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 Post subject: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:48 pm 
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When, as a casualty investigator, interviewing witness...two important points we had to contend with:

1. Emotion and adrenaline factor...something that still so many reading this page believe will not affect them...
Had a significant effect on what they were able to distinguish, how their brain tagged the details it sensed through the eyes, ears, etc. to words.

2. Many people refused to be interviewed for fear of reprisal one way or another, or fear of being systematically destroyed emotionally by a defense attorney or prosecutor when testifying.

~~

But there is something more sinister:
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Some points from reality on being a witness. (Specially in states where your human right to own weapons and use them for self-defense is denied).

The crime goes down, and you decide to be a good witness. The cops arrive and will get all your personal info. In places like LA they will also run your for warrants and such (if you are a wanted man, do not be any kind of witness).

That personal info will be written into a police report and will become public information. Will the bad guys get a copy of the report? You bet your sweet gazzippies the attorney representing them will demand it. Will your name be on it? It depends if the officer releasing the copy or the DA handing it over black it out or not...my experience has been they do not.

So would you walk over to the murderer you are planning to testify against and hand him your driver's license? No? Hmmmm. That is in effect what you will do.

Think the cops will protect you? Do we really need to go into that???

Another thing, unless the bad guy admits he was caught red handed and does not contest the charges, it will inevitably go to trial. Every single time it does, you will be subpoenad and be required to show up. How much time can you take away from work? Justice is much more important than your mortgage...sorry.

I am not saying NEVER to be a witness, but understand the baggage that comes with it. There are very few events I will intervene in that do not directly involve me, and fewer that I will volunteer as a witness. That is my personal perspective on it. Sorry to burst any bubbles.
~ Gabe Suarez

~~

One witness,in a case of negligent homicide that I handled, collapsed and died while in court waiting to be called to the stand. The stress is considerable.

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Also consider the times when a victim of an assault, will not be able to identify the assaillant because of the mental block the adrenaline surge might cause.

Same reasons why many of the techniques we learn, armed or unarmed, can become totally useless in a fight.

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Take for example the reason why police officers issue sidearms_ do not have a safety [under stress the officer ether forgets it is there or is unable to manipulate it]_

Also, the reason why deadly force trainers teach not to ever try to manipulate the small slide release catch on a semiauto pistol when reloading but instead to grasp the slide forcefully, and yank it back to get it to go into battery.

Same for any fancy moves with a blade.

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:02 pm 
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As well as the persons description also remember details about the crime scense.

Lawyers are very slick to ask about distances, lighting conditions, weather conditions, etc, etc during cross examination.

Soon after making an arrest I would return to the crime scene to pace off distances, see where light sources were located and would go over my reports to remember what I had written about the perps clothing, facial hair, etfc, etc,

For the civilian try to get plate numbers, the direction that the perp escaped to, height, weight, clothing, type of vehicle and things such as that.
If you ever do testify don't be afraid to say, "I don't recall" when asked questions about time, distance, etc, etc. ( If, in fact, you really don't remember)
~ Suarez Intl

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:03 pm 
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When out with a friend or a willing to play the game spouse, have him or her suddenly ask you (at a time of their choosing) things like "okay, tell me about the people in the 7-11 we just left." Or "okay, tell me about the people in the booth behind you." Or "okay, what was so and so wearing in the shootout scene of the movie. What did his attackers look like?"

This will force you to start becoming more aware of your surroundings, develop a better eye for particulars, and actually activate neural pathways that seldom get much use/practice.
Suarez

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:07 pm 
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My suggestion....stop by a pay phone...give them the info you saw...and get back on with your life. Sorry if this is not civically responsible, but that is what I'd do if I didn't want to get involved with it.
~ G. Suarez

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 Post subject: Re: On being a witness
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:09 pm 
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There is a time for that but consider all consequences of getting involved. Some of these people are not the poor granny getting beaten up by a gang, but are simply one thug group kicking another thug to the deck. Will you risk yourself for them?

Think it over both before drawing the gun, or the phone.

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