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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #100 on: August 19, 2008, 01:41:12 PM »

GM, I too await your response to those two, but while the rest of us wait, I indulge in a moment of frivolity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohtIosIXg8

here is a longer version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU6AVtQethw&feature=related
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #101 on: August 19, 2008, 03:48:41 PM »

"...we made brownies. And I think we're dead. Time is moving really, really, really, really slow."

Wow...

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G M
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« Reply #102 on: August 20, 2008, 09:34:51 AM »

Ok, I'll post more later, but to get to the main points, I liked the Det. although he didn't go into enough detail to clarify his point, but the prof is a bonehead. Confirming my opinion about many defense attorneys, the prof appears to have stopped doing legal research after getting his J.D.

Read the caselaw below and note how it undercuts most of the prof's assertions:


http://iacp.org/documents/index.cfm?document_id=25&document_type_id=16&fuseaction=document

Officer Liability for Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence

Mark Newbold, Deputy City Attorney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC

Police chiefs should be aware that their officers could be subject to liability in federal court for failing to disclose to a prosecutor any evidence that may be favorable to a defendant. Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of this obligation, it appears that officers acting in bad faith could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." Such allegations against police officers are rare; nevertheless, they are often difficult to rebut. This column reviews the important court decisions on the issue and makes recommendations to police departments to reduce the risk of litigation.

Brief History of Prosecutor's Duty

The landmark case of Brady v. Maryland1 places on a prosecutor an affirmative constitutional duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to a defendant. This constitutional duty is triggered by the impact that the favorable evidence has on the outcome of the criminal proceeding. It requires the prosecutor to evaluate a case in its entirety and look at the cumulative effect that withholding the information has on the outcome of the trial.

Brady arose out of a line of cases going back to the early 1900s that addressed circumstances where prosecutors knowingly presented perjured or false evidence.2 Not too long ago discovery was virtually nonexistent in criminal proceedings. At times, fundamental fairness took a backseat to the adversarial process and the pressure to win. The result is the need for some prosecutors to be reined in and reminded that fundamental fairness is always more important than obtaining a guilty verdict.

The next chapter unfolded in Brady. The prosecutor in that case did not affirmatively present false or misleading information to the court. Rather, the prosecutor suppressed a statement favorable to the defendant after the defendant made a request for such statements. In response to the prosecutor's decision to withhold evidence, the court in Brady stated, "We now hold that the suppression of evidence by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution."3 The court explicitly reasoned that fundamental fairness outweighed adversarial posturing and required that the accused be afforded a review of information that is favorable to his defense.4

Prosecutor's Duty in Brady Expanded

In Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the prosecutor's duty to disclose evidence relative to the credibility of a governmental witness.5 Later, in United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976), the Court made it clear that the defendant need not request exculpatory information from the prosecutor. Rather the duty to disclose attached regardless of whether the defense requested the evidence.

In Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995), the Supreme Court reviewed the Brady doctrine and found three circumstances where the duty attaches: first, where "previously undisclosed evidence revealed that the prosecution introduced trial testimony that it knew or should have known was perjured." Id.; second, "where the Government failed to accede to a defense request for disclosure of some specific kind of exculpatory evidence." Id.; and third, where the defense failed to request information or made a general request for exculpatory evidence. Id.

The effect of the above is that prosecutors can no longer feel comfortable holding back some evidence that might be exculpatory. In order to avoid a breach of their duty, cautious prosecutors must now continuously review their files and constantly evaluate their cases with an eye towards identifying exculpatory evidence.6

Favorable Evidence Must Be "Material"

The constitutional duty is not triggered simply because the evidence might be favorable to the defendant. Rather, the touchstone of materiality is whether the failure to disclose the information undermines the confidence in the outcome of the trial. The failure to disclose strikes at the very purpose of the trial itself, which is to ensure the accused is afforded a process that is fundamentally fair before the accused is deprived of his or her freedom or property.

"The question is not whether the defendant would more likely than not have received a different verdict with the evidence," the Court wrote in Kyles, "but whether in its absence he received a fair trial, understood as a trial worthy of a confidence. A 'reasonable probability' of a different result is accordingly shown when the government's evidentiary suppression 'undermines confidence in the trial.'"7

An Officer's Duty to Disclose Evidence to the Prosecutor

Inevitably, some defendants sought to extend the reasoning in Brady to police officers. Rather than correcting alleged disclosure violations by police by remanding or reversing criminal proceedings, several courts in the late 1980s allowed defendants to file civil actions for damages in federal court against officers. Unlike prosecutors who are generally immune from civil actions for their prosecutorial acts, officers are accorded only qualified immunity. Essentially, officers were being held to the same standard as prosecutors but were treated differently when it came to the remedy available to the plaintiff.

One such example is McMillian v. Johnson, 88 F.3d 1554 (11th Cir. 1996), where a former prison inmate sued several law enforcement officials for damages after a murder charge was dismissed against him. McMillian alleged, among other claims, that police officers violated his due process rights by withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence from the prosecutor. Specifically, officers were accused of withholding three statements from the prosecutor that would have contradicted evidence that was admitted at trial.

In McMillian the court discussed the relationship of Brady to an officer's duty to disclose. "The Constitution imposes the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense to the prosecutor," the court wrote. "Investigators satisfy their obligation under Brady when they turn exculpatory and impeachment evidence over to the prosecutor." Id. at 1567. "Our case law clearly established that an accused's due process rights are violated when the police conceal exculpatory or impeachment evidence." Id. at 1569.

The court in McMillian relied on the approach adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reasoned that "police are also part of the prosecution, and the taint on the trial is no less if they, rather than the state's attorney, were guilty of the nondisclosure."8 The court wrote that "the duty to disclosure [sic] is that of the state, which ordinarily acts through the prosecuting attorney; but if he too is the victim of police suppression of the material information, the state's failure is not on that account excused." Id.9

In Jean v. Collins, 221 F.3d 656 (4th Cir. 2000), Jean was convicted of rape and first-degree sexual offenses. The court held that the government's failure to disclose audio recordings and accompanying hypnosis reports were Brady violations. The court noted that a police officer who withholds exculpatory information from a prosecutor can be liable under Section 1983 but only where the officer's failure to disclose the exculpatory information deprived the Section 1983 plaintiffs of their right to a fair trial. Id.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The role of the police is not the same as that of the prosecutor. Hence, it is inconsistent to hold the police to the same standard.10 Moreover, there are several good common-sense reasons for not holding officers to the same standard. The terms "exculpatory," "material," and "impeachment" are so steeped with technical legalistic meaning that even a trained prosecutor has difficulty determining when a piece of evidence falls within his or her duty to disclose.

Furthermore, evidence that is favorable to the defendant may not, in many circumstances, be identified as such until the entire case is ready for trial. In some investigations the accumulation of evidence occurs over a period of years. What may have been a seemingly meaningless statement made by a person early in the investigation may not actually be favorable to the defendant until it is compared to other pieces of evidence that are collected years later in the investigation. In other investigations the identification of the evidence as exculpatory does not occur until the defendant decides to produce his or her evidence. This in effect allows the defendant to control the timing of the when evidence will be identified as favorable&3151;a questionable tactic if officers are to be exposed to damages.

Reducing Liability Risks

Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of the obligation of officers to turn exculpatory evidence over to the prosecutor, it is clear that officers may be subject to liability in federal court for failing to do so. The dust has not settled sufficiently for us to determine just what minimal level of culpability must be involved before officers will be held liable for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. Nevertheless, it is clear that officers acting in "bad faith" could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." If an officer commits an affirmative abuse of power then he or she has deprived a defendant of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.11 An example of bad faith would be where officers knew the information was exculpatory but deliberately removed the information from the file so the prosecutor could not review the information.

Obviously this does not happen frequently. Nevertheless, it is difficult for officers to rebut allegations of bad faith. The fact that information did not make it over to the prosecutor opens the door to the assertion that it was done in bad faith. Essentially, it is better not to answer allegations of missing documents in the first place. The following are some common-sense suggestions that police departments may want to consider for reducing the risk of litigation on this issue.


Consider installing a tracking system that identifies when the entire file is transmitted to the prosecutor. There should be a way to verify that the prosecutor has acknowledged receipt of the investigative file. This way, the department can verify that the contents of the materials were in fact transferred to the prosecutor.

Discourage investigators from keeping a separate personal file of the investigation. Maintain the integrity of the official file. This prevents investigators from inadvertently forgetting to place material in the official file. The discovery of a statement anywhere other than the official file opens the door to allegations of deliberate nondisclosure. It is much easier to keep track of the investigation than to have to counter the allegation of intentionally mishandling a case.

Make sure the prosecutor is aware of "street" files that contain information on governmental witnesses. Always run government witnesses' names through these files. If you get a hit, the prosecutor needs to determine whether the information is exculpatory or effects the witness's credibility.

Come to a consistent understanding on the disposition of handwritten notes. Some investigators choose to discard the notes after they complete their reports. In this circumstance, investigators will have the burden of showing that as a matter of routine and habit they always recorded the entire contents of notes onto the report and therefore had no need to retain the notes. However, if your investigators discard their notes is because they don't want the defense to know about them, they are opening themselves up to allegations of deliberately destroying potential exculpatory statements.

Don't hesitate to document the precise dates and times you discuss the case with the prosecutor. The documentation will come in handy in the event there is a dispute as to whether you provided them with exculpatory evidence. Remember they have prosecutorial immunity, you don't.


Make sure recruit and in-service training includes training on an officer's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence. Do not rely solely on local and federal prosecutor's presentations. They tend to focus only on their duties under Brady and Giglio, rather than addressing the officer's duty to disclose.

Endnotes


Brady v. State of Maryland, 373 U.S. 89 (1968).

In Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935), the Supreme Court made clear that deliberate deception of a court and jurors by the presentation of known false evidence is incompatible with "rudimentary demands of justice." This was reaffirmed in Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213 (1942). In Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), the Court continued with this line of reasoning and said, "The same result obtains when the State, although not soliciting false evidence, allows it to go uncorrected when it appears." Id. at 269.

Brady, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1197.

"The principle [supporting the holding] is not punishment of society for misdeeds of a prosecutor but avoidance of an unfair trial to the accused. Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly." Id.

"When the reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within this general rule." Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153 (1972).

"Nevertheless, there is a significant practical difference between the pretrial decision of the prosecutor and the post-trial decision for the judge. Because we are dealing with an inevitably imprecise standard and because the significance of an item of evidence can seldom be predicted accurately until the entire record is complete, the prosecutor will resolve doubtful questions in favor of disclosure." United States v. Agurs, 98 S.Ct. 2392, 2400 (1976).

Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 432 (1995), citing United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667, 678 (1985).

Freeman v. Georgia, 599 F.2d 65, 69 (5th Cir. 1979), and Geter v. Fortenberry, 849 F.2d 1550 (5th Cir. 1988).

However, it is submitted that the precedent cited does not directly support the theory that officers should be held personally liable for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor. At best, McMillian relies on authority that stands for the proposition that the officer's actions will be imputed to the state—not to him personally.

"The Brady duty is framed by the dictates of the adversary system and the prosecution's legal role therein. Legal terms of art define its bounds and questions as whether an item of evidence has exculpatory or 'impeachment' value and whether such evidence is 'material.' It would be inappropriate to charge police with answering these same questions, for their job of gathering evidence is quite different from the prosecution's task of evaluating it. This is especially true because the prosecutor can view the evidence from the perspective of the case as a whole while police officers, who are often involved in only one portion of the case, may lack necessary context. To hold that the contours of the due process duty applicable to the police must be identical to those of the prosecutor's Brady duty would thus improperly mandate a one-size-fits all regime." Jean v. Collins, 221 F3d 656 (4th Cir 2000).

In Jean, the court concludes the standard applicable to officers is analogous to the circumstances in Arizona v. Youngblood where the court refused to find officers violated the due process clause in the absence of evidence of bad faith on the part of the officers. (Officers failed to refrigerate evidence connected to a rape).


This column is prepared monthly by members of IACP's Legal Officers Section. Interested section members should coordinate their contributions with Elliot Spector at 860-233-8251.                       

For more information, please contact:
Gene Voegtlin
(703)836-6767, ext. 211
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 12:45:03 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #103 on: August 20, 2008, 05:11:33 PM »

In the US criminal justice system, there are different ethical standards for the different players.

The defense attorney has an obligation to advocate in the best interest of his client. Guilty or innocent, right or wrong, the defense is only interested in the best possible outcome for those he/she represents. Not society, not justice, the client alone is the person to be served.

The prosecutor is supposed to be interested in justice and act in furtherance of justice and the public good. Win/loss ratios, political gain are not supposed to be part of their consideration in choosing to prosecute or not.

The law enforcement officer is supposed to be a witness for the truth. Not a cat's paw of the prosecution or an enemy of the defense but a fair and impartial finder of fact. Conducting an investigation is like doing a complex math problem, not only do you need to get the right answer, you have to show your work. Through the entire legal process, you need to be able to demonstrate how you went from the start of the investigation and arrived at probable cause, and hopefully beyond a reasonable doubt.

If a woman gets murdered, and the husband tells you about a one armed man that did it, you'd better make a good faith effort to investigate that claim. Based on actuarial tables, the husband is the best suspect, but although statistics and patterns of crime are something to be aware of, you need to pursue every lead and follow the evidence where it leads you. You don't assume the husband did it, then try to assemble a case against him, you make a good faith effort to reconstruct what did happen and pursue every lead. What the law professor leaves out, is that every bit of evidence will be examined and every aspect of the investigation will be deconstructed and scrutinized on the stand.

As the caselaw I posted above states, as an investigator, you are obligated to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor for discovery purposes. Failing to do so not only compromises the case, it places you in legal jeopardy if you fail to act in good faith.

Let me address the prof's core claim. If you are guilty of a crime, don't speak to the police. Agreed. However, if you did something that is potentially illegal, or potentially legal depending on certain elements you'd better make sure the cops know those elements that will vindicate you.

Let's say Miguel is walking down the street in Santa Barbara, minding his own business. Suddenly he is attacked by three thugs. Given the disparity of force and the violence of the assault on his person, Miguel uses an edged weapon against the attackers. One falls to the ground, mortally wounded, the two others flee to tend to their wounds. While the battle was engaged, a passerby calls 911 to report a "fight in progress". As patrol units roll up, the find Miguel standing over the fallen perp, weapon in hand. Miguel gets taken down at gunpoint, cuffed and stuffed in the back of the patrol car.

Quickly, the initial investigation shows that Miguel is a solid citizen with a clean record. The decedent is one Johnny Ratzo, a freshly paroled felon with a violent criminal hx that goes back to his teens. CDC has validated him as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood and his corpse is littered with prison tats.

Heeding the advice he saw on the net from a law professor, Miguel immediately "lawyers up" and says nothing but a request for an attorney. The SBPD det. that catches the case arrives on scene and examines what he has:

1. Dead Johnny Ratzo, apparently killed by edged weapon wounds.

2. Live Miguel Goodguy, in possession of a knife covered in blood who refuses to make any statement explaining how he came to be disheveled and covered in blood.

There is a minimal crime scene to be documented. Pretty much photos of the decedent and any visible blood spatter. The crime scene tech mistakenly bags Miguel's knife in a biohazard bag fearing bloodborne pathogens after seeing the badly infected track marks where Johnny Ratzo had been skin popping meth since leaving Pelican Bay.

So, the det has P.C. to arrest Miguel and because Miguel has followed the advice from the professor, the opportunity to preserve the serological/DNA evidence that would demonstrated that Miguel acted in self defense against multiple attackers is lost. Because the case appears to be so straight forward, no other investigation is needed to pursue the case.

Because of Miguel's silence, the det. never queries any database to check for known criminal associates of Johnny Ratzo. Because of that, when those two known associates drive to Bakersfield for medical treatment, and BPD gets called by the hospital to investigate two subjects with knife wounds, the is no "be on the lookout" flag attached their their names when BPD officers "run" them for wants and warrants at the hospital. Because Miguel made no statement, no one seizes the convenience store camera footage that puts Johnny Ratzo and his two associates two blocks away from the assault, 10 minutes before as they buy malt liquor and Philly blunts before the footage gets erased.

By the time Miguel gets his first face to face with his attorney, he's in county in an orange jumpsuit and all the evidence that would corroborate his self defense claim is gone. Meanwhile, the local press is abuzz with "local man charged with murder" coverage.

Sound good?

Here is the problem with defense attorneys, very few ever defend innocent people. Their bread and butter is defending Johnny Ratzo and his ilk. If Johnny Ratzo gets arrested, then nothing he says will help him, so from that perspective the advice is good. However, if you are a Miguel Goodguy, then it may well do more harm than good in a scenario like the one I illustrated above.




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SB_Mig
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« Reply #104 on: August 20, 2008, 06:09:31 PM »

GM,

Nice to hear from someone with an insider's perspective.

This video is the first time I'd ever heard anyone say "Don't talk to the police, at all." While I can see how an individual might say something that could be "perceived" as incriminating, I would like to believe that a solid defense attorney and good detective work will clarify your intentions 99% of the time. And if not, I think you have placed yourself in what Guro Crafty refers to as a "Stupid people/stupid things" type situation which might make even the most objective of individuals question your actions. In which case, sucks to be you.

Thanks for the response.

I will also try to avoid Johnny Ratzo  wink
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JDN
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« Reply #105 on: August 21, 2008, 01:42:49 PM »

Let's get this straight; Miquel Goodguy killed one (Johnny Ratzo) and wounded two others forcing them to flee.  And Miguel is covered in blood.  No witnesses to how it started, just one witnesses report, "fight in progress".  Seems to me that the Det. has PC to arrest Mr. Goodguy regardless of how he tells the story and/or the previous arrest record of the "victims". 

Talking to police MAY get him exonerated OR arrested.  And his own words might bury him later.  The "disparity of force and violence of the assault" needs to be proven and evaluated by the DA.  And hanging overhead is the potential civil action of the "sweet and innocent" bride of dear but dead Johnny Ratzo.  What was Mr. Goodguy's state of mind?  Could lethal force have been avoided?  Did he try to retreat, or did he take the attack to them?  We (the police) don't know the "facts", just Mr. Goodguy's opinion. 

I still would think Basic Rule # is to keep your mouth shut.  "I am so shook up, I just can't talk right now..." and wait until your attorney arrives is good advice.  Wait for an attorney; his job is to defend you.

As an example, most Officer Involved Shooting Protocols ask for the officer involved to give a voluntary statement immediately after the shooting.  Yet in nearly every case BEFORE giving a voluntary statement to his own police department the officer involved will "speak with their attorney PRIOR to giving a voluntary statement."  Now, if a police officer thinks an attorney is necessary BEFORE he gives a voluntary statement, I sure do!
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G M
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« Reply #106 on: August 21, 2008, 08:30:05 PM »

Let's get this straight; Miquel Goodguy killed one (Johnny Ratzo) and wounded two others forcing them to flee.  And Miguel is covered in blood.  No witnesses to how it started, just one witnesses report, "fight in progress".  Seems to me that the Det. has PC to arrest Mr. Goodguy regardless of how he tells the story and/or the previous arrest record of the "victims".

**He does have PC, however depending on state law and department policy, the Det or ranking officer on scene may well have the discretion to not arrest Miguel on the scene while the investigation takes place. Self defense is an absolute defense against a criminal charge, not a mitigating factor. It very well could be forwarded to the DA's office to determine if charges should be pursued. The DA might bring charges or convene a grand jury to examine the case to decide if there are charges to be pursued.** 

Talking to police MAY get him exonerated OR arrested. 

**Without saying a word, there is PC to arrest Miguel. In choosing to do so, he risks losing evidence that could be collected that would corroborate his claim of self defense. Lots of jurors expect that a rightious person would indeed make some sort of statement to law enforcement, especially a statement asserting self defense.**

And his own words might bury him later.  The "disparity of force and violence of the assault" needs to be proven and evaluated by the DA. 

**If there were three assailants, that's all you need for disparity of force that would justify Miguel using deadly force. There are plenty of use of force expert witnesses that can testify how three unarmed attacks can quickly overwhelm a single person and cause him/her serious bodily injury/death. Most everyone in law enforcement understands this concept**

And hanging overhead is the potential civil action of the "sweet and innocent" bride of dear but dead Johnny Ratzo. 

**Civil liability hangs over the head of everyone at all times. In self defense, the 1st problem is surviving the confrontation, the 2nd is the criminal justice system, the civil side is the least of your worries. If Miguel ends up doing time in the CDC, a civil suit from Johnny Ratzo's survivors is really the least of his problems. If Miguel were cleared on the criminal side, then it would be tougher to pursue something on the civil side. Still, that's the least of the concerns in this scenario.**

What was Mr. Goodguy's state of mind?  Could lethal force have been avoided?  Did he try to retreat, or did he take the attack to them?  We (the police) don't know the "facts", just Mr. Goodguy's opinion. 

**Once Miguel makes the assertion that he acted in self defense, then he has a due process right to that assertion being investigated as the caselaw I posted above says. The investigation pieces together facts, and with a degree of cooperation from Miguel then there is opportunity for evidence that corroborates his claim that there were multiple attackers to be found and documented.**

I still would think Basic Rule # is to keep your mouth shut.  "I am so shook up, I just can't talk right now..." and wait until your attorney arrives is good advice.  Wait for an attorney; his job is to defend you.

**Big boy rules apply. You do what you think is in your best interest. Unless you have a prior professional relationship with an attorney and a LARGE retainer, it's very unlikely he/she will be rolling to represent you minutes after a self defense incident.**

As an example, most Officer Involved Shooting Protocols ask for the officer involved to give a voluntary statement immediately after the shooting. 

**OIS policies vary from dept. to dept. Law enforcement officers have issues related to Garrity that allows the agency to compel a statement/written report that citizens don't face. My dept. requires a written report for any use of force to be completed before the end of the shift. Were I to have a similar encounter with a Johnny Ratzo while off duty, i'd make an initial statement to the responding officers to ensure that they had the evidence that would corroborate my assertion of a lawful use of force. Yes, i'd get legal representation, but i'd make an initial statement as well**

 Yet in nearly every case BEFORE giving a voluntary statement to his own police department the officer involved will "speak with their attorney PRIOR to giving a voluntary statement."  Now, if a police officer thinks an attorney is necessary BEFORE he gives a voluntary statement, I sure do!

**The point were are debating is not to have an attorney or not, but if it's good policy to never talk to the police, no matter what.**
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JDN
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« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2008, 08:48:57 AM »


**The point were are debating is not to have an attorney or not, but if it's good policy to never talk to the police, no matter what.**[/b]
[/quote]

Perhaps I was/am not clear; often there is a need and/or it is appropriate to talk to police; however I think it ONLY should be done with one's lawyer present; not in the heat of the moment when you are under extreme stress and adrenalin is out of control; people say the strangest things and it might come back to haunt you.  As you pointed out, if a shooting happened while you are on duty, you are required (unlike a normal citizen who may rightfully decline to answer) to file a report by the end of the day, yet note, even you (a trained officer of the law) are not required nor expected to say anything at the scene.  Why?  Because officers understand, your union understands that by the end of the day, you have had time to get your wits about you AND contact an attorney.  I think a normal citizen should simply do the same.
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G M
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« Reply #108 on: August 22, 2008, 09:08:18 AM »

Ok, say it's you vs. Johnny Ratzo. Now you're standing over Johnny but no passer-by has dialed 911. Are you going to call 911? What do you say to the dispatcher on the recorded line? Do you have an attorney on retainer? Will your attorney call 911 for you ?
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JDN
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« Reply #109 on: August 22, 2008, 09:45:58 AM »

First and immediately I would call 911. I would say something short like, "send an ambulance, I was attacked and someone is very badly hurt, I am located at ...." And no more.  Next, I would then call my attorney (I have enough friends who are one - no retainer necessary) and follow his/her advice. 
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G M
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« Reply #110 on: August 22, 2008, 02:33:26 PM »

Hmmmmm. That kind of sounds like making a brief statement to the police.....    evil
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JDN
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« Reply #111 on: August 22, 2008, 02:43:16 PM »

Hmmmmm. That kind of sounds like making a brief statement to the police.....    evil

Maybe  grin  hmmm

But it's a short one and I talk fast.   smiley



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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #112 on: August 29, 2008, 08:40:54 AM »

Should No-Knock Police Raids be Rare-or Routine?

POLICY FORUM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
4:00 PM (Reception To Follow)

Featuring Cheye Calvo, Mayor, Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Radley Balko, Senior Writer, Reason and author of Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, Peter Christ, Co-founder, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

 Watch the Event Live in RealVideo
Listen to the Event in RealAudio (Audio Only)

The Prince George’s County police department is under fire for a recent drug raid on the home of Berwyn Heights mayor Cheye Calvo. Unbeknownst to Calvo, a box containing marijuana was delivered to his home. Shortly thereafter, police officers kicked in the front door and shot both of Calvo’s pet Labrador retrievers. The police have subsequently cleared Calvo of any wrongdoing but are unapologetic about their raid tactics. Are no-knock, paramilitary raids an appropriate tactic for drug investigations? Or do sudden, unannounced entries bring unnecessary violence to police investigations? Join us for a discussion of the Prince George’s incident and, more broadly, the militarization of police work in America.

Cato events, unless otherwise noted, are free of charge. To register for this event, please fill out the form below and click submit or email events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by 4:00 PM, Wednesday, September 10, 2008. Please arrive early. Seating is limited and not guaranteed. News media inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789-5200.

If you can't make it to the Cato Institute, watch this forum live online.

http://cato.org/event.php?eventid=5268
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maija
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« Reply #113 on: September 16, 2008, 06:33:24 PM »

Here is the link to the Law Enforcement - Military Trainers issue of the FMA Digest just out:
Acrobat Reader – Printable:
http://www.fmadigest.com/Issues/special-editions/2008/Special-Edition_FMA-LawEnforcement-MilitaryTrainersII.pdf

Contains articles from trainers that use FMA when teaching LEO and Military.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: November 06, 2008, 06:51:07 AM »

New study ranks risks of injury from 5 major force options



   
How would you rank the relative risk for officers and suspects suffering injury from these 5 force options:

• Empty-hand control techniques
• Baton
• OC spray
• Conducted energy weapons (Tasers)
• Lateral vascular neck restraint.

If you judged OC to be the ³safest² and baton to be ³most injurious² to both officers and offenders, you¹re in agreement with the findings of a new study of force encounters involving officers on a major municipal department.

The study, the first of its kind in Canada, was conducted by S/Sgt. Chris Butler of the Calgary (Alberta) Police Service and Dr. Christine Hall of the Canadian Police Research Center.

They analyzed 562 use-of-force events that occurred across a recent 2-year period as officers effected the arrests of resistant subjects in Calgary, a city of more than 1 million population. The threatened or actual use of firearms were omitted from the review, as were handcuffing, low-level pain compliance techniques like joint locks and pressure points, K-9s, and tactical responses such as chemical agents, flashbangs and less-lethal projectiles.

Here¹s what they discovered:

• OC, used in roughly 5% of force-involved arrests, produced the lowest rate of injury. More than 80% of sprayed subjects sustained no injury whatever. About 15% had only minor injuries (³visible injuries of a trifling nature which did not require medical treatment²) and some 4% had what the researchers termed ³minor outpatient² injuries (some medical treatment required but not hospitalization). No cases resulted in hospitalization or were fatal.

Officers involved in OC use fared even better. They suffered no injury in nearly 89% of cases and only minor damage the rest of the time.

The pepper spray involved was Sabre Red, with 10% oleoresin capsicum.

• Batons, deployed in 5.5% of force-involved arrests, caused the greatest rate of higher-level injury. Fewer than 39% of subjects receiving baton contact remained uninjured. More than 3% were hospitalized and nearly 26% required outpatient treatment, combining to be ³most injurious,² according to the researchers. About 32% of batoned subjects sustained minor injuries requiring no treatment.

Of officers involved in baton incidents, nearly 13% required outpatient treatment. Some 16% sustained minor injury and the rest were uninjured.

In Calgary, the baton used is the Monadnock Autolock expandable with power safety tip.

• Empty-hand controls, applied in 38.5% of the force events, also ranked high for more serious injuries. For purposes of the study, physical controls included ³nerve motor point striking and stunning techniques, grounding techniques such as arm-bar takedowns, and other balance displacement methods.²

Nearly 14% of these subjects required outpatient medical care and about 4% had to be hospitalized. Almost 50% had minor injuries and about 33% remained uninjured.

Among officers, 1% required hospitalization and 4.5% needed outpatient aid. The vast majority (77.8%) were uninjured and nearly 17% had minor injuries.

Judging from these findings, the researchers conclude, agencies need ³to seek out alternatives to hands-on physical control tactics and the baton if they wish to reduce the frequency and seriousness of citizen and police officer injuries.²

• The second safest force mode for suspects proved to be the lateral vascular neck restraint. Used in 3% of force-related arrests, the LVNR left more than half (52.9%) of offenders uninjured. About 41% sustained minor injuries and less than 6% required minor outpatient treatment. There were no hospitalizations and no fatalities.

Officers applying a LVNR remained uninjured more than 76% of the time and those who were hurt suffered only minor injuries.

• Conducted energy weapons also scored high in safety for both suspects and officers. The Taser X26, the CEW issued to Calgary officers, was the most frequently deployed of the 5 force options studied, being used against nearly half (48.2%) of resistant arrestees. About 1% ended up hospitalized, about 12% needed minor outpatient treatment and more than 42% had only minor injuries. Nearly 45% sustained no injuries and there were 0 fatalities.

Of officers using Tasers, about 83% were uninjured and about 13% sustained minor injuries. Only about 2% and 1% required outpatient medical attention or hospitalization respectively.

³The commonly held belief² that CEWs carry ³a significant risk of injury or deathŠis not supported by the data.² Indeed, they are ³less injurious than either the baton or empty-hand physical control,² which often would be alternative options where electronic weapons were not available.

In a 14-page report of their study, Butler and Hall point out that ³[N]o use of force technique available to police officers can be considered Œsafe¹ ² in the dictionary sense that it is free from harm or secure from threat of danger. ³[E]very use of force encounter between the police and a citizen carries with it the possibility for injury for one or all of the participants, however unexpected that injury might be.²

The best that can be hoped for is an appropriate, proportional balance between ³the degree of risk of harm² and the ³resistance faced by police² that requires the use of force.

The public has been fed ³a large amount ofŠincomplete or incorrect information and even intentional artifice² about some force options, the researchers charge. Their study, they say, may help eliminate the resulting confusion. Plus, knowing the level of injury likely to result from a given force method can aid trainers and administrators in developing ³sound policies and practices.²

³This study is a great snapshot about force and its associated injuries and is a valuable addition to the discussion of force issues in Canada and elsewhere,² says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

³Hopefully, the researchers will now be encouraged to probe further into some of the issues they touched on, exploring in greater depth the decision-making that led officers to apply various types of force, the level of emotional and physical intensity generated by subjects receiving the force, the causes of injuries to both officers and subjects, and so on. There is still much to be learned in these areas.²

As part of their study, Hall and Butler compiled statistics on the broad overview of force encounters among Calgary officers, which closely mirror findings regarding U.S. law enforcement.

For instance:

• Out of more than 827,000 police-public interactions, the 562 instances which ended up involving use of force represented less than 1% (.07%) of the total. (Other studies have pegged that figure in the U.S. at 1.5%.)

• Arrests occurred in only 4.6% of police-public interactions, and 98.5% of the time the arrests were finessed without force.

• Roughly 88% of all subjects requiring force were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or ³some degree of emotional illness.² Almost 94% of resistant offenders requiring force were male.

• The researchers found ³a notable pattern of relationshipŠbetween the number of officers present and the frequency and nature of injuries sustained by both citizens and officers.² Namely: ³[M]ore injuries occurred in circumstances where only one officer was present.²

The researchers state bluntly that ³biased reporting of events has led the lay-public to have the impression that the police use of force is frequent when compared to the overall number of police and public interactions.²

They mentioned also a bias that results in ³extensive media coverage of events where subjects have died² after use of a CEW and a ³lack of publication of CEW uses without an adverse outcome.²

Such skewed reporting ³prevents the publicŠfrom forming an informed opinion about the actual risk presented² by various force modalities, they stated.

The study¹s official jaw-breaking title is: ³Public-Police Interaction and Its Relation to Arrest and Use of Force by Police and Resulting Injuries to Subjects and Officers; a Description of Risk in One Major Canadian Urban City.² It is expected to be posted online in mid- to late-August by the Canadian Police Research Center at www.cprc.org

S/Sgt. Butler can be reached at chris.butler@calgarypolice.ca.
 
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« Reply #115 on: November 06, 2008, 08:13:06 AM »

You are welcome to forward this e-mail; please encourage your colleagues to sign up for periodic mailings at http://www.aele.org/e-signup.html
 
1. The November 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:
 
* Police Civil Liability
Civil Liability for the Use of Handcuffs
Part II - Use of Force Against Handcuffed Persons
 
Part two discusses cases where force was used on a handcuffed prisoner. http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ101.html
 
* Discipline and Employment Law
"On-Call Duty"
 
Officers and firefighters who are on-call must wear a pager or mobile phone, and may be required to report for duty, fully sober, in less than an hour. Is that compensable duty time? http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ201.html
 
* Corrections Law
Staff Use of Force Against Prisoners
Part III: Use of Chemical Weapons
 
Courts have generally upheld the use of chemical weapons in prison riot or disturbance circumstances, but have also clearly indicated that some uses can lead to liability. http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ301.html
 
2. The November 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The current issues, back issues since 2000 and three 30+ year case summaries are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications without charge.
 
The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Take advantage of our free search engine. The database is more than 25,000 case summaries in police liability, jail & prison legal issues, and discipline & employment law.
 
Among 100+ different cases noted in this month's periodicals, several that warrant mention:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***
 
* Tasers
 
Federal appeals court upholds multiple uses of Taser against a handcuffed motorist who refused to comply with instructions to stand up and walk to an officer's car. Buckley v. Haddock, #07-10988, 2008 WL 4140297, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 19482 (Unpub. 11th Cir.). http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/unpub/ops/200710988.pdf
 
* Firearms
 
A police officer's decision to fatally shoot a man threatening grocery store clerks with a knife was reasonable.
 
The officers attempted to use non-lethal force to subdue him, but he continued to resist. Gregory v. Zumult, #07-1282, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 20551 (Unpub. 4th Cir.). http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/071282.U.pdf
 
*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***
 
* Hairstyle Regulations
 
The New Jersey Dept. of Corrections' training academy's no-facial hair policy was neutral and only incidentally burdened religion. It was rationally related to compliance with federal and state health regulations concerning the use of respirator masks and a concern about the esprit de corps, which comes from uniformity of appearance.
 
Management did not violate the rights of a Muslim trainee who was removed from the training program when he failed, on three separate occasions, to keep his beard within parameters that were allowed to him as an accommodation of his religion. Valdes v. New Jersey, #07-2971, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17380 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.). http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/072971np.pdf
 
* Retaliatory Personnel Action
 
Seventh Circuit rejects an action brought by a jailer who claimed that she was fired in retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint. She unlawfully tape-recorded her meeting with her superiors. "Title VII does not grant employees license to engage in dubious self-help activities to obtain evidence." Argyropoulos v. City of Alton, #07-1903, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18330 (7th Cir.).  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/7th/071903p.pdf
 
*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***
 
* Religion
 
The record failed to show how a prison's limit of ten books in a prisoner's cell furthered safety and security interests. The appeals court ordered further proceedings on the prisoner's lawsuit, challenging the removal of 57 books, including the Koran. Warren v. Pennsylvania, #07-3011, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17395 (Unpub. 3rd Cir.). http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/073011np.pdf
 
* Strip Searches: Inmates
 
Pre-trial detainees, who were subjected to strip searches as part of the process before being placed into the general jail population, did not suffer a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, despite the lack of an individualized finding of reasonable suspicion that each of them was concealing weapons, drugs, or other contraband.
 
The appeals court observed that the U.S. Supreme Court has never imposed such a requirement for strip-searching arrestees bound for the general jail population. Powell v. Barrett, #0516734, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18907 (11th Cir.). http://caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/circs/11th/0516734pv1.pdf
 
3. *** Interrogation ***

In a 21-page document, the Defense Dept. revised its policy on intelligence interrogations, detainee debriefings and tactical questioning. DoD Directive 3115.09 (9 Oct. 2008). Among other things, it limits the role of psychologists advising interrogators. "Behavioral science consultants may not be used to determine detainee phobias for the purpose of exploitation during the interrogation process."
http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/d3115_09.pdf
 

4. *** Articles in other publications ***
 
* Dept. of Justice - C.O.P.S.
"Combat Deployment and the Returning Police Officer" http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=471.
 
* FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Aug. 2008.
"Speech and the Public Employee"
http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/publications/leb/2008/august08leb.pdf
 
* Police Chief, Aug. 2008
"When Does an Employer's Search of Employee Work Areas Violate Privacy Rights?" http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1568&issue_id=82008
 
Conducting research? Learn how to navigate AELE's online library of 26,000+ case digests and 300+ periodicals. http://www.aele.org/navigate.pdf
 

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« Reply #116 on: January 14, 2009, 07:50:55 AM »

One of the most dangerous positions a suspect can assume on the ground is prone with his hands tucked under his body, either at chest or waist level. What's hidden in those hands? And if it's a gun, how fast can he twist and shoot if you're approaching him?
This month [1/09], the Force Science Research Center, in cooperation with Indiana University and the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, will launch the first study of its kind in an effort to clearly define your risk and, hopefully, identify your best approach tactics in dealing with this common street problem.

The results may also help explain to civilians why officers sometimes react with what may seem like exceptional violence when trying to control a downed offender whose hands are concealed beneath him.

"When a prone suspect resists showing his hands when an officer orders him to or attempts to pry them out, officers become very suspicious and fearful about what his motive is. And justifiably so," says FSRC's executive director, Dr. Bill Lewinski. "FBI research has shown that suspects with concealed weapons most often carry them to the front of their bodies. So, when prone, they may have easy access to a weapon or already be holding one.

"Until the hands are controlled, officers are very vulnerable in this circumstance, and they often use a fairly high level of force to gain control of the hands because of their concern. They may deliver strikes with batons or flashlights that to naive civilians watching a video clip on TV may look like malicious outbreaks of rage and vindictiveness."

Since its beginning more than 4 years ago, FSRC has conducted a series of ground-breaking time-and-motion studies, documenting the amazing speed with which suspects can attack from a variety of positions--turning and shooting while running, drawing and shooting while seated in a vehicle, and so on.

"The prone study is an important extension of this sequence," Lewinski explains, "and is expected to further pinpoint the formidable reactionary curve that officers are behind when attempting to prevent or respond to potentially lethal assaults."
Several months ago Lewinski conducted some rough preliminary testing on prone action times at the FSRC lab at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Role-playing a prone, armed offender with hands tucked under his body, he repeatedly turned to present and fire a gun as if shooting at a contact officer approaching him from the feet or side. A time-coded video camera recorded his movements. (Click here to view a brief video from the pilot study.)

The average time it took him to make his threatening moves was "about one-third of a second," Lewinski says. "This speed would likely be faster than an average cover officer could react and shoot to stop the threat, even if the officer had his gun pointed, his finger on the trigger, and had already made the decision to shoot. In other words, the officer would stand little chance of being able to shoot first."

This convinced Lewinski that the subject was worth a much more in-depth investigation.

The core research will begin Jan. 5 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, with the assistance there of Erik Walters, public safety training technician.

Four cameras positioned at different angles will film 7 volunteer role-players with different body types moving in a variety of ways to present a gun from under their body and shoot at an approaching officer. "The subjects will be young--reflecting the age demographics of offenders most likely to assault police officers--and agile," Lewinski says. "Agility may play more of a role with suspects who are prone than with those in other shooting postures."

Three of the cameras will be high-speed video units purchased by NWTC with a State of Wisconsin grant to assist with FSRC research. Walters used one of these to record the preliminary tests at Mankato.
The fourth camera is a sophisticated SportsCam, used by high-level athletics coaches and researchers in biomechanics, recently purchased by the Ergonomics Laboratory at Indiana University in Bloomington. This unit can film in color at speeds up to 500 frames per second.

FSRC learned of this equipment through a graduate student, Madeleine Gonin, originally from South Africa, who works in the IU Ergonomics Lab and is pursuing a PhD in human performance and ergonomics. Her master's, however, is in safety management, with a focus on workplace violence. "There's a high level of crime in South Africa, and I want to help find strategies for reducing it," she told Force Science News.

An accomplished martial artist, she became an instructor in the Rape Aggression Defense system after arriving on campus, and through that involvement developed friendships with IU campus police and officers with Bloomington P.D.
As a subject for her PhD dissertation, "I was looking for a program that fitted in with violence prevention," she says. "Some of the officers I knew suggested I get in touch with the Force Science Research Center." She hopes to base her dissertation on the prone action-time research.

Gonin will be in Green Bay, along with Charles Pearce, project director at the IU Ergonomics Lab. To supplement what's filmed there, they will photograph more subjects making more threatening movements on the Indiana campus, using student volunteers, including participants in a cadet program run by the university police department.

Using the Lab's advanced technology, under supervision of director Dr. John Shea, a professor in IU's Department of Kinesiology and Gonin's academic advisor, the researchers intend to convert the photographic images into animated figures.

With cutting-edge software and a link to an immense databank of human forms, they can adjust the figures to as many different height, weight, and strength specifications as they like, and measure the movement times of each in the various action patterns.
"Without a doubt," says Lewinski, "this will be the most thorough and complex analysis of human movement ever performed for law enforcement research."

The initial goal is to nail down action times precisely--just how fast can a prone suspect present a deadly threat. "People tend to underestimate how quickly a human being can actually move," says Gonin. "They also tend to underestimate how slowly officers react when they are under stress and narrowly focused."

Beyond those measurements, the researchers will also be searching for early indicators that could telegraph that a suspect is initiating a dangerous movement. Ideally, this analysis will identify certain cues officers could watch for in prone-suspect situations. "We don't know if we'll be able to find these cues, but we're going to look for them," Lewinski says.

And finally, there may be findings that could affect training and tactics. Does approaching straight-on from a prone suspect's feet, for example, offer the best protective edge against sudden threatening movement, as Lewinski suspects may be the case?

Lewinski estimates it will be a year or more before a final analysis is available, but IU's involvement in the project represents an important breakthrough beyond the critical street knowledge that may result.

"One of our major goals at Force Science is to stimulate interest at universities and other influential institutions in doing research that is of value to line officers," he says. "There has been a huge hole in research into issues that can help street officers perform with improved skill and safety. This is a step toward filling that gap. What a great way to start the New Year!"
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« Reply #117 on: January 17, 2009, 10:01:36 AM »

   
I. Should officers see video of their encounters? Force Science states its case

Some months ago, officers responded to a single-car accident on a freeway in a major midwestern city. As they tried to tend to and question the driver, he became unruly and earned himself a Tasering. Later, he died. As customary in that jurisdiction, a state investigative agency took over the death investigation.

And that surfaced a nettlesome conflict.

As part of the report-writing process, the officers' department traditionally permits its personnel to view video from arrest scenes, and it saw no reason that the officers involved shouldn't see recordings of the Tasering before they were interviewed, to stimulate their memories of what occurred. The investigating agency, however, felt strongly that the videos from dash-cams and the Taser should not be seen prior to the officers giving their official statements, lest the viewing color their recollections.

Reports of the controversy motivated a consortium of agencies in Minnesota to probe more deeply into the question that departments large and small throughout the country potentially face: In a major use-of-force situation, which position best contributes to a fair, impartial, and comprehensive investigation?

To see what science might say, the group turned to Dr. Bill Lewinski, director of the Force Science Institute, parent entity of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

In a first-of-its-kind presentation earlier this month [1/09] in St. Paul, Lewinski spent more than 2 hours exploring the pros and cons of the subject, culminating in recommendations that agencies confronting the dilemma may find useful. In the audience were representatives of 9 of Minnesota's largest law enforcement organizations.

MEMORY REALITIES

In St. Paul, Lewinski first reviewed some realities of human memory, as determined by scientific research, including experiments conducted with LEOs by FSRC.

"After a high-stress experience, such as a major force confrontation, an officer's memory of what happened is likely to be fragmentary at best," he explained. "An incident is never completely recorded in memory."

At various times during an incident, the focus of an officer's attention may shift between internal thoughts and concerns to external stimuli, and where his focus is at any given moment will unavoidably influence what he remembers.

"A person's attention is an extremely significant factor in determining what that person perceives and then remembers," Lewinski said. "It would be extremely rare, if not impossible, for an officer involved in a fluid, complex, dynamic, and life-threatening encounter to remember peripheral details beyond that on which he or she was focused.

"The average person will actually miss a large amount of what happened in a stressful event and, of course, will be completely unaware of what they did not pay attention to and commit to memory."

Compounding the problem, a participant or witness "may unintentionally add information in their report that was not actually part of the original incident," Lewinski explained--not in a plot to deceive, necessarily, but in a humanly instinctive effort to fill in frustrating memory gaps.

"Memory is not neatly stored in a single compact file in our brain but is stored in chunks in a variety of neural networks," Lewinski said. "Given this, a variety of stimuli may be necessary to mine the fragments thoroughly."

Cognitive interviewing, which encourages an officer to relive an event with all his senses, can be a highly effective tool. So can a walk-through at the scene and/or review of a video of the action, because these "place the officer back within the context of the incident and thus stimulate his 'recognition recall.'

"An officer's version of an incident will vary, depending on whether his statement is taken before, after, or without a walk-through or a viewing of a videotape of the incident."

Even with the help of stimulation strategies, Lewinski cautioned, there will still be inevitable memory errors, particularly when an officer attempts to recall "information that was on the periphery of his attention during the incident, even if that information later turns out to be very important."

VIDEO LIMITATIONS

Seeing on-scene video, while usually helpful in stimulating an officer's memory, is no panacea, Lewinski stressed.

"A video recording is often considered a thorough and accurate record of the incident because it is rich with information, objective, and unbiased. However, video recordings, regardless of how good the lighting and quality of filming, are never a completely accurate reproduction of any incident."

Among the limitations Lewinski cited:


• "Video cameras generally record only a portion of an incident and are bereft of the context of the event";
• "Video is a 2-dimensional representation of an incident from a particular perspective and tends to distort distance and other associated with depth of field";

• "Generally video does not faithfully record light levels and does not represent what a human being in the incident would perceive";

• "A video does not present the incident as viewed through the officer's eyes";

• "Video cameras recording at less than 10 frames per second can leave out significant aspects of an incident that occur at speeds faster than that."

Despite these limitations, in Lewinski's view, an officer seeing any available video recordings is vital in many cases, if a comprehensive mining of the officer's memory is the goal.

TIMING

A debatable factor is timing.

A "raw" statement taken from an officer without his viewing any video of the incident or experiencing other memory enhancers (like a walk-through) "may be a good record of his 'state of mind' before, during, and after the confrontation," Lewinski said, "but it may not be a thorough, factual representation of what happened."

Indeed, it could be "viewed more as a memory test with potential disciplinary and criminal consequences than a pursuit of the facts of the incident," he said. "Internal Affairs investigators, criminal prosecutors, and plaintiffs' attorneys exploit discrepancies in reports between participants and witnesses, and they can do the same when there is a discrepancy between the officer's report and a videotape.

"The most enriched, complete, and factually accurate version of a high-stress encounter is most likely to occur after a walk-through and/or after the officer has had at least one opportunity to view an available video of the incident."

Ideally, Lewinski believes, a video review should be permitted before an involved officer gives his official statement.

Currently, however, some departments and prosecutors are insistent on obtaining a "pure" statement to document an officer's state of mind regarding the encounter as it evolved, before other stimuli, particularly a video review, are introduced.

Consequently, Lewinski proposed a compromise "middle-of-the-road" position, which at least assures that a video review becomes part of any force investigation early in the game.

COMPROMISE RECOMMENDATION

If an agency is adamant about not showing an officer video prior to a statement being taken, Lewinski suggested that a video review be allowed soon after the interview and that the officer then be re-interviewed or given a chance to write an additional report at that time.

"This offers the officer a chance to comment on what he now understands about the incident compared to what he may have said in his original statement," Lewinski told Force Science News. "This is not perfect, but it does offer a chance for additional mining of the officer's memory and it is far better than having the officer 'ambushed' with the video much later, not having seen it at all.

"Where discrepancies exist, investigators need to be knowledgeable and sensitive enough, in the absence of other incriminating evidence, to explain to the officer, the administration, and the public how an officer's perception of an incident can be vastly different from what's seen on a video recording and still be legitimate."

Whether the video is shown before or after the statement, it is important to "caution the officer on the limited accuracy of video recordings," Lewinski told the group. "An officer who is unaware of the limitations and uncertain about the accuracy of his own memory may be influenced to change an otherwise accurate report."

Lewinski also warned that "officers who have been through an extremely emotionally distressing incident may find a walk-through, a viewing of the video, and the giving of a statement to be too difficult to handle unless they have had some time to decompress." (In previous transmissions, experts quoted in Force Science News have recommended that officers be allowed to rest for up to 48 hours after a critical incident before submitting to extensive interviewing.)

Lewinski told FSN that the representatives at the St. Paul meeting do not intend to formulate a joint policy on the video issue. Rather, they planned to individually evaluate their department's position in light of his information and to help in spreading the word to other agencies.

As a part of his presentation, Lewinski included film clips and other materials from the Institute's popular certification course on Force Science Analysis. During this unique 5-day training program, investigators learn how to assess controversial force encounters with scientific principles of biology, physiology, and psychology in mind, to gain a more accurate picture of the dynamics involved.
 
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« Reply #118 on: January 21, 2009, 06:29:55 PM »

In 2008, 37 articles appeared in the AELE Monthly Law Journal; these were the most popular:
 
Jan. 2008: Civil Liability for Use of Deadly Force: Supervisory Liability
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-1MLJ101.html
 
Apr. 2008: Investigative Detention of Employees: Criminal Interviews
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-4MLJ201.html
 
May 2008: Long v. Honolulu Police Sharpshooter Decision
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-5MLJ501.html
 
Aug. 2008: Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings:
Officer Statements and Use of Force Reports (Viewed 9,752 times!)
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-8MLJ201.html
 
Nov. 2008: Staff Use of Force Against Prisoners: Chemical Weapons
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ301.html
 
Nov. 2008: Civil Liability: Use of Force Against Handcuffed Persons
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-11MLJ101.html
 
Dec. 2008: Restraint Ties and Asphyxia 
http://www.aele.org/law/2008ALL12/2008-12MLJ101.pdf
 
The list of all articles published in 2007 and 2008 is here:
http://www.aele.org/law/MLJTopics.html
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« Reply #119 on: January 24, 2009, 11:34:13 AM »

Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery
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Digg Facebook Newsvine del.icio.us Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print Fri Jan 23, 10:55 am ETLAGOS (Reuters) – Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

(Reporting by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Katie Nguyen)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090123/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_nigeria_robbery_goat;_ylt=Aspdod2Pkrg1xUA3qgiL5nXtiBIF

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« Reply #120 on: January 27, 2009, 11:47:29 AM »

Teen Impersonator Completes Shift with Real Officer Before Being Discovered
7,206 Views 272 Comments Share Flag as inappropriate  Chicago Tribune via YellowBrix

January 26, 2009

CHICAGO – Chicago police arrested a 14-year-old boy for allegedly impersonating one of their own Saturday.

The boy, who has been charged as a juvenile for impersonating an officer, walked into the Grand Crossing District station, 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave., dressed in a Chicago police uniform, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The boy, who reported for duty about 1:30 p.m., partnered with another police officer for about five hours.

The boy identified himself as an officer from another district but was detailed for the day to Grand Crossing and also was savvy enough to sign out a police radio and a ticket book, according to a source. The source also said the boy went on traffic stops with the officer he went on the street with.

Bond said the boy “did not write tickets” and said there was “no information to indicate that he [was] ever behind the wheel.”

At an afternoon news conference, police said the boy had no interaction with the public.

After his tour was over, a ranking officer became suspicious of the boy. Police said the officer discovered the teen was not a real police officer when he couldn’t produce any credentials. The boy was wearing police-issued pants, shirt, vest, sweater and skull cap, police said.  He was missing his police star, but that was not discovered until after he returned from traffic patrol. Police said the 14-year-old’s partner on the traffic assignment did not recognize the boy was underage. The source said the boy had an empty holster and a newspaper in place of a ballistic vest in his vest carrier.  Police described the boy as a former “police explorer,” which means he was part of a community program run through the Police Department’s Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) that allows youths to interact with Chicago police officers. He was part of the explorer program in 2008 in the Englewood District.

“The boy was not armed, and the matter is under investigation with Internal Affairs,” Bond said.

Bond also said that how the boy acquired the police uniform was under investigation. Police officers need to present identification while acquiring their uniforms, police said.

The boy “has identified an egregious breach in security,” Deputy Supt. of Patrol Dan Dugan said.

The boy, whom authorities did not identify since he’s a juvenile, is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court at 10 a.m. Monday.

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« Reply #121 on: January 27, 2009, 11:58:38 AM »

Wow....   shocked
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« Reply #122 on: February 02, 2009, 12:27:34 PM »

 SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AP IMPACT: SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud (AP)

Posted on Mon Feb 2, 2009 2:00AM EST

- Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.

The scene of mayhem and carnage the officers expected was nowhere to be found. Neither the Bateses nor the officers knew that they were pawns in a dangerous game being played 1,200 miles away by a teenager bent on terrifying a random family of strangers.

They were victims of a new kind of telephone fraud that exploits a weakness in the way the 911 system handles calls from Internet-based phone services. The attacks — called "swatting" because armed police SWAT teams usually respond — are virtually unstoppable, and an Associated Press investigation found that budget-strapped 911 centers are essentially defenseless without an overhaul of their computer systems.

The AP examined hundreds of pages of court documents and law-enforcement transcripts, listened to audio of "swatting" calls, and interviewed two dozen security experts, investigators, defense lawyers, victims and perpetrators.
While Doug and Stacey Bates were cuffed on the ground that night in March 2007, 18-year-old Randal Ellis, living with his parents in Mukilteo, Wash., was nearly finished with the 27-minute yarn about a drug-fueled murder that brought the Orange County Sheriff's Department SWAT team to the Bateses' home.

In a grisly sounding call to 911, Ellis was putting an Internet-based phone service for the hearing-impaired to nefarious use. By entering bogus information about his location, Ellis was able to make it seem to the 911 operator as if he was calling from inside the Bateses' home. He said he was high on drugs and had just shot his sister.

According to prosecutors, Ellis picked the Bates family at random, as he did with all of the 185 calls investigators say he made to 911 operators around the country.

"If I would have had a gun in my hand, I probably would have been shot," said Doug Bates, 38. Last March, Ellis was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts, including computer access and fraud, false imprisonment by violence and falsely reporting a crime.

In a separate, multistate case prosecuted by federal authorities in Dallas, eight people were charged with orchestrating up to 300 "swatting" calls to victims they met on telephone party chat lines. The three ringleaders were each sentenced to five years in prison. Two others were sentenced to 2 1/2 years. One defendant pleaded guilty last week and could get a 13-year sentence. The remaining two are set to go on trial in February.

A similar case was reported in Salinas, Calif., where officers surrounded an apartment where a call had come in claiming men with assault rifles were trying to break in. In Hiawatha, Iowa, fake calls about a workplace shooting included realistic gunshot sounds and moaning in the background.

In November, a teenage hacker from Worcester, Mass., pleaded guilty to a five-month swatting spree including a bomb threat and report of an armed gunman that caused two schools to be evacuated.

Many times, however, swats don't get fully investigated or reported.
Orange County Sheriff's detective Brian Sims spent weeks serving search warrants on Internet providers before he identified Ellis through his numeric computer identifier, known as an IP address.
Law enforcement hopes lengthy prison terms will deter would-be swatters. Technology alone isn't enough to stop the crimes.

Unlike calls that come from landline phones, which are registered to a fixed physical address and display that on 911 dispatchers' screens, calls coming from people's computers, or even calls from landline or cell phones that are routed through spoofing services, could appear to be originating from anywhere.

Scores of Caller ID spoofing services have sprung up, offering to disguise callers' origins for a fee. All anybody needs to do is pony up for a certain number of minutes, punch in a PIN code and specify whom they're calling and what they'd like the Caller ID to display.

Spoofing Caller ID is perfectly legal. Legitimate businesses use the technology to project a single callback number for an entire office, or to let executives working from home cloak their home numbers when making outgoing calls.

At the same time, criminals have latched onto the technique to get revenge on rivals or get their kicks by harassing strangers.
"We're not able to cope with this very well," said Roger Hixson, technical issues director for the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 system's industry group. "We're just hoping this doesn't become a widespread hobby."

The 911 system was built on the idea it could trust the information it was receiving from callers. Upgrading the system to accommodate new technologies can be a huge task.

Gary Allen, editor of Dispatch Monthly, a Berkeley, Calif.-based magazine focused on public-safety communications centers, said dispatchers are "totally at the mercy of the people who call" and the fact they don't have technology to identify which incoming calls are from Internet-based sources.

Allen said upgrading the communications centers' computers to flash an Internet caller's IP address could be helpful in thwarting fraudulent calls. He said an even simpler fix, tweaking the computers to identify calls from Internet telephone services and flash the name of the service provider to dispatchers, can cost under $5,000, but is usually still too costly for many communications centers.

But because this style of fraudulent calls is so new, and many emergency-dispatch centers receive few Internet calls in the first place, those upgrades are not frequently done.

Swatting calls place an immense strain on responding departments. The Orange County Sheriff's Department deployed about 30 people to the Bateses' home, including a SWAT team, a helicopter and K-9 units. It cost the department $14,700.

They take their toll on victims, too.
Tony Messina, a construction worker from Salina, N.Y., was swatted three times by the gang broken up by the federal authorities in Dallas. He was even arrested as the result of one call, because authorities found weapons he wasn't supposed to have while they were searching the house.

Messina had made some enemies on a party line he frequented to flirt with women. Some guys disliked him and out of jealousy, he says, they started swatting him.
The first time, he was home alone with his two poodles when officers swarmed his backyard at 6 a.m. According to Messina, the callers said he had "killed a hooker and sliced her ear to ear, blood all over the place, I'm doing drugs and if you police come over here I'm going to kill you, too." After a few hours at the police station, he was let go.

Two weeks later, he was detained outside his house. A month later, he was in bed watching TV when he saw someone with a flashlight at his window. He went outside and was handcuffed while deputies searched his house and car.

Messina had been told to call 911 himself if the swatting calls happened again, and when the deputies realized it was another fraudulent call, Messina was let go. He said he suffered bruised ribs that kept him out of work for a month and a half.

Investigators say swatters are usually motivated by a mixture of ego and malice, a desire for revenge and domination over rivals.

Jason Trowbridge, one of the defendants currently serving a five-year sentence, told the AP in a series of letters from prison that the attacks started with the standard fare of prank callers — sending pizzas and locksmiths to victims' homes — escalated to shutting the power and water off and eventually led to swatting.

"Nobody ever thought anyone would get hurt or die from a SWAT call," he said.
___ Associated Press researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York contributed to this report.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200902...ec911_swatting
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« Reply #123 on: February 02, 2009, 02:51:54 PM »

Second post of the day

I. "Excessive force" study gravely flawed, says Force Science Research Center

Strong skepticism has been expressed by the Force Science Research Center regarding a recently publicized survey showing that a high percentage of emergency room doctors believe they see evidence of police brutality in the patients they treat.

The poll, published in Emergency Medicine Journal, reports that 99.8% of ER physicians responding to a random-sample survey believe that excessive use of force by police "actually occurs" and that 97.8% say they have managed patients they suspect were victims of excessive force.

The survey, conducted by a research team of 6 MDs, including faculty members at some of the nation's leading medical schools, has received coverage in a wide variety of professional publications, as well as the mass media, under headlines such as: "Excessive Police Violence Evident in Emergency Room Cases, U.S. Docs Say." A description of the report and directions for purchasing a full copy can be accessed by clicking here.

If you are confronted with this study in dialog with civilians or challenged with it in a courtroom, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato, argues emphatically that there are more than adequate grounds for countering it.
"The survey's methods appear to conform to academic standards," Lewinski told Force Science News, "but the results are meaningless. It's impossible for ER physicians to know the context of injuries just by looking at them. The nature of an injury is totally unrelated to the justification for the level of force responsible for it.

"In essence, this survey is of little use or benefit to society, and it tends to malign law enforcement unjustly and unscientifically."
The researchers' findings were based on mailed responses from 315 full-time academic ER doctors associated with emergency medicine residency training programs in the U.S. The vast majority were Caucasian males between 30-50 years old, board-certified in emergency medicine, practicing in cities of 250,000 to more than 1,000,000 population, and affiliated with university, community, or public teaching hospitals.

The 97.8% who believe they have treated victims of police brutality made this determination based on their own suspicions or on what they were told by the patients themselves, the study states. About 65% said they recognized 2 or more cases of "suspected excessive use of force per year." Some 7% believe excessive force occurs "often" or "very often," while only a tiny fraction of 1% (0.2%) believe it never occurs.

As to the types of excesses suspected, 95.5% of the responders cited "blunt trauma," 95.2% "fists and feet," 73.1% "handcuffs too tight," 48.6% "night sticks," and 26.9% "flashlights." In short, the researchers conclude, "The suspicion of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers is clearly an issue encountered" by emergency room physicians.

The very last line of study report acknowledges what Lewinski points out is the "fatal flaw" of this research. The survey questions, the authors concede, "asked respondents to make a subjective judgment, most often without objective evidence; as such, this study reflects EPs' [emergency physicians'] perceptions of events rather than what actually happened."

This is the limitation, Lewinski says, that renders the study meaningless.

"First of all," he notes, "relying on suspects to accurately report whether they have experienced excessive force or not is absurd. In the 40 years I have been involved with law enforcement, I've never known a suspect who was injured by police to say, 'Oh, yes, I received just the right amount of force that was necessary to control my resistance.'

"Moreover, one has to ask what else the surveyed physicians were basing their suspicions on. Other than what a patient or an officer says, a doctor in the ER has no knowledge of the context in which force was used or how it relates to policy, procedure, training, or the law. "Depending on the circumstances, police can use force that results in injuries up to and including death and not have that force considered by law to be excessive. A doctor who's unfamiliar with all the elements involved simply can't use the extent or nature of injury as a basis for judging whether force was appropriate.

"It is fair to say that most ER physicians have never ridden in a squad car and seen first-hand the kinds of force situations officers are thrust into. Most have no information or training on what constitutes excessive force. Yet in their responses to this survey, they are making judgments on a professional activity they really know nothing about.

"That's ironic when you consider how sensitive doctors are as a group to any outsiders second-guessing their professional decisions!
"All this study really tells us is that ER physicians sometimes have suspicions based wholly on non-scientific data that excessive force was used. To report this as a serious finding is misleading to the public and smears, by implication, the professional integrity of law enforcement officers throughout the country."

Among the doctors surveyed, roughly 70% thought "it is within their scope of practice to refer cases of suspected use of excessive force for investigation," although more than 70% said they do not currently report their suspicions. About half believe that such reporting by ER physicians "should be legally required," as is the case with suspicions of child abuse, sexual assaults, weapons wounds, etc.

"Assessing police use-of-force injuries is significantly and qualitatively different from any other area they're required to report on," Lewinski notes. Nonetheless, voicing a suspicion of his own, he speculates that this survey will be used to encourage legislation for mandatory reporting by ER personnel of suspected police brutality.

[Our thanks to Chris Lawrence, a member of FSRC's national advisory board, for tipping us about this survey.]
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« Reply #124 on: February 13, 2009, 10:56:59 AM »

'I had no choice,' says Ill. cop who shot unarmed, naked suspect
By Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune


CHICAGO — Inside an ambulance moments after fatally shooting a naked Glen Ellyn college student, Officer Jason Bradley began to cry, telling the deputy police chief: "I had to do it -- I had no choice."

Bradley, now 27 and a state trooper, was responding to a domestic battery call in 2006 at the Iron Gate apartments that he says escalated into a fistfight in which Benjamin Uwumarogie straddled him and repeatedly struck him in the face. The officer drew his weapon and shot the father of two once in the head.


Tuesday marked the second day of a civil trial in the federal wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Uwumarogie's father, Sunday, principal of Eugene Field Elementary School in Chicago. The family's attorneys argue the shooting was unjustified.

Bradley said he first tried to restrain Uwumarogie, eventually spraying him five times in the face with pepper spray after the College of DuPage football player, 22, refused to stop.

"He was almost looking right through me. ... I had a gut instinct that something was wrong," Bradley testified.

Iron Gate property manager Rick Olsen watched through the apartment's open front door as the two grappled in a narrow hallway.

"He lunged at the police officer, grabbed him by the arms and pushed him back to the bedroom," he said. "A few seconds later, I heard a shot."

Copyright © 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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« Reply #125 on: March 02, 2009, 09:44:50 PM »

. New study: When civilians would shoot...and when they think you should

Fascinating experiments by 2 California researchers show that young civilians who might someday be on an OIS jury overwhelmingly disagree with veteran officers about when police are justified in shooting armed, threatening perpetrators.

Interestingly, tests also reveal that when facing shoot/don't shoot decisions of their own, civilians tend to be quick on the trigger--and often wrong in their perceptions. Even in ideal lighting conditions, civilian test subjects show "a very low capacity for distinguishing" a handgun from an innocuous object, such as a power tool. Forced to make a time-pressured decision, the vast majority would shoot a "suspect" who is, in fact, unarmed.

"On one hand," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, "this research should make civilians more sympathetic to officers who mistakenly shoot unarmed subjects under high-stress, real-world conditions.

"But on the other hand, the study shows the woeful lack of understanding most non-cops have about the larger legality and appropriateness of using deadly force. And this can result in serious ramifications in the courtroom."

The findings, by Dr. Matthew Sharps, an expert on eye-witness identification and a psychology professor at California State University-Fresno, and Adam Hess, a lecturer in criminology at the school, are reported in The Forensic Examiner [12/22/08], published by the American College of Forensic Examiners. Their paper, "To shoot or not to shoot: Response and interpretation of response to armed assailants," can be read in full by clicking here.

In their experiments, Sharps and Hess report, they first addressed "how untrained people would react if placed in the position of police officers confronting a situation potentially involving firearms and firearm violence."

Eighty-seven female and 38 male college student volunteers of various races were each shown 1 of 4 high-quality digital photos of simulated "crime scenes." The settings were stage-set with the guidance of veteran FTOs from the Fresno PD, "all highly experienced in tactical realities and the sorts of situations encountered by witnesses and officers on the street."

Three photos showed a lone M/W subject, holding a Beretta 9mm pistol in profile: one depicted a "simple" scene, "sparse in terms of potentially distracting objects"; another a "complex" scene, "including street clutter, garbage cans, and other potentially distracting items"; the third a complex scene that included several bystanders and a young, female "victim" being threatened by the armed perpetrator pointing the gun at her in a 1-handed grip.

In a fourth photo, the scene was the same as the third--except that the Beretta was replaced with a power screwdriver.

Before any pictures were shown, each volunteer was told that a scene "which may or may not involve a crime or sources of danger" would be flashed for 2 seconds or less on a movie screen. "You may intervene" by shooting at the perpetrator "to protect yourself or others if you see an individual holding a weapon," the researchers explained. Participants could "shoot" either by pressing a button or by firing a suction-tipped dart from a toy gun.

"The conditions for all 4 scenes involved uniformly excellent lighting (strong sunlight), and the relative comfort of witnesses being seated," Sharps and Hess write. "There was no movement or occlusion of important elements of the scenes, and of course there was no personal danger for the respondents in the experiment."

The smallest number of individuals decided to shoot at the lone subject holding a gun in the simple environment with no victim. Yet "even under these circumstances, in which no crime was depicted," a strong majority--64%--decided to fire. This despite the fact that the "perpetrator" as depicted could have as easily been target-shooting as committing a crime, the researchers note.

In the complex but victimless scene, 67% chose to shoot. When a victim and bystanders were added, the proportion of shooters rose significantly, to 88%--nearly 9 out of 10.

But most revealingly, when the suspect pointed a power screwdriver instead of a gun, some 85% "shot" him. "In other words," Sharps and Hess write, "respondents were equally likely to shoot the perpetrator whether he was armed or unarmed, as long as there was a potential 'victim' in the scene. It made no [statistically significant] difference whether the perpetrator held a gun or a power tool."

Across the range of scenes, "when untrained people...'confronted' a suspect, the majority decided to shoot him under all conditions....[The] very high number of those who decided to shoot the unarmed suspect under ideal conditions might be inflated even further under the rapidly changing and visually confusing circumstances of a typical police emergency."

The challenge the volunteers faced in distinguishing between the gun and the power tool was relatively easy, compared to officers making split-second decisions in the field. Cops frequently have to employ "rapid cognitive processing" in darkness or semidarkness, often deciding in less than a second whether to shoot, the researchers observe.

"During that time, many factors in a scene must be evaluated: the suspect's motions; where the weapon is aimed; the presence of other people, including other potential suspects, and whether they are in the officer's probable field of fire; other potential sources of hazard, to self, to others, and to the suspect, in the immediate environment....

"In view of these extensive processing demands, errors in perception or cognitive processing are likely to be relatively frequent....

"[E]xtraordinary demands are placed on the cognitive and perceptual abilities of police officers in cases of gun violence. Public perception of these incidents, however, typically does not center on the cognitive or perceptual issues involved."

Instead, officers' errors in shooting suspects brandishing innocuous objects rather than guns are "attributed, in many sources, to racism...and failures of integrity." It seems "incomprehensible, to many people, that officers could possibly mistake a [non-weapon] for a real firearm in the dark."

Among several instances the researchers cite in which officers have been pilloried by the press and public for mistaken perceptions is the infamous case of Amadou Diallo, who was shot and killed by NYPD personnel in 1999 when he abruptly pulled a black wallet from his pocket during a confrontation. More recently, a subject was shot dead in Tacoma, WA, when he pointed a small, black cordless drill directly at officers.

"It should be noted that the situation in which most people [in the experiment] effectively decided to kill an unarmed suspect was similar to the circumstances surrounding" these 2 cases, the researchers state.

The intensely negative reactions of civilians toward officers involved in such incidents may, in reality, "have more to do with highly unrealistic public and mass-media expectations, and with popular ideas about deadly force, than with putative racism or integrity issues on the part of police," Sharps and Hess suggest.

A disturbing insight into the public mind-set regarding police use of deadly force surfaced through a companion experiment conducted by the research team.

Again using digital photography projected onto a screen, 33 females and 11 males recruited from freshman psychology classes were asked to view scenes in which a male or female Caucasian perpetrator, positioned "among typical street clutter," pointed a pistol in a 1-handed grip at a young, female "victim."

After viewing the scene for a full 5 seconds ("far more than ample observation and processing time"), each subject was asked "what a police officer should do on encountering the situation depicted"...and why.

Previously, 3 senior FTOs and a senior police commander had evaluated the proper police response. All concluded that "there was no question that this situation absolutely required a shooting response for both the male and female perpetrator.... [A]ny police officer encountering this situation must fire [immediately] on the perpetrator...in order to prevent the probable imminent death of the victim."

To the researchers' surprise, the civilian volunteers overwhelmingly rated this a no-shoot situation. Only 11.36%--roughly 1 out of 10--"felt that a shooting response was called for," the researchers report. "[A]pproximately 9 out of 10...were of the opinion that an officer should not fire...although all of the senior police officers consulted stated that the situation depicted absolutely required a shooting response.

"This result may have important implications for situations in which 12-person juries must evaluate a given police shooting....In any given, randomly selected jury of 12 citizens, these results suggest that on average, 1 or at most 2 jurors out of 12 would be likely to see an officer on trial in an officer-involved shooting situation as justified in shooting a perpetrator, even under the clearest and most appropriate of circumstances."

Sharps and Hess want to conduct further research before drawing any solid gender conclusions. However, "no male respondent felt that a shooting response was justified with a female perpetrator," and only 1 in 16 female respondents favored shooting the male gunman.

The reasons the respondents gave overall for their negative views on shooting graphically illustrate the cop-civilian disconnect. Some thought the suspect wouldn't really fire because of "the daylight, public conditions of the situation." Others "concocted elaborate rules of engagement" under which an officer might shoot: if the suspect fired first, or if the suspect had already committed murder, or if the officer had first tried to "convince" the suspect to drop the gun.

Still others "literally invoked the need for clairvoyance on the part of the police, saying that an officer should not fire...because the suspect 'did not look like she wanted to kill.' Several qualified their responses with the idea that if the police had to fire, they should shoot the perpetrator's leg or arm, because...'a shot to the leg is relatively harmless....' "

The researchers speculate that "many of these unrealistic responses may have derived from confusion of media depictions of police work with the real thing on the part of the public...and probably from unrealistic expectations concerning the workings and capabilities of the human nervous system...."

They conclude: "f these ideas and attitudes are as widespread as the results of this initial research effort suggest, there is substantial need for better education in the realities of crime and police work for the public from which, of course, all jurors are selected....This extreme discrepancy between public perception and actual police policy and operations warrants further attention, both in future research and in the modern criminal justice system....

"t is clear that these [findings] assume special significance for the real-world courtroom circumstances under which actual witnesses, jurors, and public constituencies consider and testify as to the actions of law enforcement personnel in application to real-world violent crime."

"Although this research is a welcome first step in helping to bridge the gap of understanding between many civilians and law enforcement, it's important to remember that the exploration doesn't stop here," says Dr. Lewinski. "Force Science Research Center Advisor Tom Aveni's work on contextual cues makes clear that in order to facilitate a more thorough understanding of these issues, this study should expand beyond static settings and expand into fluid and dynamic scenarios that better reflect issues of threat recognition and response in regard to human movement. Although we're supportive of and grateful for the work that's been done to date, we're hopeful that the focus will move in this direction."

[Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, for alerting us to this study. Reminder: register now for AELE's unique workshop on Lethal and Less-Lethal Force, Mar. 9-11 or Oct. 26-28 in Las Vegas. Go to www.aele.org for more information and online sign-up.]
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« Reply #126 on: March 04, 2009, 06:01:19 PM »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17790886/

Not as easy as you'd think.
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« Reply #127 on: March 16, 2009, 12:08:42 PM »

http://www.realclearworld.com/lists/most_dangerous_cities/most_dangerous_cities_intro.html

10.London - knife related violence
9. Saskatoon - aggravated assault and robbery
8. Norilsk - pollution, life expectancy 40, no living tree within 30 miles
7. Johannesburg - theft, robbery and violence
6. Rio de Janeiro - violent gun crime, assassinations and drug-trafficking
5. Detroit - violent crime, property crime, most notably rampant arson and car theft
4. Caracas - homicide rate doubled under Chavez, 'Murder Capital of the World'
3. Linfen - dirtiest air in the world
2. Ciudad Juarez - epicenter of rival drug cartels, smugglers, kidnappers and criminals
1. Mogadishu - gun battles between rival militias and tribal factions
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rachelg
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« Reply #128 on: March 28, 2009, 07:54:55 AM »

http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2009/03/28/oakland_police/print.html

Oakland mourns
A long blue line of police officers, backed by a grieving city, gather to say goodbye to four cops who died doing their jobs.

By Gary Kamiya

Mar. 28, 2009 |

I first saw them as I turned from the Bay Bridge onto Highway 980, an endless line of police cars with their emergency flashers on, heading south. They were from Sacramento and Elk Grove, and each car was full of policemen in dress uniform. Soon they were joined by more police cars, from Napa and San Mateo and San Francisco, other places too, a thin blue line moving slowly toward the Oracle Arena, all on their way to pay tribute to four of their Oakland brothers who had been shot down in the line of duty.

The funeral was scheduled to start at 11 a.m., but by ten a.m. the arena's huge parking lot was almost full of cars. There were thousands of police cars, more than anyone had ever seen. The line of policemen standing solemnly in line, waiting to get into the arena, stretched on for hundreds of yards. They had come from all over, policemen and firemen and federal police and public safety officers from California and New York and even Canada, and they were joined by hundreds of citizens of all ages and races who stood under the sun in line for more than an hour to pay their respects to four men who died trying to protect them.

On an overpass near the arena stood a working-class black family, a man and his wife and their boy. The woman was holding a little white dog and the kid had two paper Oakland Police badges pinned to his shirt, and they were waving to the police and thanking them. The police waved back at them and smiled.

It was a glorious spring California day. You could see the East Bay hills in the distance. To the north was downtown Oakland and Kaiser Hospital, where I was born. If you were flying overhead you'd come to Lake Merritt, where I lived for years, with its great Chicago-style buildings and its unique mix of black and white folks strolling around the lake on nice days. If you turned south and east you'd come after a few miles to East Oakland, one of the poorest and most dangerous ghettoes in the United States, where at the corner of 74th and MacArthur, on Saturday, March 21, a 26-year-old convicted felon and parolee named Lovelle Mixon shot to death two motorcycle cops, Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege during a routine traffic stop, then fled to his sister's house, hid in a closet with an assault rifle and killed Sgt. Ervin Romans and Sgt. Daniel Sakai when they and other SWAT team officers stormed the room.

From 74th Avenue and MacArthur to the Oracle Arena is only a few miles, but on Friday the two places might as well have been in different universes.

The four officers' murders stunned and saddened the broad Bay Area community, but there had been a few discordant notes. There's long been tension between the Oakland Police and the city's low-income black community, as in most other big cities. It was inflamed most recently by the New Year's Day killing of unarmed Oakland resident Oscar Grant, who was shot by BART police, not Oakland cops. Despite this tense background, most Oakland residents of every race and class were horrified by the killings, but there were a few examples of callousness and cruelty. The Associated Press reported that about 20 residents taunted police when they came to retrieve their fallen comrades in East Oakland on Saturday. The irrelevant resistance group Uhuru House even held a poorly attended rally Wednesday to defend Lovelle Mixon and criticize the police who killed him.

Friday was the day the rest of Oakland spoke for itself. Waiting in line to enter the Arena, I found myself next to a bunch of middle-aged and older men and women in motorcycle gear -- black leather jackets, badges, leather caps. They looked like respectable, aging Hell's Angel's -- law-abiding but still formidable. I asked the big, bald-headed, muscular guy next to me what the group was."We're the Patriot Guards," he explained. "It's a motorcycle group, made up mostly of ex-vets who go to funerals and homecomings of veterans, policemen and firemen." The big guy's name was Jay Cobb and he was a law enforcement officer at the Lawrence Livermore Lab. He had known one of the slain cops, Mark Dunakin, had played football with him, and had come with a bunch of his colleagues to pay his respects. He said that on the way in, people were lined up on overpasses showing their support.

Next to him was a friendly older couple, 68-year-old Larry Tyler and his wife Cleola from Pleasanton. "We came to honor the police and represent my son who's a fellow law enforcement officer, in Austin, Texas," said Larry Tyler. "It was the right thing to do," said Cleola Tyler. "When you think he's putting his life on the line every day, you want to support those who do the same thing, whether you know them or not. It's kind of a special group." "We wanted to be here, be part of the community," said Larry.

As we neared the Arena, a group of San Francisco cops was standing. To my discomfiture, I recognized one of the few truly terrible cops I've run into in this town, a little guy with a major authoritarian complex who almost arrested me when I was outside the ballpark with my 19-year-old son and was trying to unload, below face value, an extra Giants' ticket. When I apologized for my indiscretion and started to walk off, he snarled,"Did I tell you you could leave?" and summoned other officers over for backup against the ferocious 54-year-old writer. The other cops looked embarrassed -- I got the impression they'd seen his act before. As he ran a computer check on me, I put my hands in my pockets. He practically pulled his gun on me. "Did I tell you you could put your hands in your pockets?" he spat out.

Luckily he disappeared in the crowd and I never saw him again. Every profession has people who should not be in it, and he was definitely one of them. I didn't want even to think about him on this day. This was a day to honor the men and women who do one of the toughest jobs in the world and mostly do it pretty damn well, and who sometimes die doing their jobs.

I approached another group of San Francisco police standing by the entrance. A woman cop didn't want to talk, but the kindly looking man next to her did. He was Capt. Al Casciato, the 59-year-old head of the Northern Station in what used to be one of San Francisco's roughest neighborhoods, the Western Addition. He was a 38-year veteran of the force. I asked him how many S.F. cops had come over to Oakland. "We have 400 or 500," he said. How many police were there in the whole SFPD? "Nineteen hundred,"  he said. Who was minding the store in The City with a quarter of the force out? He explained that a lot of the officers had come on their off-shifts, on their own time.

I asked Capt. Casciato what this event meant to him. "It's a tragic event, but i's also a time for healing," he said. "It's a time for people to come together." Did he have any thoughts about the four policemen he was honoring? "The officers who died will be forever young and forever on their jobs," he said. "That's what they said about the soldiers who died on Omaha Beach, and that's true of anyone who dies in the line of duty."

Capt. Casciato said that the SF police were extremely gratified by the support people had shown them. "We were doing a demonstration yesterday, and my officers told me that so many people were coming up and saying, 'We appreciate what you do.' It does a lot for morale. We really appreciate the support of the public, every time that someone tells us what their feelings are."

Inside, the vast space where the Golden State Warriors play their home games was filled with cops, a huge rectangle of blue in the center seats, blue everywhere you looked. An organ was playing. Dozens of big bouquets of flowers were on display. A slide show showing scenes from the lives of the four officers was showing on an overhead screen. On stage, the dignitaries waited to speak -- Cal. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and others.

Suddenly a voice cracked out. "Officers, atten-HUT!" Every one of the thousands of officers present sprang to attention. No one moved or spoke for two minutes. Then the voice cracked, "Officers, present arms!" Instantly, 10,000 arms saluted, and they held that salute for a long, long time. A bagpipe and drum band began to play, as one by one the four flag-draped coffins were brought out. The policemen stood saluting as the coffins were set down, as the families of the slain officers were guided to their seats. A crumpled-looking woman was supported from both sides, an image of grief as ancient as the world. From my seat in the nosebleed section, a couple of sections over to my left, I saw an odd figure in bright crimson, standing rigidly and saluting. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Mounties had come down from the north to pay their respects.

I was at the delirious, sold-out Arena when the "We Believe" Warriors smashed the Jazz in the playoffs, when Baron Davis posterized Andrei Kirilenko with a dunk so savage and unexpected that no one who saw it can quite believe that it happened. But that electric current was nothing compared to the one that ran through the building when those 10,000 men and women in uniform stood and saluted.

The Oakland Police Department Chaplain, Father Jayson Landeza, then spoke. His face filled with compassion, he said we had gathered "with heartfelt sadness, yet with a sense of hope, to honor our fallen brothers," that everyone present "longed for the day when violence will be no more." A choir sang the national anthem. Father Landeza said a brief prayer, then read a message he had received that morning from the White House. President Obama struck a Lincolnesque note, saying that the loss of the four men "reminds us that the work to which they dedicated their lives remains undone." In closing, he said of the four officers, "We will always carry them in our hearts."

I will not dwell long on the speeches by the assembled politicians. They were suitable, dignified, and moving. But at times like these, Abraham Lincoln's words at Gettysburg are apt: "The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here."

The speeches that did stay in the mind were given by the fallen policemen's comrades. Perhaps the most powerful was given by Oakland Police Department Capt. Ed Tracey, who commanded both the SWAT and the traffic units. Tracey is one of those leaders who instantly commands respect, who blends toughness, compassion and consummate professionalism in a way that epitomizes a good cop. Thanking all of the law enforcement people who had attended, he said, "A senseless act of violence against any one of us is truly a senseless act of violence against all of us."

"We must not allow the selfish and cowardly acts of a criminal to taint the memories of these policemen,"Tracey said. He praised the slain officers for doing their duty in "protecting the citizens of the city." He urged his fellow police not to despair: "Allow their lives to lead you forward, not to take you back." His voice breaking, Tracey told his SWAT team, "I'm so proud of you all and I''m humbled by your courage." Of the fallen members of his traffic team, he said, "Physically, they will not ride with us," but they would always be there, keeping the ranks tight: "I love you guys."

Tracey closed by thanking the citizen who, risking his or her life, called in with information about where the murderer was hiding. And as the audience erupted in applause, he praised the other citizen who performed CPR on the dead and dying officers. "You showed us that these men did not die in vain."

Just as moving was the tribute paid by Lieutenant Anthony Banks, who was Mark Dunakin's superior and rode with him in the traffic division. Banks, who is African-American, described how Dunakin took his place and seemed to be in a hurry to move him out. "Can I at least have my last 30 days in peace?" Banks recalled thinking. But then, he said, he returned to work with Dunakin, and "Mark became my left-hand man." He waited a moment, then said, "And if you're wondering why I say that, it's because Mark rode on my left side." As he said this, Banks' face crumpled and he began to weep. The tears became general around this time.

Retired OPD Lieutenant Lawrence Eade was the only one of the speakers I saw (I had to leave before the end of the service to make deadline) to directly address the bitter relations between the Oakland police and much of the black community, especially its poorest parts, and the outrageous response to the murders by some people -- including some misguided "leftists." Saying angrily that he wanted to "set the record straight," Eade said "the citizens of Oakland showed up big time and demonstrated their commitment" to the police. Singling out some press outlets that said the Mixon shootings, following the unprovoked killing of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, by a BART cop, showed that there was a "civil war" going on between black people and the police, Eade almost shouted, "For those who manipulate the story, may your careers be extremely difficult until you tell the truth." As the audience loudly applauded, Eades said, "This is not about your ratings, this is about a tragic loss ...The citizens are not arming themselves against the police, there is no war between us and you cannot create one!"

As I walked out of that solemn sea of blue in the Arena, I looked towards East Oakland, and wondered what could happen to bring these two universes together. I know from a friend who works with them that many young black people in Oakland consider the police to be their enemy, an occupying force. Incredibly, some even support Lovelle Mixon, calling him an "insurgent" -- somehow forgetting that the main victims of murderous black thugs like Mixon are other black people.

I don't have the answers any more than anyone else does. I know that the police make mistakes sometimes, sometimes deadly ones, and sometimes they aren't mistakes. There are bad apples on every force. I know we need effective police oversight and review boards. We should legalize most drugs and stop locking up millions of black men for minor drug offenses, sending them into the Felon Training Schools known as prisons. I know we need better mentoring, better inner-city schools, better after-school programs, a better parole system. Mostly, I know that we need to start the long, hard work of getting rid of the ghettoes that blight our nation, so that screwed-up people like Mixon aren't around to wreak havoc on everyone, black and white -- mostly black. We need a lot of things, and we need them now.

But blaming the police for these problems is like blaming the paramedic for your heart attack. Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai did not die trying to take those things away from anyone. They died trying to protect us. And that means all of us -- black and white and brown and yellow, rich and poor, whether we live in $2 million homes in North Oakland or tenements off East 14th St. Today is a day to honor the memory of these brave men, and resolve to try to make the world a better place for their children. And for the children growing up in the killing fields of East Oakland. And for all of us.
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« Reply #129 on: March 28, 2009, 09:47:52 AM »

Thanks Rachel.

Funny enough, I narrowly avoided being seriously injured or killed yesterday trying to assist stranded motorists and direct traffic. The smallest of margins and it would have been my chief and a police chaplain at my door to awaken my wife instead of me.

The ritual of the police funeral has an importance that may not be understood by those outside the uniformed services world. Yes, we come together to grieve someone we may have never met, but in the grieving spouse, we see ours. But for the grace of god go we. A reminder that it could be us under the flag. We celebrate who they were and what they did. As it says on the nat'l law enforcement officer's memorial in DC, "It's not how that died that made them heroes, but how they lived".

The most important element to me, is seeing the public response to the fallen officers. The jobs burns you, and takes pieces of your soul. It's easy to become callous, cynical and jaded. To a degree, you have to just to survive in the job. It's easy to see the public you serve in the worst possible terms. No one calls the police when their life is good. Very few people bother to call to praise an officer, but those who wish to complain always seem to follow through.

When you see the vast numbers of the public that go out of their way to demonstrate their support, it recharges your soul.

A friend of a friend was murdered by a career felon several years ago. I attended the funeral in a large metropolitan area. The service was on one side of the metro area, the fallen detective was to be laid to rest in a cemetary on the other side of the city. I was dumbfounded to see citizens lining almost all of the route. Waving flags, holding signs of support, young and old.

They didn't have to be there. The escort to the burial started late and took a long time as the procession of police vehicles stretched for miles. And yet they stood there, saluted and waved for all of us.

A reminder there are a lot of good and decent people out there. So they can sleep peacefully, we gear up and go out into the darkness and they recognize and respect that. It gives us the strength to continue on.
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« Reply #130 on: March 28, 2009, 06:23:13 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/28/video-oakland-salutes-its-four-murdered-police-officers/

Honoring the fallen.
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« Reply #131 on: April 08, 2009, 02:28:53 PM »

Hero Pittsburgh Police Officer Speaks
Posted: April 8th, 2009 12:45 PM GMT-05:00
Story by thepittsburghchannel.com
PITTSBURGH --
The city of Pittsburgh is mourning for three police officers, killed by a gunman in Stanton Heights.
On Wednesday, one of the police officers who tried to save one of the fallen spoke for the first time.
"He started firing again with much more firepower than I even could begin to put out," said Officer Timothy McManaway, who spoke on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday morning.
Officers Paul Sciullo II and Stephen Mayhle were shot responding to a domestic call on Fairfield Street. The officers were responding to a call about a domestic dispute on Saturday. When they entered the home of Richard Poplawski, Poplawski opened fire, police said, killing both men.
Officer Eric Kelly was on his way home when he stopped to help. He too was shot. McManaway said he saw the shooting and tried to help.
"He just raised his arm when I was up there. I noticed he was alive, so I figured there was a chance," McManaway said.
Timeline according to police statements: Shortly after 7 a.m. - Two officers respond to Stanton Heights domestic call. Sciullo enters house; is shot and killed. Mayhle backs him up; is shot and killed. On way home, Kelly decides to help; is shot and killed. McManaway shot in hand trying to help Kelly. Jones tries to secure back of house, jumps fence, breaks leg. SWAT arrives, comes under fire. Poplawski continues firing out of bedroom window. Negotiators convince Poplawski to surrender. Poplawski taken into custody; charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault.
Running into the line of fire, McManaway was shot in the hand. But he pulled his fellow officer behind a car to try to save his life. McManaway said Kelly asked him to deliver a message to his family.
"He wanted me to give a message to his wife and kids. I told him I wasn't going to deliver the message, he has to do it himself," McManaway said. But Kelly was too badly wounded.
"The injuries went way beyond anything I could have done to get him to stick around," McManaway said.
Another officer, Brian Jones, was also injured while trying to secure the scene.
The memorials for the fallen officers continue in Pittsburgh.
A viewing at the City-County Building will be held for law enforcement only from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, continuously until 10 a.m. Thursday, the public is welcome to pay their respects at the City-County Building.
Poplawski, 22, is charged with three counts of criminal homicide.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #132 on: May 05, 2009, 10:15:08 AM »



By George Demetriou
NYPD Detective (retired)
Since 2007, at least five police officers have been killed or seriously wounded while handcuffing — in some cases after getting one handcuff on the violator. The offenders “rip” or pull the handcuffed arm away suddenly after cooperating with the officer and then draw a concealed firearm and shoot the officer. It should be noted that in every case that this has occurred the offender was being placed into custody for a minor offense.
Being aware that the offender can resist or assault at any point will remove the element of surprise from his strategy. Officers must be cognizant of the fact that this is the stage of the cuffing process where the bad guy does not need to see you. You have made physical contact so he knows, basically, where you are without having to look at you. You are standing where he can turn, pivot, spin or drop down and he knows you are within arms reach.
Between getting the first cuff on and the second cuff on is the most crucial part of the cuffing process yet this is the point of handcuffing where many officers begin to mentally relax believing they have control.
Violent offenders who are not psychologically incapacitated by the officer’s presence and command of the situation, especially the subjects who have pre-planned and practiced for this opportunity, will fight at this point. The “click” of the first cuff is their cue to go into action. Serious offenders who consider fighting or killing cops may understand or believe several things:
• By initially behaving in a compliant manner the officer will often lower his guard
• If the officer gets one handcuff on he’ll probably think the situation is “under control”
When the officer wants to take physical control he will have to step within striking distance of the suspect.
• When the officer is using both hands to control the subject and hold the cuffs he is not holding a baton, Taser, pepper spray, firearm or anything else that will do him harm
• While the officer’s hands are, at least temporarily, occupied the officer will not defend himself effectively
• If the offender has a weapon that the officer did not find or see the chance of accessing it is better now that the officer is preoccupied with maintaining cuff control
You may not be able to stop a violent offender from attempting an assault, but you can control whether or not you are surprised.
Why the Cuff Rip Works
An officer almost cannot help but to “chase” the handcuff that is pulled from his control. After all, the handcuffs are the officer’s personal property and he is responsible for them. No officer wants to lose a suspect or equipment.
Once the offender makes the explosive movement to pull the cuff and fight or shoot he has the time advantage. The officer will be reacting to the offender’s action. Controlling any violent resistor is difficult. Having to control an armed violent resistor at close range leaves little margin for error.
Prevention
The first step is checking arrest procedure mentality. It is impossible to determine a suspect’s capacity for violence based on the crime he committed when that crime was minor. All suspects, their family members and their friends are dangerous. Act accordingly.

All suspects are armed until you know positively that they are not. This includes the realization that wherever an officer is present there is at least one firearm present. The offender, during handcuffing, will be well within grabbing distance to the officer’s firearm.
Handcuffing is a time for heightened vigilance not a time for relaxing because the event is “over.” Being handcuffed may be “showtime” for the violent offender.
Physically combating the handcuff rip is difficult at best. The safest option is to assume the offender is going for a concealed weapon. This of course means the officer should disregard the handcuffs, move and draw his firearm. Quickly changing position and being able to get your firearm on target will be the life saving action should the bad guy have a weapon. Better to have the suspect run off with the handcuffs then to try to regain control only to find out that while you’re trying to grab the suspect’s arm he’s pulling out a weapon with his free hand.
It should be noted that “chasing” the handcuffs is unproductive time as the suspect’s arms will be moving too fast during the “rip” to gain control. It will be nearly impossible to get control of both arms. One hand free is all an armed suspect will need. The safest way to gain physical control of the offender, in this situation, is to control the head-NOT the arms and bring the suspect down before he can draw a weapon. Effective control of the head will allow the officer to use a takedown that doesn’t rely on arm control. The offender will be forced to use his hands to break his fall as opposed to being focused on attacking the officer. This can only be done effectively with realistic, consistent training.
Handcuffing may be considered the end of a confrontation for the arresting officer. For the violent offender it may be considered the beginning of an assault on the officer. These diametrically opposed perspectives are at the root of the problem for officers.
Officers need to approach handcuffing with the proper mentality and have a trained response should the offender decide that he’ll do whatever is necessary not to go to jail at that moment.
The training priority regarding handcuffing should be the offender who is initially cooperative, but becomes violent just before or just after one handcuff goes on.
George Demetriou, NYPD detective (retired) is the President of Spartan Performance. Spartan Performance is dedicated to physical conditioning as well as the Dynamics of Violent Offender Confrontations (D-VOC). Spartan Performance uses the CrossFit methodology for fitness training.
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« Reply #133 on: August 21, 2009, 04:44:24 PM »

An interesting solution with civil liberty ramifications:

'Armadillo' Plays Well in Peoria But Is Panned by Drug Dealers
Cops Use Old Brink's Truck to Shame Suspects; Video Cameras Add to the Drama
By CARRIE PORTER

PEORIA, Ill. -- This industrial city, hard hit by the recession, has found a new, low-budget way to fight crime: Park an unmanned, former Brink's truck bristling with video cameras in front of the dwellings of troublemakers.

Police here call it the Armadillo. They say it has restored quiet to some formerly rowdy streets. Neighbors' calls for help have dropped sharply. About half of the truck's targets have fled the neighborhood.

"The truck is meant to be obnoxious and to cause shame," says Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard.

The Armadillo has helped alleviate problems like drug dealing that can make neighborhoods unlivable.

Police got a call at 2:30 one morning from Mary Smith, a 58-year-old computer operator at a Butternut Bread Bakery. Fighting back tears, she asked for relief from her neighbors' incessant yelling.

She and her husband, Terry, 61, a Butternut baker, have lived in their home on North Wisconsin Avenue for 30 years, and have seen the neighborhood fall into drug trafficking. The police suggested using the Armadillo.

That weekend, the truck pulled up to the offending neighbor's house. A police officer knocked on the door and told the residents a nuisance report had been filed. Within 24 hours, the Smiths say, the house was quiet. The occupants moved out soon thereafter.

"The difference was like night and day," Mrs. Smith says. The landlord, Phil Schertz, credits the Armadillo.

"The ugliness of the Armadillo is what makes it unique," says Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police. "A police car is not a particular stigma, but if people see that thing in front of your house, they know something bad is going on in there."

Peoria police acknowledge that the truck sometimes just shifts crime from one area to another. But it can disrupt illegal activities temporarily. Citizens appear to like the idea, and police say they have a four-week waiting list of requests for the Armadillo.

Peoria is a city of 114,000 about 170 miles southwest of Chicago. Amid layoffs at equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. and other companies, the city's unemployment rate has jumped to 10%, from about 6% a year ago. Crime has increased as the economy has declined, police say.

The biggest problem, as Peoria police see it, is drug trafficking that plagues pockets of the city marked by boarded windows, littered lawns and noise complaints.

In the summer of 2006, police were brainstorming ways to rattle a suspected drug dealer. They had exhausted traditional strategies, including undercover operations, and were left empty-handed and frustrated. They decided to park a retired police car in front of the suspect's house.

About 24 hours after the car had been put in place, all its windows had been smashed, the tires were flat and the body was dented.

"It was embarrassing to tow a police car," Chief Settingsgaard says. "But I saw it as a success because it was proof how much [the dealer] really disliked the police car's presence."

The dealer left the neighborhood soon after the incident; he was later arrested and convicted on a gun charge.

One summer night, Chief Settingsgaard was pulling out of police headquarters when he did a double take. Rusting in a corner of the police parking lot was a hulking Brink's truck. It had been purchased -- for a dollar -- to use in emergencies but had yet to be pressed into service. The chief thought it could be the perfect nuisance-deterrence vehicle, seemingly indestructible and inarguably an eyesore.

Over the next year, the 12,000 pounds of heavy metal got an extensive makeover, including about $10,000 in new equipment and repairs. It was outfitted with five infrared surveillance cameras, a padlocked hood, a locked gas cap, and protective screens over the head and tail lights.

A Peoria tire company installed foam-filled tires that can't go flat. Decals that say "PEORIA POLICE Nuisance Property Surveillance Vehicle" were pasted on all four sides of the white truck.

There were some bumps along the road. When Officer Elizabeth Hermacinski, 39, the force's nuisance-abatement officer and Armadillo driver, took the behemoth out for its first deployment in July 2008, the targeted troublemakers seemed to have gotten wind of the plan. In any case, they had parked cars in every available spot in front of the house.

So Ms. Hermacinski parked across the street, close enough to get the message across. "It's psychological warfare," she says.

The Armadillo is the opposite of an undercover operation. Its goal isn't making arrests, but alerting suspects that police are on to them, police say. The surveillance footage is rarely reviewed by the police and is saved for just a short time before it is erased. Still, the unit can have a significant impact.

This past July, Maggie Wren, 50, requested that the Armadillo pay a visit to her home. Police say her adult children and grandchildren were loitering on her front porch and leaving empty beer bottles in her yard. "Every time I wake up, there's something broken on my fence," she says.

Police parked the truck outside her house while she went away on vacation. Police say the porch remained quiet and empty while she was gone.

One recent afternoon, Officer Hermacinski was moving the Armadillo to a new spot. "It drives like a tractor," she said, yelling in order to be heard over the engine's roar.

She pulled the Armadillo to the curb of a white, one-story house with red siding suspected of being a drug house. She flipped on the surveillance cameras, hopped down from the truck and knocked on the door of the house. No one answered. Then she walked over to a waiting police cruiser, got in and drove away, leaving the Armadillo to do its job.

Write to Carrie Porter at carrie.porter@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125046098403135197.html
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G M
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« Reply #134 on: August 21, 2009, 04:49:21 PM »

And what would those "civil liberties" ramifications be?
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« Reply #135 on: August 21, 2009, 05:41:46 PM »

And what would those "civil liberties" ramifications be?

I knew that was coming. For one I wouldn't want Eric Holder parking one of these outside my house because of my habit of rabidly advocating Second Amendment freedoms. Grew up in the Chicago area reading about the follies of that thoroughly corrupt jurisdiction and hence don't have much trouble imagining a city councilman getting Chicago PD to park one of these in front of a political opponents house, or better yet the home of his mistress. I could extrapolate further if you'd like, but in view of the fact that we do have an Attorney General who refuses to prosecute Black Panthers filmed intimidating voters while threatening to investigate CIA employees doing their job, and in view of the cemetery vote Chicago alderman and their union lackeys  still manage to inspire, do I really have to?
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« Reply #136 on: August 21, 2009, 09:02:23 PM »

As much as Eric Holder's free pass to the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation and general Chicago corruption disgusts me, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for what can be seen or heard from a public place.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #137 on: August 21, 2009, 09:05:31 PM »

Well I'm occasionally reasonable and fully expect the government not to point a bunch of cameras at my bedroom window, but I'm funny that way.
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G M
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« Reply #138 on: August 21, 2009, 09:28:46 PM »

If it can be seen from a public place, then it isn't private. The courts have made this clear.

Secondly, where is the concern for those that suffer in their homes from thugs that invade their neighborhood? What of their rights?
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« Reply #139 on: August 21, 2009, 10:04:11 PM »

If it can be seen from a public place, then it isn't private. The courts have made this clear.

Peeping Toms no doubt rejoice.

Quote
Secondly, where is the concern for those that suffer in their homes from thugs that invade their neighborhood? What of their rights?

They are welcome to park anything they want in front of their house. Indeed, I've lived places and dealt with problems where I'd contemplate asking for this service. As with any law enforcement tool from Tasers to no-knock entries, there is a potential for abuse that I'd just as soon avoid, however.
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« Reply #140 on: August 21, 2009, 10:16:48 PM »

Anything that law enforcement does has the potential for abuse. Is the answer then to not have law enforcement?
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« Reply #141 on: August 22, 2009, 01:07:40 AM »

No. A bit of good sense and adherence to the founding principles of this nation will do.
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« Reply #142 on: August 22, 2009, 08:29:32 AM »

So how exactly is using the "Aramadillo" not good sense or adhering to the founding principles of this nation?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #143 on: August 22, 2009, 01:05:05 PM »

"Anything that law enforcement does has the potential for abuse. Is the answer then to not have law enforcement?"

No. We want it both ways, we want to be not investigated when innocent and we want all crime stopped before it is even contemplated.  So good luck pleasing everyone. Seriously thank you for bringing your experience and professionalism to a sometimes impossible job.

One beef I have from the story is that they defined success as either arresting the drug dealer or getting them to leave the neighborhood.  They don't leave the city and they don't leave the business.  Assuming they are known criminals committing crimes, it is not an equivalent success IMO to have them move on rather than marked with an arrest, a conviction and a sentence.
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« Reply #144 on: August 22, 2009, 01:22:13 PM »

Quote
So how exactly is using the "Aramadillo" not good sense or adhering to the founding principles of this nation?

If an attorney general with a history of bad judgement used it to harass political foes, or if a corrupt city employed it to attack opponents that would demonstrate a lack of good sense and adherence to the founding principles of the country. Oh wait, we've been here before: There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza. . . .
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G M
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« Reply #145 on: August 22, 2009, 03:34:01 PM »



One beef I have from the story is that they defined success as either arresting the drug dealer or getting them to leave the neighborhood.  They don't leave the city and they don't leave the business.  Assuming they are known criminals committing crimes, it is not an equivalent success IMO to have them move on rather than marked with an arrest, a conviction and a sentence.

In general, there are many more drug dealers than narcotics detectives and patrol officers to chase them. Knowing that you have bad people doing bad things and being able to meet the standards of probable cause/beyond a reasonable doubt in court are very different things.

Specifically, because there are so many constitutional protections, making a case against a group that is dealing drugs and attracting assorted other bad things into an area takes time and resources and demand almost always outstrips the resources available to law enforcement.

Using tools like the "Armadillo" is a tool to restore some order where it's breaking down. A clever and legal use of police resources, IMHO.

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G M
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« Reply #146 on: August 22, 2009, 03:46:15 PM »

There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #147 on: August 22, 2009, 05:17:06 PM »

There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

And then there's the converse: a person with a law enforcement bent seizes upon a new tool and can't conceive of a misuse, at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

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2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses. If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.

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3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.

Name a tool that hasn't been abused and I'll consider sparing you the slogans next lap around this track.
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G M
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« Reply #148 on: August 22, 2009, 05:47:28 PM »

There does seem to be a pattern:

1. a person of libertarian bent seizes on a legally defensible police tool because it's "scary" or involves some use of technology (especially cameras) and then decries the obvious signs that this means we are but days, if not seconds away from living in an Orwellian dystopia.

And then there's the converse: a person with a law enforcement bent seizes upon a new tool and can't conceive of a misuse,

**The courts have ruled over and over that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere. That means anyone can view, photograph, film anyone or anything in public. This means the media, law enforcement or Joe Citizen.**

at least one that won't pass someone's version of constitutional muster, and then casts anyone who does take pause as an unmitigated ideologue providing de-facto support for horrible criminal elements preying upon the weakest members of society, and likely strangling kittens, to boot

**Hardly. It would be nice for your critiques of police practices to have some grounding in actual caselaw rather than emotion. You wouldn't accept someone's assertion that global warming was indeed happining because "It feels warmer".**

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2. I ask how it's bad given various constitutional/legal structures.

As pointed out before, you can pose stark questions faster than I can write reasoned responses.


**I'm trying to evoke a reasoned response, which on this topic is like pulling teeth. What we have here is the same unthinking emotionalism that fuels gun control supporters. Guns are scary so let's get rid of them. Police cameras are scary, so let's get rid of them. Why? Because the potential for misuse is there.**

If you can't conceive of a misuse given this planet's sorry history of totalitarian governments using every tool at hand to snuff out liberty and life, no amount of keyboarding I do in response is going to do anything more than lead to further stark parsing.


**I have already stated that anything has the potential for misuse. There have been bad police shootings in the past, and there will be bad shootings in the future. Is the policy solution to then disarm police officers?**

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3. The response is "Well, it COULD be abused" coupled with boilerplate slogans invoking human freedom and constitutional rights.

Name a tool that hasn't been abused and I'll consider sparing you the slogans next lap around this track.

**Any police power has the potential for abuse, which is why we have multiple layers of review over police actions in this country. The courts and ultimately the citizens shape how policing is done here.**
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G M
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« Reply #149 on: August 22, 2009, 06:03:22 PM »

Privacy and search in the US law
The expectation of privacy is crucial to distinguish a legitimate, reasonable police search and seizure from an unreasonable one.

In Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967) Justice Harlan issued a concurring opinion articulating the two-part test later adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court as the test for determining whether a police or government search is subject to the limitations of the Fourth Amendment: (1) governmental action must contravene an individual's actual, subjective expectation of privacy; (2) and that expectation of privacy must be reasonable, in the sense that society in general would recognize it as such.

In order to meet the first part of the test, the person from whom the information was obtained must demonstrate that they, in fact, had an actual, subjective expectation that the evidence obtained would not be available to the public. In other words, the person asserting that a search was conducted must show that they kept the evidence in a manner designed to ensure its privacy.

The first part of the test is related to the notion "in plain view". If a person did not undertake reasonable efforts to conceal something from a casual observer (as opposed to a snoop), then no subjective expectation of privacy is assumed. [6]

The second part of the test is analyzed objectively: would society at large deem a person's expectation of privacy to be reasonable? If it is plain that a person did not keep the evidence at issue in a private place, then no search is required to uncover the evidence. For example, there is generally no search when police officers look through garbage because a reasonable person would not expect that items placed in the garbage would necessarily remain private.[7] Similarly, there is no search where officers monitor what phone numbers an individual dials,[8] although the Congress has enacted laws which restrict such monitoring. The Supreme Court has also ruled that there is no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy (and thus no search) when officers hovering in a helicopter 400 feet above a suspect's house conduct surveillance.[9]
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