Demonstrative Cross-Examination of an Officer
Larry Taylor

Click Here to Listen 

 

Continued from Page 1...

Please show me where those appear in your report.

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Well

That he did not exhibit those symptoms.

"[Unmiked student speaking]" I don’t have them.

In fact officer, anything that you did that night did not go into your report, did it?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Well, we are taught to write down all the things that were wrong so that we can recall them.

So you only put incriminating facts in your report?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" that’s true

And anything showing innocence you leave out?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Yes

And your testimonies here today you are relying what’s in your report to testify, are you not.

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Yes I am

Officer, let me give you a hypothetical situation: If you had the exact same facts that you had here, The driving, the objecting symptoms and the unfailed sobriety test and you later arrested that individual and took him into the station and then put him on the same machine and the machine read .03, .04, what would you have done?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" If the machine says to turn them loose, I turn them loose.

So at that point in time you have determined that that in despite of all of the facts that you have testified here to the jury that you would not feel that this individual was not under the influence of alcohol?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Well if the machine says to turn them loose, I have to turn them loose.

All right, time is running out. A couple of comments and then lets ask questions. First of all, obviously this is a abbreviated cross-examination; normally it takes about 8-10 hours of cross-examination of the arresting officer. This is just a way of skipping across a few of the issues that I know, seen a lot of __?__ to deal with on the cross. Secondly, now this is not rehearsed by the way, all I have told him that is try to get in some trouble and make it difficult and ah and we assumed a couple of facts that were not in the report. You’ll notice that I did not use any audio and visual. No toys. Like Dick uses. I think they are wonderful. I think they’re great. I wish I was good at them. I’m not. I have been doing this for 27 years and I’m set in my ways. I have been teaching Law School ____?_____. And so I don’t do it. I think it is a great idea but it’s not my style and I’m not going to, ah, adopt someone else’s at this stage, but if you could use audio, visual, toys, amongst your evidence, whatever, I strongly recommend it. It is a great idea. Ah, any questions about, ah, the cross-examine. Either ideas, ah, about how you would have done it or what I did wrong or whatever?

"[Unmiked student speaking]" -I think you did a great job…

Thank you. I think you might be right.

"[Unmiked student speaking]" Cop – One thing that I would have added, is the officer's mistakes can be further magnified by using the varying issues that he used against this ____?____. What time is it? ___?____. I think I would have asked the officer how long you have been testifying on the stand? And then I would have guessed any number of things that would have been off because I don’t know. And I may be making the same mistake that is ____?____.

OK, first of all, I always prepare that. Hopefully, I get the guy at the DMV hearing and I take the court assessment __?__. What I want to get him saying that he has got that flashlight and that gun hand free. You know, where we practice __?__ is the policy that the CHP, the Sheriffs, everybody, to have the gun hand free to top that. And they are going to want to very fair, meaning all kinds of lighting meaning everything to make this fair, so they are going to say that a flashlight, now sometimes they are going to say to tuck it under the arm, You have to deal with that. Ah, but you want to make sure the situation where he already claims that he already has field notes, you could show that he could not have. Now, having said that, the guy, the rear guy has it under his arm and his gun hand, he sees it coming, he’s heavy before, he knows and he is writing notes, then you want to know, you want to develop to the jury why he destroyed his notes. Are you aware in these cases that the defense attorney wants to see your notes, etc, etc… There is no good reason to destroy the notes unless you are hiding something and you can develop that one.