The citizens of Durham, North Carolina, for too long have been forced to bear the burden of a city government which presents the appearance of being manifestly corrupt. Millions of federal grant dollars disappear without any accounting; vice rings appear to operate without interference (there were no arrests for prostitution by the Durham police department in 2004 or 2005); police auctions lose money; what funds that are acquired end up being distributed privately into the hands of a few, instead of benefiting the pubic. Reporters who get too close to these matters end up being jailed (Demorris Lee). In the past, police have been handed blank warrants to fill out whenever needed. Suspicion of payoffs taint criminal prosecutions (Leon Brown).
The result of all this is that gangs flourish, violence is unchecked, pastors use discretionary funds to smuggle their endangered young people out of the city, and basic city services deteriorate.
The majority of the people of Durham want a principled, professional criminal justice system in which criminal allegations are investigated promptly and fairly; the innocent are not prosecuted; and personal and political considerations do not pervert or corrupt the administration of justice in any way.
Yet criminal racketeering combinations, involving perhaps even many individuals associated with both law enforcement and the courts, have evidently been too powerful for local officials to be able to overcome. In such a situation federal intervention, through investigations by the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section, and the FBI, is the only practical solution.
We therefore call upon the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice to commence an immediate investigation of the courts, judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and the civic government of Durham; to ascertain the extent of the corruption of public elected and appointed officials; the influence exerted upon these officials by local criminal vice syndicates; and the means by which honest administration may be restored to the city. [Source]