Police misconduct is receiving more and more attention due to expansive media coverage. This misconduct often deals with excessive use of force. Excessive use of force is a sub-category of police misconduct and while investigated in a similar manner it is a sub-category that deserves its own explanation. This explanation will be examined in a further article on police use of force. Expert witnesses are necessary to determine the validity of both categories.
So what is classified as police misconduct? It is generally categorized as such things such as false police statements, perjury, fabrication of evidence, failure to take proper police action, false arrests, etc..
Expert witnesses with police experience who search for the truth are a necessary component of investigating these misconduct complaints. Expert witnesses will need any and all police reports, including internal affairs reports and district attorney reports. Competent experts will ask for everything. Reports contain clues and some clues may either justify or exclude police misconduct. The bottom line is that good police expert witnesses can assist attorneys in understanding what police reports really mean. Police have their own lexicon and experts know this and can put reports into context. The key to the investigation of police misconduct is an expert witnesses search for the truth. There has to be a lack of bias on the expert’s part. This lack of bias (pro-police or anti-police) allows for a clear search for the truth.
Something that is seen every day is bias by pro-police experts who are or have been police officers in the past. This bias is very easy to combat. On the flip side, anti-police experts who have never served as a police officer often have an anti-police bias.
To combat this it is necessary for the police expert witness evaluating the case to be a truth seeker and not a case maker. Unfortunately, these experts are hard to come by these days.
The bottom line is that the truth must be found.
The hard-working experts at NYPDTRUTH.COM are those experts who are well known for their competence and unrelenting work to find the truth.
Det. John J. Baeza, NYPD (ret.)
Det. Joseph Guida, NYPD (ret.)