robbery in progress

Topics: Witness, Police, Undercover Pages: 2 (410 words) Published: May 14, 2014
When responding to what would generally be considered a “code 3” call in effect, an emergency requiring excess speed and the use of sirens and lights, the first thing the responding officers need to do is keep their emotions under control, as failure to do so can result in a bad shoot out, use of excessive force in subduing suspects, or sloppy investigative work at the crime scene. In this particular case, the first officers on the scene would physically separate the three witnesses, take statements from each one, than have each one sit down and write everything they witnessed. The physical separating is of the witnesses is extremely important in order to prevent them from sharing information, for example, swapping notes on important details like the physical appearance of the suspect. Failure to keep the witnesses isolated from each other would be seized on by defense council during preliminary criminal proceedings as damaging to the prosecution’s case. Once the suspects have been arrested, fingerprinted, photographed, and questioned, they would be placed in a line-up for possible identification by the witnesses. Again, the witnesses have to be isolated so that they do not inadvertently influence each other’s perceptions. One-by-one, the witnesses are asked to look at each of the “suspects” in the line-up, which could include undercover police officers, to determine whether one or more of them can identify the suspect. Questioning of the witnesses, as noted, begins with the request that each of them write down what they saw as soon as possible to minimize lapses in memory, and to secure a record of their observations before they have had a chance to speak with friends, family, or reporters. Such conversations can taint the credibility of the witnesses, as defense lawyers can raise the possibility that witness testimony was influenced by such interactions with other people. When questioning witnesses, officers and prosecutors will...
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