Author Topic: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action  (Read 305591 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #100 on: August 19, 2008, 11:41:12 AM »
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

SB_Mig

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #101 on: August 19, 2008, 01:48:41 PM »
"...we made brownies. And I think we're dead. Time is moving really, really, really, really slow."

Wow...


G M

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DA/LEO lia for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence
« Reply #102 on: August 20, 2008, 07:34:51 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, 10:45:03 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #103 on: August 20, 2008, 03:11:33 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.





SB_Mig

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #104 on: August 20, 2008, 04:09:31 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:

JDN

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #105 on: August 21, 2008, 11:42:49 AM »
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!

G M

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #106 on: August 21, 2008, 06:30:05 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.**

JDN

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2008, 06:48:57 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.

G M

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Re: Law Enforcement issues
« Reply #108 on: August 22, 2008, 07:08:18 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 ?

JDN

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