On March 25, 2011, Rains Lucia Stern, in conjunction with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, hosted “Critical Incidents: A New Look at Officer-Involved Shootings” at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley.
This landmark event was completely sold out and received rave reviews from the attendees who came from all over California and several other states.
The seminar’s headliner was Dr. William Lewinski, the founder of the Force Science Institute. Dr. Lewinski is the acknowledged leading expert in the role of human dynamics in deadly force incidents. Dr. Lewinski expounded on the effect of perception and reaction time in police shootings.
Other featured speakers included Alexander Jason, a Shooting Incident Analyst, and Michael Palmertree, who addressed post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of critical incidents. Rains Lucia Stern partners Terry Bowman and Mike Rains spoke as well. Terry Bowman discussed the important distinctions between criminal and administrative investigations. Mike Rains gave a compelling account of the Mehserle trial with a focus on the importance of managing media relations.
For those who were not able to attend, the critical “take aways” included:
1. There is a significant “lag time” between an officer’s perception of a threat and his or her ability to react. This phenomenon often effects the outcome of police shootings;
2. The role of CSI-style forensic analysis cannot be underestimated. In may cases forensic analysis reveals the true dynamics of a situation;
3. In both military and civilian armed service new research indicates that post-traumatic stress is an underdiagnosed and misunderstood silent threat;
4. Understanding that the legal implications of the distinction between a criminal and an administrative investigation can mean the difference between career life or death;
5. Public reaction and social politics fueled by media spin many times drive decisions to file criminal charges. Thus, having a media strategy is essential in effectively defending police cases.
Without question, this seminar accomplished our goal of providing a forum to bring together the leading experts in the use of force field with frontline law enforcement personnel, association leaders, investigators, department administrators and prosecutors. In today’s highly charged political climate it is critical that officers involved in critical incidents have access to the top experts both in terms of legal representation and relevant science.
Rains Lucia Stern, PC is exceptionally known for hosting symposiums for public safety personnel dealing with significant, on-topic issues facing California and the nation. If there is a topic that you would like specifically addressed at a future seminar, please contact RLS Managing Partner Harry Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org.