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Tell Me Exactly What You Heard

In our last article, Honest But Not Accurate, we rejected the idea that an officer’s memory was the equivalent of a video recorder. We cautioned that inconsistencies between an officer’s memory and a video recording could result from human performance factors and are not necessarily evidence of intentional deception. But even in cases without video...
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Honest But Not Accurate

In 2013, Force Science News shared the story of a Grover Beach (CA) police officer who was fired after attempting to use his Taser on a kidnapping suspect. After forcing entry into a garage, officers found the man sitting in a car with the baby in his arms. With only the light from his Taser...
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Should Failure To Record Equate With Excessive Force? A Court Speaks

The problem of officers failing to activate recording equipment before or during a force encounter can be a thorny one with multiple potentially negative consequences. But a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit has tried to push the issue to a new and radical extreme. The incident in question began in the snowy, predawn hours of...
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New On Facebook: “Civil Discourse” Site For Cops & Civilians

What if there was a social media page where police agencies could post video from body cams, along with detailed explanations of what’s happening in the footage? What if police trainers and other law enforcement experts could engage with curious civilians in a rational and reasonable dialogue about videos posted to social media? Imagine the...
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New! Force Science Study Casts Fresh Light on Police Memory Errors

A favored tactic of plaintiffs’ attorneys in civil suits is to cast doubt on an officer’s credibility by emphasizing errors in the officer’s recall of details about the critical incident at issue. Now a major new study by a Force Science research team provides unequivocal scientific support for the fact that erroneous memories of life-threatening...
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Anatomy Of An Officer’s Defense In A High-Profile Shooting (Part 1)

Part 1 of a 2-part report Police Atty. Scott Wood was absorbed in his son’s high school football game that Friday night, so he missed the two calls to his cell phone until half time. Then he listened to the voice mails that hurled him into one of the nation’s most explosive officer-involved shootings. A...
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3 Keys For Maximizing The Value Of Video Footage

Getting maximum value from video of a controversial use-of-force encounter may require more than just viewing raw footage as it comes from the camera. In fact, three extra steps are often the keys that allow investigators and other interested parties to unlock critical secrets “hidden” in recordings that may not be evident at first glance,...
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Force Science-Trained Team Wins Cop’s Job Back After Video Controversy

An officer’s job termination, based largely on discrepancies between his description of a physical encounter and what a Taser camera recorded, has been reversed by a California judge, thanks to the efforts of an attorney and an expert witness with Force Science credentials. Ofcr. Santino “Sonny” Lopez of the Grover Beach (CA) PD, the president...
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Do Head Cameras Always See What You See In A Force Encounter?

News reports about the head camera currently being tested by selected law enforcement agencies may be raising false expectations regarding the device that could have serious repercussions in some use-of-force investigations, warns the Force Science Institute. The camera, manufactured by Taser International and a little larger than a Bluetooth earpiece, fits snuggly on an officer’s...
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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...
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