The city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has decided to hire an independent security-consulting company to conduct an audit of its police department’s investigative practices. City officials have said that the decision is one of the effects of the exoneration of Darryl Hunt in 2004. Hunt was wrongfully convicted in 1985 of killing Deborah Sykes in Winston-Salem. He served nearly two decades in prison before DNA testing led to his release.
A review of police procedures by an outside agency was recommended by a recent report produced by a volunteer panel on the city’s handling of the Hunt case.
City Manager Lee Garrity said yesterday that the police department has changed since detectives investigated Sykes’ death, but that “there were still things that came out” during the Sykes review. One of them, he said, was that detectives were not filing incident reports consistently on time, a key step in the investigation of a crime.
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. (Winston-Salem Journal, 11/20/07)