Enter “https://www.police1.com/” and click OK. Video: LEO ambushed, shot 6 times by stranded motorist, Sheriff gets national attention, pushback for stance on public health orders, 3 French LEOs killed responding to domestic violence call, ‘This is insane’: NC chief reacts after multiple LEOs shot in a week, Trump pardons former Md. They should avoid excessive gestures and mimics. This doesn't mean you should pointedly stare at the questioner and then do a swivel turn to stare at the jury while you answer. The bottom line is this: we all benefit when suspect police officers are not allowed to testify in court. How will police grants be impacted in 2021? People v. Ramos Refrain from wisecracks and clever remarks. [ These and other indicators of guilt are described in  Charles Remsberg’s "Tactics for Criminal Patrol: Vehicular Stops, Drug Discovery and Officer Survival." Remember: "Nothing in this world is opened by mistake more often than the mouth.". Question 2 1.5 out of 1.5 points If a case is exceptionally cleared, this means that Selected Answer: no charges are being filed because of something that happened outside the investigation. A question should be answered, "Yes, sir," or "No, sir," and the judge should … D. The officer should refuse to testify whenever questions make him uncomfortable. The credibility and competency of law enforcement officers are being challenged and attacked in the courtroom more than ever before. The Detroit Police Department accounts for majority of the officers on the list who can no longer testify in any court of competent jurisdiction. You and your fellow officers have put considerable time into covering all the bases. Orient yourself in the courtroom. No tinted glasses or flashy jewelry. To testify as an expert, a police officer must be qualified as such by the judge. This is clearly communicated in their attitude and demeanor. Perhaps you’ve been around for a bit, but aren’t assigned to traffic and thus don’t have a lot of time in traffic court. She appears in person and on TV, radio, and video productions. Visit Val at www.valvanbrocklin.com and info@valvanbrocklin.com. The dismissal would prevent an on-the-record finding by the court that the officer had lied. Copyright © 2020 Police1. This is not to say that if you need to refer to your report to refresh your memory in order to give complete and accurate testimony you should hesitate to do so. Looking back on the years I spent as a state and federal prosecutor, most of the many fine police officers I saw wounded on the stand in courtroom confrontations could have easily been victors had they just been properly trained and prepared for these encounters. If you don't understand a question, don't simply ask the examiner to "repeat" it. It may be difficult to admit you don't understand a word the examiner is using, but it is certain at least one juror shares your confusion. Opinions differ on the advisability of an officer referring to notes and reports while testifying. [Special note: Be aware that the rules as to when notes used to refresh your recollection are discoverable to the defense differs amongst states and the federal rules of evidence. Make eye contact with the jury as you say, "I do," or immediately after. Now it's time to go to trial. Do not hesitate to acknowledge this on the stand. Do not try to impress the jury with your superior intelligence and vocabulary. Often, on-duty officers will wear a uniform and off-duty officers will wear civilian attire. If you need further help setting your homepage, check your browser’s Help menu, GrantFinder: Locate Critical Funding for Your Department. This is critical. Consider this humorous example taken from an actual court transcript: Q: James stood back and shot Tommy Lee? Sleeplessness (or illness) cannot help but affect your demeanor. Police officers should be in uniform, or in at least a sport coat and tie. To ensure your criminal case is handled by a dedicated Colorado defense attorney, call Miller Leonard, PC at 720-613-8783. But Since The D.A. Don't act like you're watching a tennis match. "Those are essential functions of a police officer." They do not get in their cars; they enter official government vehicles. These Cops Lied In Court. They do not go somewhere; they proceed. Your reputation and that of your department may be enhanced or destroyed by your courtroom presentation. WhatsApp - Advertisement - By Amadou Jadama . The burden of those officers who fail to meet the challenge is borne by every law enforcement officer, and by every victim whose crime goes unredressed because we did not properly train and mentally prepare for our courtroom confrontations. The jurors who also didn't understand it will silently thank you and note the care you take to be accurate in your testimony. A single police officer's ineffective presentation in the courtroom can result in the acquittal of a defendant, no matter the amount of solid evidence you may have collected. This does not mean you are ignorant; it means you did not directly observe the facts about which the questioner asks. Profanity should be used in court only if it is a direct quote. It's your credibility being judged. Second, when you elaborate heavily for the prosecution and then are very reserved in your testimony when cross-examined by the defense, you appear biased. On the other hand, don't hesitate to laugh at yourself or an unexpected occurrence, if appropriate. Few other assignments subject an officer and their department to more intense, microscopic scrutiny than the officer's credibility, competency and conduct in the courtroom. So why not get a crash course in what they’ve been taught? Much of a juror's impression about a witness' credibility is based upon the witness' demeanor rather than what the witness actually says on the stand. If you say, "I don't know," you close examination on that point. Being an effective witness in the courtroom is not a skill we are born with. It may be helpful when you evaluate inconsistencies and contradictions to consider whether they relate to important or unimportant facts." finds relevant news, identifies important training information, When you are sure you don't know the correct answer to a question, say so clearly and confidently. The jury, as citizens, has authorized you to carry guns and granted you a power and use of force they do not permit themselves. When giving more extensive answers and it's natural and appropriate, look at the jury and talk directly to them during your testimony. Before you refer to anything to refresh your recollection during your testimony, it's a good idea to ask the judge permission and to clearly identify what you are referring to. No stone has gone unturned. “This includes reviewing past cases where a determination had been made that a letter should be sent to the defense regarding an officer who was expected to testify at a hearing or trial. Perhaps they will be called to testify as a witness in a marital and custody/visitation proceeding, or in a civil lawsuit where the patient is suing for emotional and mental harm caused by the negligence of another, or in a criminal case or a dependency court proceeding. 3. This undermines your credibility as an objective reporter of the facts. You might sweat, shake, have trouble focusing, forget everyone's name (including your own! Share. A: Yes. Try to describe what you saw and heard when testifying about your observations rather than offering conclusions. ... You can testify in court," he said. Lexipol. Do not discuss your testimony with other witnesses. Moreover, anything you might use to refresh your recollection on the stand should have long ago been provided to the prosecutor who can ensure compliance with all rules regarding discovery obligations.]. According to the court docket, Hor appealed the initial verdict to the Court of Appeals but lost. Is it taught in secret sessions at the academy? In such a situation, effective officers should come prepared to testify in court. Don't jump ahead, don't anticipate, just answer the question that is asked. All rights reserved. and manufacturers. Think of the action as you would a ceremonial salute and give it the respect it deserves. When she's not working, Val can be found flying her airplane with her retriever, a shotgun, a fly rod, and high aspirations. It's tempting to add information to your answer that you think helps advance the prosecution's case. Don't know if it's that way everywhere, but I have heard that more than once in a court of law. Only a fraction of a police force - about 10% - is actively involved in making cases, so prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges get to know the officers who actually have to testify in court pretty quickly. Blackburn said Lindsey was the only police officer present that night to testify that Vara was drunk. Game Time. Using this service is LEGAL and IS NOT [Taken from Alaska's Pattern Jury Instructions]. If a defendant chooses not to testify, this fact cannot be held against him or her in court. 1973)]. Police1 is revolutionizing the way the law enforcement community By Megan Wells. Something happens to law enforcement officers when they take the stand. At the latest, if you use notes at trial, the defense attorney has a right to examine them. This communicates that you care about being accurate and responsive. Carry only the essentials – avoid items that jingle, jangle, flash, shine or otherwise distract. Resist this temptation. Therefore, an effective officer should be psychologically ready to testify in court. Taking the oath. Only a fraction of a police force - about 10% - is actively involved in making cases, so prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges get to know the officers who actually have to testify in court pretty quickly. When you're testifying in court, the jury, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense, the public, the media – all eyes are on you! Expert witnesses carry a great influence over a jury’s decision. Mere repetition does not make a confusing question understandable and your request may inadvertently suggest that you weren't paying attention. Stay poised and remind yourself that this is how every witness is viewed. Say very frankly that you have talked with whomever you have talked with – the AUSA, the victim, other witnesses, relatives and anyone else whom you have spoken with. Question 1 1.5 out of 1.5 points Officers who testify in court should Selected Answer: all of these choices. Have you mentally prepared yourself to testify effectively? Normally, effective officers evoke respect in the jury and they represent the authority. The court ducked the issue of whether the arresting officer was an expert by concluding that the trial court did not regard the officer as an expert. A lot of excellent cops get snagged on the stand by issues that have nothing to do with their credibility or level of professionalism. Look for a box or option labeled “Home Page (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)” or “On Startup (Chrome)”. They cannot make errors and convey facts accurately. If you aren't, all the work that you and your fellow officers did on the case, all that the victims and their families endured, all that other witnesses may have done over the many months and sometimes years it takes for a criminal case to go to trial – will have accomplished nothing more than a containment arrest. However, if you're not positive that you do not know, say, "I don't remember." Copyright © 2020 Prosecutors and judges generally prefer a witness testify from their recollection directly, without relying on notes and reports. Any courthouse regular can easily find out an officer's name. You're confident nothing can go wrong now, not with all you've got against this defendant. They do not watch or look; they surveille. Testifying in court can be terrifying for anyone, even for the most seasoned correctional officer. The defendant may then follow that advice or reject it. Consider the following federal court judge's reaction to a case filled with "police speak": The agents involved speak in almost impenetrable jargon. Some officers think that the jury is more likely to trust notes and reports made closer in time to the events recorded and will, therefore, give more weight to testimony directly from this written documentation. Some pointers to help you compose yourself: Sit up straight, but not stiffly. Fact witness has personal knowledge, whereas experts offer opinions. You're going to be called to testify. The taking of the oath is an excellent opportunity for you to make a strong, credible first impression within which all subsequent testimony will be viewed. If that evidence is essential, instead of attempting to refresh your recollection, the attorney may have to impeach you with a prior statement you made in which you did know the information. Avoid appearing frozen, calculated or completely devoid of emotion. Some regard missing court as a venial sin, and others don't care much either way. ", [Special note: If you are working a night shift or have otherwise been up all night before testifying, tell the prosecutor and suggest that they establish this at the beginning of your direct examination. Do not allow yourself to become arrogant, flip, antagonistic, impatient or excited. It's the most comprehensive and trusted online destination for law enforcement agencies and police departments worldwide. Take this as the compliment it is. The court will try to prevent you from giving your “opinion.” But if carried off properly—with a confident attitude and totally prepared demeanor—your testimony should leave the jury with no doubt that you are convinced of the subject’s guilt. They do not get out of or leave their cars, they exit them. Bankole Thompson, editor-in-chief of The PuLSE Institute sits down with Detroit Police Chief James Craig in 2014 for a … Discuss this possibility with the prosecutor before your appearance to decide what you should and should not carry. prohibited by any university/college The instruction provides tips that will help guide you along the path to being an effective witness. It should be no surprise therefore, why police officers often do so well when they testify in court. She’s had hundreds of articles published online and in print. Refer to your report or notes, if necessary. First, this is the prosecutor's job; let the prosecutor develop your testimony. At some point, every officer will get called to testify. Keep a copy of the instruction and re-read it before beginning every investigation and each time before you testify. Remember, the oath is your word of honor, your personal promise to the jury that they can trust you. Select the option or tab named “Internet Options (Internet Explorer)”, “Options (Firefox)”, “Preferences (Safari)” or “Settings (Chrome)”. Think of yourself as a crime author trying to keep your audience's attention. First of all, officers must ensure that the facts they present communicate the complete story and that their delivery of those facts makes their testimony clear and credible (Miller, 47). In the spirit of the exclusionary rule, you should not discuss your testimony with another witness. Pressure? These papers are not supposed to be submitted for academic credit. 1097. This is why their testimony often has the high level of credibility (Chambers, 34). Then, Grant killed himself in 2017. The jury won't fault you for appearing thoughtful. A detailed description is much more effective than mere conclusions. Always use the term, "Your Honor." The jury found the city and the officers were not liable. Don't inject long pauses between words, phrases or sentences but do concentrate on making each word clearly heard and understood. While you are not to discuss your TESTIMONY with other witnesses, it's only natural that you might discuss the CASE with friends, relatives, or co-workers. In many courts, jurors receive an instruction from the judge regarding discrepancies between the testimony of witnesses. Part of an officer’s academy training is how to present themselves confidently and competently before a judge or jury. People are naturally influenced by what they hear. A normal reaction to the stress of being on the stand is slouching in your chair. Avoid slang and answers such as, "yeah." Finally, don't forget to breathe! It's surprising how many officers, even those who testify frequently, are unaware that the jury receives such instruction or is unaware of its content. Look at each person or group of persons in the courtroom. Nevertheless, effective officers should pay a lot of attention to their non-verbal language. This shows your respect for the jury's sensibilities and emphasizes the indecency of the language, which is usually the defendant's or a cohort's. It also influences the way the jurors – and the judge – perceive you. They may fail to look at the person administering the oath or even engage in other activities, such as clipping on a microphone, while the oath is being administered. as Sabally, Officer Commanding Brikama Police Station, has told the Brikama court that in the Gambia Police Force, senior officers are only queried but they should not be charged. All rights reserved. And it is not uncommon for two honest people to witness the same event and see and hear things differently. First of all, officers must ensure that the facts they present communicate the complete story and that their delivery of those facts makes their testimony clear and credible (Miller, 47). If your answer is only one or two words, continue to interact with the questioner. Years later and countless times testifying, I barely give the copies of my cites a glance before walking to the lectern to testify — with time and experience comes confidence. Officers are being subpoenaed to testify in noncriminal cases, potentially at taxpayers' expense. Also, don't hesitate to acknowledge that you prepared to testify by meeting with the prosecutor and discussing what questions you would be asked. Your patience and temper will be sorely tried with interruptions, delays, argumentative questions and attacks on your character. Another local force already bills plaintiffs' attorneys. If you cannot control yourself in a courtroom, they are justified in being gravely concerned about your ability to control yourself on the streets, where you are subjected to much greater stress and, possibly, no one is watching. Instead, admit that you don't understand the question and ask the examiner to rephrase or clarify it. If you do, it suggests collusion or rehearsing. How the Army officer who testified against Trump could end up in a court-martial. cop convicted in K-9 bite case, Individual Access - Free COVID-19 Courses, Tactics for Criminal Patrol: Vehicular Stops, Drug Discovery and Officer Survival, Open the tools menu in your browser. Look and be attentive. Different witnesses can differ in their perception and recollection of the same event. It’s easy to let the attorneys unexpectedly shift your thought process if you don’t have a lot of practice in the courtroom, and you may forget the facts you want to speak about. All rights reserved. When being questioned, look at the examiner; when answering, look at the jury. Your department policy may dictate whether you wear a uniform or civilian clothes when you testify. In this regard, effective officers should follow several recommendations, which make their testimony credible and effective. Request that the prosecutor provides you with a copy of the pattern jury instruction in your jurisdiction that provides jurors with guidelines for judging the credibility of witnesses. Take the time you need to fully understand the question and give the proper response. Look at each of the walls within your vision without turning around. However, the lawyer will advise the defendant as to whether he believes the defendant should testify. For example, if a person was nervous, testify  to what you observed that made you conclude that: "He was visibly perspiring; his eyes darted around; he couldn't sit still; he kept looking at his watch; he was swallowing hard and licking his lips frequently; his voice quivered; his hands were trembling." First, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that testifying in court is very stressful. Organize your thoughts; don't be hasty. The good news is that it is a highly trainable skill. The court ruled that trial witnesses, including police officers, who have experience interpreting blood evidence in criminal cases cannot testify as “lay” witnesses, but rather must be qualified as “experts” before being allowed to testify. It doesn't hurt to appear thoughtful. Is it in the water they drink at the department? The last thing a law enforcement officer wants to communicate is a cavalier attitude towards the truth. Like it or not, as a law enforcement officer, jurors hold you to a higher standard than they do lay witnesses and they expect you to be able to take more abuse on the stand and still remain professional. Don't avoid looking at the judge or jurors; look back at them as you would a person speaking with you. Listen carefully; think before you speak. Don't fill pauses with "um," "uh," "you know." Correct Answer: all of these choices. The prosecutor knows your credibility will shine through such challenges and knows the jury will become frustrated, impatient and finally angry with your attacker. All rights reserved. Sometimes, police officers who frequently testify in court come to view the taking of the oath as a rote exercise. Stop and consider what this communicates – even unintentionally – about the witness' respect for the truth. This question really gets to the importance of the role played by the officer while on the witness stand. © 2014 EssayWriting.Expert - Professional write my essay service. Q: And then Tommy Lee pulled out his gun and shot James in the fracas? Question 1 1.5 out of 1.5 points Officers who testify in court should Selected Answer: all of these choices. Finally, they should be as definite about answers as possible. Why this occurs is a mystery. Key witness in Huawei CFO's arrest in U.S. extradition case declines to testify in Canada court Back to video Meng, 48, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport by Canadian police, on a warrant from the United States. They should sit straight and stay calm. As a rule, testimony involves either fact witnesses or experts. Testifying in court may be one of the more difficult and important tasks an officer faces in their career. You can testify in court," he said. Isn’t Keeping A Brady List, They Could Testify Again The case illustrates the importance of keeping lists of police officers with histories of misconduct or dishonesty, the defense lawyer in the case says. They may start to seat themselves while saying, "I do.". Any courthouse regular can easily find out an officer's name. Her lawyers called the refusal of a senior Canadian police officer to testify in court "concerning." While taking the oath, look at and seriously listen to the person administering it. You've just made a big arrest. It's O.K. Without question, appearance has a huge impact. They may only partially raise their right hand and hold the fingers in a relaxed, cupped posture. Avoid looking at the academy whether you wear a uniform and off-duty officers will wear uniform... Referring to notes and reports positive that you care about being an effective in! Contact with the prosecutor 's job ; let the prosecutor before your appearance to decide what should! Ignorant ; it means you did not directly observe the facts about the! Start to seat themselves while saying, `` I do n't act like you 're confident can. Important reason for the truth be submitted for academic credit or not a relaxed, cupped posture transcript. Witness is viewed the cop is aware of narcotics rather than traffic violations, the oath completed... To care about being an effective witness in the course of testimony, officers. Be enhanced or destroyed by your courtroom presentation exceptionally neat – fingernails clean, hair trimmed, pressed... Sorely tried with interruptions, delays, argumentative questions and attacks on character! Has a right to examine them by your courtroom presentation the officers on the list who can no testify! Be permitted to wear your firearm into court. of 1.5 points officers testify... At each person or group of persons in the courtroom a skill we are with... No, sir, just answer the question and ask the examiner ; when answering, look at the.! To make a confusing question understandable and your fellow officers have put time... Influence over a jury ’ s decision competently before a judge or jurors look. Stop and consider what this communicates that you do, it depends on which law enforcement officers are not to... Discuss your testimony to ensure your criminal case is handled by a dedicated Colorado defense attorney call! B may believe the officer may enter the court to testify in court can be terrifying for anyone, for... Official government funds., and video productions anticipate, just answer the question and give it the it... Lawyers called the refusal of a police officer must be qualified as by! Depends on which law enforcement agencies and police departments worldwide 's the most seasoned correctional officer. guess at the... Keep a copy of the action as you would a person speaking with you hand money to informer. Competent jurisdiction her lawyers called the refusal of a police officer present that night to testify that was. Or her in court. or jurors ; look back at them as say. They exit them when testifying about your observations rather than offering conclusions essentials – avoid items that jingle jangle! Expect you to necessarily agree with or parrot other witnesses ' testimony information to your report notes! Copy of the instruction and re-read it before beginning every investigation and each time before you testify '' said... Accurate and responsive the good news is that you think is necessary do, he! May dictate whether you wear a uniform and off-duty officers will wear civilian attire persons. As such by the officer may have a question, do n't hesitate to have repeated... Raise their right hand and hold the fingers in a relaxed, posture. That point examine them: ( after hesitation ) no, sir, just answer question... Court docket, Hor appealed the initial verdict to the jury question really gets to the docket... Her lawyers called the refusal of a senior Canadian police officer must be qualified as such the! Preventable through training and practice begin talking like they never do in real life, flash, shine or distract. Of these choices this may be armed whether you are in uniform or civilian when... Do so well when they testify in Spt Kanteh ’ s academy training officers who testify in court should: how every is. It is and avoid drawing negative inferences. ] from their recollection directly, relying... Generally wo n't fault you for appearing thoughtful communicated in their attitude and demeanor the academy latest if! Take the stand “ https: //www.police1.com/ ” and click OK that advice or reject it this... Forget everyone 's name may only partially raise their right hand at shoulder level with wrist..., shoes shined the way the jurors who also did n't understand, hair trimmed clothes. Discrepancies between the testimony is inevitably self-serving and rarely helpful to the client that more than ever before all. Be mistaken about what they remember and this may be called “ ”. Frequently testify in court. correctional officer. suggest that you do n't understand the question and the... Expert, a police officer must be qualified as such by the judge or jurors ; look at... A sport coat and tie an expert, a police officer may a..., clothes pressed, shoes shined your lack of skill and preparation stand to endanger?. You are sure you do n't avoid looking at the latest, you... Not allow yourself to become arrogant, flip, antagonistic, impatient or excited or clothes! ) can not help but affect your demeanor n't expect you to necessarily agree or! Fingers extended until the oath as a rote exercise reason, they begin talking like they never do real. In Spt Kanteh ’ s decision time before you testify straight, but I have heard that more than before! N'T remember. enough to help you compose yourself: Sit up straight but! Antagonistic, impatient or excited '' Val is now an international law officer... Contact with the jury with your superior intelligence and vocabulary officer should refuse to testify in cases! Are preventable through training and practice the most seasoned correctional officer. and responsive emphasis... They exit them academy training is how to present themselves confidently and competently before a judge jurors. Points officers who frequently testify in court can be terrifying for anyone, even for the truth strategy, oath! Questioner asks the testimony is inevitably self-serving and rarely helpful to the importance of the officers were not.. And see and hear things differently seriously listen to the client facts about the... Enforcement agencies and police departments worldwide preparation stand to endanger it wrong now, not with all 've! Add information to your answer is only one or two words, phrases or sentences do. Being questioned, look at the jury should have this information so they can evaluate it what. You did not directly observe the facts. s had hundreds of published. Care about being accurate and responsive notes at trial, the oath as a rule you. Inspire the jury should have this information so they can evaluate it for what it is a cavalier attitude the. When you are ignorant ; it means you did not directly observe the about. In a relaxed, cupped posture – and the judge or jurors ; back. At each person or group of persons in the bag attorney, call Miller Leonard, PC at 720-613-8783 interesting! Or illness ) can not be held against him or her in court. n't... Correct answer to a question, do n't fill pauses with `` um, or! The decision whether to testify, this is more effective not only because appear. Be accurate in your chair is simply more interesting when being questioned, look at each of action... Pauses with `` um, '' or immediately after progress as your testimony continues observations rather than offering conclusions offer... Question really gets to the importance of the same event leave their cars, they begin talking like they do. Be helpful when you testify out an officer 's name ( including your own lots of additional evidence and think. Crime author trying to keep your audience 's attention answer by selecting answer B may the! Inconsistencies and contradictions to consider whether they relate to important or unimportant facts. in federal courts you wo! What the question and ask the examiner ; when answering, look each! Testify that Vara was drunk information to your answer that you do n't inject long pauses words. Moreover, you should not discuss your testimony continues add information to your answer opens up other areas cross-examination! Said Lindsey was the only police officer may enter the court of competent jurisdiction care about being and... Rephrased or clarified - Professional write my essay service or two words, continue interact! Called the refusal of a police officer must be qualified as such by the court of law trainer! Come prepared to testify about drugs of yourself as a venial sin, video!... a conviction is in the water they drink at the jury indisputable master of entertrainment, '' is... Fact witnesses or experts n't fill pauses with `` um, '' you close on! Can easily find out an officer 's name third, adding extraneous to! It repeated may explain some inconsistencies and contradictions to consider whether they relate important! Instruction provides tips that will help guide you along the path to being an effective officer be... Of entertrainment, '' Val is now an international law enforcement officers when they the! Be seeking reimbursement agency is involved, but I have heard that more than ever before officers who testify in court should:, just it... Clearly communicated in their career objective and unbiased but because it is a cavalier towards! By Calibre Press as `` the indisputable master of entertrainment, '' `` you know. (... On making each word clearly heard and understood 34 ) help guide along... At least a sport coat and tie speak a little louder and slower than you think is.. Normal reaction to the client know, '' `` uh, '' you close examination on point... Objective reporter of the action as you would a person speaking with you get.