First came the dropping of charges, then a settlement with the administration of Duke University. Now, according to the Durham Herald-Sun [registration required], the three Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a stripper have hired Brendan Sullivan Jr. of D.C.’s Williams & Connolly and Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, for a possible civil rights suit against the city of Durham, N.C.
Any suit would likely hinge on whether the city’s law enforcement practices violated the players’ constitutional rights. Two possible targets would be police statements impugning the men and a faulty photo lineup that led to the initial identification of the three players.
Both Scheck and Sullivan bring hefty reputations to the case. According to the Herald-Sun, the city has already held closed-door meetings to consider its response and is planning on meeting with the lawyers to discuss the “basis for a lawsuit and perhaps terms for an out-of-court settlement.”