991.

In a phone conversation Wednesday night, Huber told me that the only way he would remember something from that long ago would be if there was something that occurred during the incident that stood out, such as a stand off, severe injury or very bizarre behavior by the abuser or victim.

Although he doesn’t remember the allegation, Huber says he sticks by the report, saying officers would not write down anything they were not told by the parties involved. In the report Dickerson is accused of threatening his wife, hitting her and attacking his daughter.

In an exclusive interview with WXNT, Dickerson’s wife, Paula, denied that he ever hit her or their daughter. The case was dismissed. And in the case file which was recently discovered, neither the wife nor daughter testified.

So what does this all mean in the grand scheme of things? It all boils down simply to who do you believe. Although the charges are serious, there was no conviction. The police report one thing. The Dickersons say it didn’t happen. And there was no trial to create a record and have a final determination. Carson who said Dickerson “beat his wife to a pulp” now says she didn’t mean to bring domestic violence into the race. We obviously don’t want to convict individuals of crimes by just going by a police report. We need a trial and a finder of fact.

I find it rather ironic that the same people who complain about the criminal justice system and how unfair it is to young Black men who have been convicted of a crime are so quick to throw an older Black man under the bus for a crime he was never convicted.

So with all that, I have to ask? Who do you believe?

  • http://blog.masson.us Doug

    Without more, I tend to believe that the police Paula anhonestly reported what they saw and were told. I’d need to know more about what was going on between the Dickersons at the time to make a reasonable conclusion about whether Paula was being honest to the police at the time. I don’t think we can read much one way or the other into the fact that wife & daughter didn’t testify. That could’ve been because they didn’t want to commit perjury, because they already got what they wanted out of the incident, and/or because they were afraid. Paula’s reasons for not wanting to testify at the time, whatever they were, could be the same reasons she now says it didn’t happen the way the police said she said it happened.

    Carson’s motives, on the other hand, are easy. She wanted to make Dickerson look bad because it makes people less likely to vote for him. And, if the assault truly happened, it seems within the bounds of political discourse. If it didn’t happen, this is a sleazy attack. (It might be sleazy regardless in that I have doubts as to whether the Carson campaign cares particularly about the veracity of the allegations.)

    So, the voters of the 7th District have a choice between a candidate who might be a sleazy campaigner and a candidate who might be a monstrous wife beater.

  • Corina

    Doug, are you saying that Julia is the one who might be a sleazy campaigner? There is no might about that, she is!

    Are you saying that Dickerson is the one who might be a monstrous wife beater? There is no might about that either, he isn’t. All charges were dropped. His wife came out and told us and I chose to believe her.

    Julia can run around slanderously accusing people of criminal acts all she wants but she better have some convictions to prove it.

    Abdul, to answer your question, I believe the Dickersons.

  • Mike

    Lets see – Do I believe the husband and wife and children and their story and recollection of the events leading up to the arrest or a police report that states what the police thought they saw of what might have happened before they arrived at the scene and any comments made by those under duress of the intense situation ?

    I side with the Dickerson on this one.

    Mike

  • Mike

    My bad – I forgot to mention the other side. Do I believe the Congresswomen when she says she did not mean to bring up the subject of the arrest with the Star Editorial board and then hand them a file of information on it ? Do I believe her when she tells Mr. Dickerson that she will run a clean campaign and then 2 days later drops that info on the Stars lap ?

    I do not believe a single word that comes out of her mouth or of her followers.

    Mike

  • Hailstone

    I think the Star’s editorial said it best when it asked if Julia Carson is now running the kind of campaign which she “abhors”. She is running that kind of campaign. Eric Dickerson is committed to running a clean campaign unlike his opponent who claimed she would but then did the exact opposite. Eric nor any of his campaign volunteers will resort to dirty tactics but there’s others who are more of the “Hate Julia” crowd that would. Julia might watch her P’s and Q’s.

  • John M

    Who do I believe? I tend to believe the police report. Certainly, police reports are not infallible. Indeed, in most cases the reports aren’t admissible in court. Police officers are busy and reports sometimes include inaccuracies. Still, there really isn’t much middle ground here. There exists a police report that describes, in detail, a significant episode of domestic violence at the Dickerson home. The report contains both the statements of the wife and daughter and the direct observations of police officers. It’s pretty simple. If Eric Dickerson is telling the truth in 2006, then either 1) his wife, his daughter, and the police all lied in 1991 or 2) the police completely fabricated everything in 1991. Given that Dickerson wasn’t well-known in 1991, and given that the case apparently didn’t receive any media coverage then, it’s unclear why the police would be motivated to fabricate the statements and/or their observations of blood and brusing. On the other hand, it’s perfectly clear why Dickerson would lie about it today. To anyone who knows anything about domestic violence cases, it’s not surprising that the wife and daughter changed their stories. In addition, Dickerson has damaged his credibility with the inaccurate statements about whether he hired a lawyer. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: if Eric Dickerson is telling the truth, then a whole lot of people were lying in 1991.

  • Anonymous

    Well, regardless of whether Mr. Dickerson is covering up, it looks like Carson’s ploy is working. The negative media coverage about her nefarious activities surrounding a bar with no permits inside a public building seem to have come to a grinding stop.

    Now she lets the media stir up the 15 year old police report and get the public questioning the integrity of her opponent.

    A dirty trick? Yes. A stupid move? Absolutely not. Her silence may be disturbing, but she’s the incumbant and the advantage is in her favor. Silence from Mr. Dickerson would end his campaign, placing the spotlight on him and putting him on the hotseat.

    If Mrs. Carson gets her wish, the bar story will be left unreported or sidelined and she walks away tarnished but not defeated.

  • Marie Carson

    Who to believe? Believe me when I say that if my son took his father’s car without permission and caused severe damage, there would be a lot of screaming and cursing. I am a blonde, blue-eyed woman and believe me again when I say that I would be red and blotchy all over from the intense confrontation. Would our neighbors call the police…probably. Would I be angry enough to accuse my out of control husband of being abusive…maybe. Think about it folks. Unless you are the Clevers, it could happpen to you.

  • http://the-russ.blogspot.com/ Russ

    It’s funny how all this came about JUST IN TIME to take the focus off Julia Carson’s dealings in Polin Park. Yeah, she’s not a dirty dealer… right…

    What I’d like to know is who called the cops in the first place. I think that if it wasn’t Mrs. Dickerson, then that should settle everything to rest once and for all. It’s suspicious if she calls the cops and then does a 180 and says he didn’t do anything. I personally have a feeling that there was a Mrs. Kravitz somewhere studying the neighborhood with her binoculars and parabolic microphone spying on her neighbors and that the call to the cops may have simply been a mistake on the part of whoever misinterpreted an argument and blew it out of proportion.