See It Now: In ‘Do-Over’ Interrogation, Berkeley Campus Cops Lead Football Strength and Conditioning Coach Damon Harrington to Answers About Ted Agu’s Sickle Cell Trait That Avoid ‘Not Telling the Truth or Being Deceptive’

Published March 13th, 2019, Uncategorized

PREVIOUSLY:

“Berkeley Campus Police Lieutenant’s Second ‘Clarifying’ Interrogation of Conditioning Coach Damon Harrington Adds to Evidence of Role in Ted Agu Football Death Cover-Up,” March 12, 2019, http://concussioninc.net/?p=13691

Complete headline links to our series on the Ted Agu death cover-up (beginning November 2013 — before Agu’s death): http://concussioninc.net/?p=10877

 

by Irvin Muchnick

 

Yesterday Concussion Inc. broke down two campus police interrogation transcripts that the University of California-Berkeley has been hiding for five years. These interviews of Damon Harrington, then the strength and conditioning assistant under then head football coach Sonny Dykes, are exhibits of the university’s blatant efforts — at that point four days after the February 7, 2014, death of Ted Agu in one of Harrington’s extreme punishment drills — to cover up, even from the Alameda County medical examiner and sheriff, the fact that Agu was a known carrier of the sickle cell trait.

Agu died from an exertional collapse associated with this trait — a finding that the coroner first flubbed, thanks to the concealment and lobbying of Cal football team physician Dr. Casey Batten, and then, following depositions in the Agu family’s wrongful death lawsuit, amended to get right more than a year later. In 2016 the family settled the suit against the UC Regents for $4.75 million. The next year I filed a California Public Records Act lawsuit against the university that is still being litigated.

We now have uploaded this pair of interviews of Harrington, by campus police department Detective Harry Bennigson and Lieutenant Marc DeCoulode, to http://muchnick.net/harringtonpolicetranscript.pdf.

After Chancellor Carol Christ, campus police chief Margo Bennett, and the two police officers were contacted for our coverage two days ago, Cal media relations chief Dan Mogulof issued a terse statement: “We have no comment.” It is important to note that the university is not denying the authenticity of these documents; nor is it not making any real effort to dispute the conclusions I am drawing from them. Last fall, when I wrote about a production in the records act case that exposed the nefarious deeds of Dr. Batten, Mogulof had gone to the trouble of saying, “We reject in the strongest possible terms any suggestion or allegation that our physician, or for that matter anyone else working for the University, ever sought to deceive or mislead anyone in so far as this tragic case is concerned.”

The strongest possible terms are hard to summon this time. As quoted from the transcripts yesterday, Detective Bennigson and Lieutenant DeCoulode gently instructed Harrington in the “do-over” interview: “[K]eep in mind what we don’t wanna do is we don’t wanna have it appear that you’re either not telling the truth … or that you’re being deceptive.”

During the period of this ellipsis in the above excerpt, Harrington interjected, “Mm-hm.”

See for yourself now at http://muchnick.net/harringtonpolicetranscript.pdf.