July 4th, 2013

Judge Finds Cop Not Guilty of Assault after Refusing to Watch Video of Assault 514

By Carlos Miller

 

A St. Louis cop is caught on video, slamming his forearm across the face of a handcuffed teenage suspect.

Rory Bruce not only gets fired for the incident that took place last year, but ended up charged with assault - something you rarely see happen.

However, when Bruce stepped in front of the judge to be tried this week, the judge refused to watch the video that came from a surveillance camera from the back of a police transport vehicle.

As a result, Judge Theresa Counts Burke found him not guilty.

Judge burke

Judge Burke refused to tell KMOV-TV why she did not want to watch the strongest piece of evidence in the case against the former cop.

But the head of the police union, Jeff Roorda, who is also a Missouri state representative, fully agreed with her decision not to view the video because he believes videos should only be used to protect police, not hold them accountable.

Roorda is now going to help Bruce get his job back.

According to KMOV-TV:

In an emailed statement, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said the office was disappointed that the judge didn’t see this video—adding that the video clearly shows Bruce beating a handcuffed teen.

Judge Teresa Counts Burke didn’t return calls for comment.

Roorda says the judge did right—he told News 4, police videos like these should be used to protect police.

Now, it’s become a “gotcha-head hunter” tool that we’ve seen internal affairs go over-board with.

Roorda says—with his name clear in the courts—Bruce should get his job back. We’ll stay on it to see if he does.


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • rick

    Accountability, who needs it?
    Please tell me a civil suit is in the works.

    • Terry

      How about a trial for the judge and cop, followed by an appointment with the gallows?

      • Difdi

        An impeachment certainly, since the judge refused to carry out her sworn duty.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          ROTFL.

          The judge did her duty to the letter of the law.

          Y’all are mad at the wrong person. The partner is the one that kept the video from getting in with his testimony.

          • Harry Balzanya

            So a video tape of a bank robber breaking into a atm machine without a witness on the seen is not admissible in court. Thats ridiculous the prosecutor could have easily called a number of video experts even the guy who placed the tape in the machine to authenticate it. He chose not to in my opinion.

          • Ricky Dickinson

            No, what happened in this case is a corrupt judge choosing to abuse a loophole in that piece of shit law, which in my opinion clearly needs re-writing, by letting the cop go and declaring him not guilty. I wonder whether she was paid off, or whether she just gets pleasure knowing there’re assholes running around freely disguised as police so they can get away with beating people, speeding, parking illegally and getting easy access to guns among other things.. without a care in the world. Thanks for that Judge.. great job there you pathetic bitch :L Incredibly glad I don’t live in a place like that ~

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            OK, so next time you or one of your friends is in trouble, it would be OK to ignore those laws that protect the defendant so they can find you guilty?

            BTW, it’s not a loophole, it is one of the fundamental procedures for introducing evidence. Had she not ruled the way she did, she would have been overturned on appeal.

          • Difdi

            When a court is required to ignore reality because someone lied and said that reality is wrong, that’s just crazy. We’re not talking about an invasion of privacy, an illegal search or anything like that.

            Video evidence is more reliable than human testimony. It doesn’t usually perjure itself, for one thing. When the more reliable evidence can be overridden to the point that the judge isn’t allowed to think about it by less reliable evidence, something is badly broken.

          • Barking Dog

            I think that should happen anyway. Sets a dangerous precedent in the NSA era. They can film us but we can’t film them.

            And when they do film us, we are told it isn’t real. What do they have that camera for anyway? Only to catch us hitting them?

          • not a lawyer

            Missouri rules of evidence state video can be admitted if it supplements a witnesses’ testimony. It doesnt have to be corroborated by it, and the court has wide latitude. All that’s required is that a witness speaks to the same events as the video – which was the case in this case.

            The judge COULD have admitted but had wide latitude. She may be legally within her rights, but she is ethically and morally way off.

          • Barking Dog

            ???

            His partner in crime was able to hide the evidence by not saying it was not evidence?

  • Nogods Buffalo

    Rory Bruce is a coward. Is that judge elected or appointed?

  • Jude I⚡caяiot

    Jeff Roorda is a fucking idiot. I hope he gets genital herpes.

  • YourTaxDollarsAtWork

    How can that not be assault? There needs to be some way to punish this judge for this miscarriage of justice. She needs to be removed from the bench IMMEDIATELY.

    • steveo

      In Fl, we call this battery, assault is defined as fighting words directed at a person without any contact. But there are thousands of cases of battery that never get prosecuted because the victim refuses to testify, that’s the case here.

      • Difdi

        Depends on where you’re standing. There is no such crime as Battery in Washington state, just different degrees of Assault.

        • James M Morriss

          What can’t we just agree and call a spade a spade; he knocked the shit out of that boy. Assault, battery, “a rose by any other name….”

          The fact the judge refused to look at the videos speaks volumes for her integrity. (ECLS: nothing was said about the “authenticity”. It’s not in evidence, you don’t get to claim it as a reason.)
          And I would assume she was elected to that bench? Vote her black robed ass out.
          I have on to look after here in Rowan Co. NC next election.

          • Difdi

            Exactly. A judge should be more concerned with discovering truth and applying justice than with their stats and metrics. So it will get reversed on appeal? It might not. Worrying about whether it will as a judge’s primary motivation is a conflict of interest at best, and looks an awful lot like corruption on the bench at worst.

            Ignoring physical evidence that offers the closest thing this world ever has to absolute proof of whether or not an alleged act took place because the accused’s accomplice testilies that it is somehow reality that is wrong, not his testimony is madness.

          • legalpanther

            Sorry to disagree, but what you are asking for is a form of lawlessness and unpredictability. There are a set of rules that must be followed by both sides and the judge. The judge cannot ignore rules because it fits within your sense of justice.

            Let me provide an example of which I have personal knowledge. While in college, a fraternity house had an annual party that always had fairly weird theme. This one particular year, the theme focused around yard statues. In order to set the stage for the party, members from the fraternity house went into the community and stole lawn statues from people’s yards. At one house, they apparently made too much noise and the owner, an off duty police officer, came out to investigate only to see fraternity guys throwing his lawn statue into the back of a vehicle. He also noticed one more thing, one of the boys was wearing a shirt with his greek letters on it. Well, the officer went to his department, gathered some uniformed officers and went to the fraternity house. The officers entered, with no warrant, and confiscated more than 200 stolen lawn statues. Several fraternity members were charged. Their attorney moved to suppress the evidence on the grounds the police lacked a search warrant. The court agreed, suppressed the evidence and dismissed the case.

            Was justice done? This would depend on your point of view. To those folks who had their lawn statues stolen, no it was not. But to those who support the Bill of Rights and the rule of law, it was done. So should the judge in this case seek justice and ignore the law? The answer is no.

            Bottom line, judges have to follow the rule of law, no matter how distasteful that ruling may be for them.

          • Difdi

            One is not the other.

            When a rule of evidence is so far out of touch with reality that the average, reasonable citizen takes one looks and suspects illegal drugs are involved, then the rule needs to be re-examined.

            When rules get too far from reality, people lose respect for them.

          • legalpanther

            But the rules are not far from reality. All evidence submitted to the court has to be authenticated (there are a few exceptions). It is not authenticated be cause the attorney claims it is what it is. This is not a case where the rules have failed, but is a case where the prosecution failed to have the proper persons at trial to give testimony that would authenticate the exhibit.

          • Difdi

            The mere fact that a video camera mounted on a police vehicle, that clearly shows objective reality is not admissible unless a much more fallible human being says it was there? That’s insanity.

            It’s so insane, that anyone not biased in favor of the system takes one look and wonders if magic mushrooms or other psychedelic drug were in use in the courtroom.

            I get that the rules are rock solid tradition. But any rule or law needs to be looked at from time to time to ensure it continues to make sense. When a rule turns a court from a solemn pursuit of justice to a comedic farce in the eyes of the public, something must be done to correct it.

            When the people who are expected to trust the system and rely on it to be just can’t help wondering what drug-induced hallucinations the system originated from, there is a problem. If people have no faith in the system, they will circumvent it when they need justice. The system has a vested interest in preventing this from happening; It can use force or it can use reason, but in the long run, reason works better.

            The absurdity of the rule is right up there with the emperor’s new clothes. And just like the emperor’s nonexistent finery, no one involved in the matter has the courage to see and speak the truth.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Fingerprints and DNA have to be authenticated too. You have to lay a foundation that the piece of evidence is what it is purported to be.

          • Difdi

            I’m aware of that. You’re helping me prove my point, not refuting it.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Without authentication, police and prosecutors would be able to introduce evidence without showing it was connected to the crime.

            OK, I got these fingerprints from this other burglary three years ago that I know are his, we can pass them off as being connected to this murder case. We really don’t have any other evidence, but we “know” he did it, because we’re the police.

            It serves a valid purpose to require authentication.

          • Difdi

            Straw man.

            We’re not talking about falsifying evidence here. We’re discussing objective reality being subordinate to perjured testimony.

          • legalpanther

            But there is one thing that you are apparently unaware of or choose to ignore — in trial, the only facts that exist are those that are presented during said trial. The court is not permitted to perceive, acknowledge , or decide upon facts that are not presented during the trial. The example I always use is this, if the parties stipulate that the sky is green, for that trial the sky is green, not blue.

            Plus, most states in this country base their Rules of Evidence on the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Federal Rules of Evidence did not come into existence until 1975. So, though they might be based upon general rules that developed over centuries of both British and American Jurisprudence, the Rules are fairly modern.

            Fingerprinting dates to the late 1800s. So the rules were set in place after fingerprinting became an accepted method of identification. But even using your examples, to submit fingerprints into evidence they have to be authenticated by testimony, to enter DNA into evidence, it has to be authenticated by testimony. The prosecutor cannot just hand in a sheet of paper and say DNA testing states it was defendant’s blood on the knife handle. Likewise, the prosecutor cannot show a photo of a fingerprint and state that it belongs to the defendant. There must be someone there to testify that these items are what they are reported to be.

            So, in this case, how is the court to know where the video came from? How is the court supposed to know that this came from a police vehicle? The only way a court could make those determinations is if someone appears and testifies to that fact. That is it, nothing more.

            The rules of evidence did not thwart justice in this case. A poorly prepared ADA did. The burden was clearly upon that person to present the testimony to authenticate the video. That person failed miserably. The rules did what they were designed to do — make certain that all parties are presented with the same level playing field.

          • Proud GrandPa

            A judge should be more concerned etc….
            .
            You should read The Famous Cases of the Renown Judge Dee, the first historical, non-fiction novel of a Chinese judge circa 1000 AD. He is a judge who had a sheriff beaten for trying to provoke a confession from a suspect by moving the dead body to the man’s doorstep for shock effect.
            .
            The suspect ran to the judge’s home and pounded a gong. The law of China required judges to honor the plea for justice of a citizen any time day or night. Judge Dee investigated and punished the local sheriff. Judge Dee also had his own investigators.
            .

      • James Michael

        Funny, Blacks Law defines assault very plainly and if Florida is making up its own definitions for well known words there is a definite problem… Then again Florida is very well know for it’s traitorous and ignorant thugs with badges and guns. I should know I was born there and their false arrest of myself, was exactly what got me into the study of law 7 years ago.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          What? A sovereign whackjob got arrested? Say it ain’t so!

          BTW, each state has the ability to establish their own laws, including definitions. They are not required to follow the definition in Black’s. That would be the tail wagging the dog, since Black’s gets its definitions from court decisions in the various states. Black’s originally cited the cases that the term came from.

          Also, if you can’t get through your law school in 3 years or so, maybe you should look for another one.

          • Ricky Dickinson

            as·sault
            /əˈsôlt/

            Verb
            Make a physical attack on.Noun
            A physical attack: “his imprisonment for an assault on the film director”; “sexual assaults”.

            There you go ExCop, THE literal definition of assault. Don’t you think that a word should mean what it means? What’s the point in words having definitions if different states are going to claim it means something else entirely?

            Also, i don’t recall James saying that he had not passed law school, he only said that it was what had caused him to take it up in the first place. Would you please try reading correctly and drop the asshole attitude?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            That definition means absolutely nothing in a court case for assault. Statute and case law defines what is assault. In states following the old common law definition, it is basically a threat that causes fear of unlawful imminent harm to the victim. In states that follow the model penal code, it means battery, the actual unlawful contact which causes harm to the victim.

            As far as taking it easy on James, or any other sovereign whackjob who is spreading their BS on the law?

            No.

          • James Michael

            They actually make a living perverting words from their real meanings and screwing people because they don’t know it…. Using peoples ignorance against them in fraud, is exactly what people like him do for a living. Never trust one…. they are unworthy of any….

          • Fotaugrafee

            He was a cop, smugness is part of the game. He’ll never be a REAL attorney, only a prosecutor-type that is hell-bent on defending other cops & actions like this.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Fotagrafee, I would stick to taking pictures if I were you, since your reading comprehension is lacking.

            Find one place here where I defended the ex-officer – every time I spoke of him I have said he should be behind bars for abusing a handcuffed prisoner.

          • Dan Matthews

            Does it take a great deal of energy and focus for you to be a butt head, or does it just come to you naturally?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Again, so?

            Webster’s definition doesn’t matter if the legislature has defined the term otherwise.

          • Dan Matthews

            EC, when you are surrounded by people who don’t want to hear and can’t understand reason, you are either in a nut house or just plain wasting your time.
            I’d choose the nut house myself, at least the inmates can pretend they are listening and you expect nothing in return.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Oh, there are some here that both hear and understand reason, and will discuss matters.

            Then there are some that have their mind made up, regardless of the facts or the evidence, but are otherwise rational. They might have been witchburners in past times, but they just are set in their beliefs.

            And then you have the whackjobs and nuts.

            I just put out the truth and explain the facts and if they choose to listen, fine, if not that’s fine too.

            After all, there are none so blind as those that will not see, nor so deaf as those that will not hear…

          • Dan Matthews

            I agree with you 100%. I did not mean to imply all the people here were not listening, as I know that many provide good input and/or rebuttal.
            Then there are those who continue to spew their opinions with little, if any, regard of the truth or fact.

          • ted

            If that was a legal definition it would make the charge of “assault AND battery” kind of redundent wouldn’t it?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            That’s because it is not the legal definition. It is the definition for common usage and everyday discussions, but it means nothing in court where the definitions are established by the statute enacted by that state’s legislature.

          • James Michael

            Why the hell would I want to goto a school to join an extortion club of criminals? I’m an honest man…. It’s called reading books. Oh and I’ve destroyed 3 of you procedurally trained attorneys with my whack job sovereignty ideas. So whatever there, buddy. Thank you Ricky you read and understood the words… They are trained to be obtuse and to think in circles… Who would want that…. I’ve only seen two lawyer I have any respect for Gerry Spence and Lysander Spooner. Oh and Mr learning law….

            “It has been justly thought a matter of importance to determine from what source the United States derives its authority… The question here proposed is whether our bond of union is a compact entered into by the states, or whether the constitution is an organic law, established by the people? To this we answer: ” We the People… ordain and establish this constitution”… The government of the state had only delegated power (from the people) and even if they had an inclination, they had no authority to transfer the authority of the sovereign people. The people [individually] in their capacity as Sovereigns made and adopted the Constitution and it binds the state governments without the states consent, The United States as a whole, therefore,emanates from the people and not from the states, and the Constitution and the laws of the states, whether made before or since, the adoption of that Constitution of the United States, are subordinate to the United States Constitution and the laws made in pursuance of it.”

            Bouviers 14th Edition citing Wheat 402

            Well golly gee willikers, who does that say are the sovereigns…..?
            Not the STATE, Not the FEDS, I have about 20 more quotes that say the same exact thing. The difference between me and you is, I’m not still mentally enslaved to the system like you. I have had no license or registration since 2007 and have no nexus with the state and am not a citizen of YOUR corporate UNITED STATES. There are 3 in law in case you didn’t know, I also carry a .50 DE on my hip everywhere and it has no registration, nor permit because I know exactly what a firearm is and I’m left alone. It’s called correcting your status, and knowing the law you might look into it sometime. Instead of licking masters boot and being a soulless robot. Good luck with that bye the way. Oh,and I know the Sheriff very well also hes an honorable man unlike some folks… Enjoy your servitude…..

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            JM, if you are going to cite to a case, it is better to go to the original case, rather than to a secondary source. A secondary source is only persuasive authority while the primary source (in this case) would be binding authority. The actual case is M’Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat) 316, 402 (1819). While the Bouviers quote may be accurate, it is at most paraphrased from M’Culloch, as the Bouviers material does not appear in M’Culloch as cited, and certainly not at p. 402.

            M’Culloch at 402 actually discuss the enactment of the Bank of the United States and Maryland’s argument that the U.S. derives its powers from the sovereignty of the States. It does not discuss the sovereignty of the people at all. The quote you cite appears in numerous documents online, mostly involved in the sovereign citizen movement, such as affidavits purporting to free themselves from the state’s jurisdiction. Almost every one of these affidavits mis-cite M’Culloch.

            The actual quote that would support your position is:

            “The government proceeds directly from the people; is ‘ordained and established,’ in the name of the people; and is declared to be ordained, ‘in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.’ The assent of the states, in their sovereign capacity, is implied, in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final.” M’Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. 316, 403-04, 4 L. Ed. 579 (1819).

            None of that means that a person can declare themselves outside of the jurisdiction of either a state or the federal government. It speaks of the people as a body, not as individuals.

          • WWGD

            But didn’t the judge not look at the video evidence? How is this court ruling to be considered relevant if the facts of the case weren’t considered relevant? America is a disgracefully corrupt country: E.g When powerful groups get profiled and/or abused by the IRS because they claim they are promoting “social welfare”(when really they’re anything but) it’s a national headline, but when it’s the a black teenager in handcuff being elbowed in the head that’s ok because its the status quo.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            She did not look at the evidence because it had not been authenticated. She could not, by law, look at it until that requirement had been met.

          • James M Morriss

            That might well be, but at that point the correct, and more importantly, right, procedure is to postpone the “trial” until it is “authenticated”. How a police video, taken by a police camera, from inside a police vehicle, in the constant possession of the police, is going to be more “authenticated”, I could only venture a few SWAGs at.

          • legalpanther

            You have to be prepared for trial. Because you cannot, for whatever reason, lay the proper foundation at trial is no reason to continue it. Remember, this is a very minimum threshold. From what I surmise from the article, the prosecution was relying upon the partner to authenticate the video. He did not. Without more, there is no foundation, and thus, not admissible.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Authenticated is a legal term of art. It is about how you admit the tape into evidence, procedurally.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Soooo, what more authentication be necessary to ensure that a video tape FROM a police / emergency vehicle is THE REAL THING? Seriously?

            That’s an abuse of the law, plain & simple. And you’re an asswipe for defending it.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Obviously you don’t have a clue.

            Thanks for playing.

            Moron.

          • Dan Matthews

            I’ll clue you in on something, your opinion doesn’t mean jack when put up against the legal process, right or wrong…in your opinion.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            It doesn’t matter if the tape came from the Pope. If the proper foundation isn’t laid to authenticate it, it’s not going to be admitted into evidence.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Wah-wah-wah…secondary this or that. Stick to the fucking basics, you retard. Goddamn.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            OK, how’s this for a response.

            You idiot, that is sovereign citizen BS that doesn’t even appear in the court opinion.

            On the other hand, I thought it might help him if he could see the difference in what he cited and what the opinion actually said.

          • James Michael

            Just whom do you think We the People are? A cop, A Judge? are you really that moronic. WE pay all of you to preserve the peace and serve justice. While you in fact beat teenagers in the head and terrorize and kill and rape and maim innocent people because you are ignorant neanderthals. No one trusts cops, lawyers or the courts…. Well not anyone that is awake and intelligent anyway. You are an Employee not my employer…. and without “cause” you have nothing, you are just a grunting gorilla….. Sorry you can’t fool me as I can see

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Uh huh. Sure.

          • Dan Matthews

            You have missed your Thorazine injection one or two or three too many times.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            You don’t pay me anything and probably never have.

          • Just Another Comment

            I can’t believe what I’m reading, you’re trying to lay down some knowledge and these people automatically hate you because your name is “Ex-Cop” even though you generally agree with them.

            I can’t believe I read this far.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            It happens. Some that have a real hatred for the police don’t want to hear what is actually happening.

            It used to happen on the street too, so I’m used to it, although I will admit that I get snarky with some of them.

            Glad to see you at PINAC and I hope you will stay around.

          • Wandering_Bard

            Don’t let the haters get you down, Ex Cop. I’ve found your input to be some of the most logical and well-informed on this forum.

            Unfortunately, objectivity is something that many of the commenters here sorely lack.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Thanks.

        • http://www.mikechurch.com/ pete838

          In Florida you are charged with armed assault for threatening to use a weapon on someone. No joke.

          • Michael Richards

            THAT’S WHAT ASSAULT IS … I don’t even know why Florida continues to be brought up. My God, the Wikipedia entry states: Assault and battery is the combination of two violent crimes: assault (the threat of violence) and battery (physical violence). This legal distinction exists only in jurisdictions that distinguish assault as threatened violence rather than actual violence.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_and_battery

            …but seriously, just search Google for assault vs. battery

    • Difdi

      It’s not assault/battery because when you swear an oath to uphold the law you become physically incapable of breaking it. If evidence comes to light that you did break it, then reality must be wrong.

      • Fotaugrafee

        And lawyers like Ex-Cop Law Douchebag will stand there & defend his scum brethren letting you know just that. All of them should die of ebola or some other painful, internal illness.

        • Difdi

          The point of law is justice. That’s why courtrooms have those statutes, sculptures and paintings of that blind lady with a sword lying around so often.

          Their system, right or wrong is not justice. But people who spend enormous sums of money, great effort and long periods of time learning how to do something have a bias towards thinking that is the way things MUST be — because otherwise it was all a waste.

  • rick

    What’s worse than ignorance? Willful ignorance.

    • Contrarymary

      Ouch!

  • Jefft90

    At first I feared this was another Judge with strong police
    ties, but unfortunately it appears to be because of the rules of evidence. Maybe ECLS can explain better.

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2013/07/04/but-for-video-former-cop-rory-bruce-acquitted-edition.aspx?ref%3Drss

    • rick

      Res ipsa loquitur

      • Jefft90

        Rule 901. Authenticating or Identifying Evidence.

        1) Testimony of a Witness with Knowledge. Testimony that an item is what
        it is claimed to be.
        Had the Judge ruled otherwise it would have been grounds fo reversal.

        • Difdi

          The problem is that the inadmissible evidence is more solid than the testimony. People lie. The video shows what actually happened, but because a witness lied (and the video proves they lied) the video gets tossed out.

          That’s not a court of law, that’s a farce.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      To admit a photograph or video, you have to lay the proper foundation that it accurately represents the scene and the activities. You do this with a witness. There were three people present: the defendant, his partner, and the victim.

      The defendant did not testify, so you can’t use him to get the tape in.

      The victim asserted his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid incriminating himself (remember, he was under arrest, and if he testified, the defense could question him on what he did to get arrested).

      The partner said that the video did not match what he remembered. He had initially invoked his Fifth Amendment rights, but was granted immunity and ordered to answer.

      Without foundation, the tape cannot be entered into evidence.

      • IceTrey

        How could the victim testify as to what he had done to get arrested? It is the cops who would have to testify to that.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Because any defense attorney worth his salt will ask him questions about that and any other crimes. It goes to the witnesses credibility.

          • Antoinette

            The REAL CRIME WAS THAT A HANDCUFFED “KID” WAS ASSAULTED BY AN ADULT.! PERIOD!!

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            No kidding? Did you figure that out all by yourself?

            I’ve already said that it is BS that the officer got off. I’m explaining why it happened.

          • Contrarymary

            As usual a cop (whether ex or not) belittling a citizen. Way to go there sport. What Antoinette brings up is spot on!

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Makes me wonder if you are in some sort of personal relationship with her.

      • Difdi

        That’s absurd. How can oral testimony from someone who (if not a cop) would possibly be an accomplice to the assault carry greater weight than a video recorded by a police vehicle’s camera system?

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          It has to be authenticated. Period. No exceptions.

      • BusPass

        Sounds like an easy way to beat traffic cams.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Ah, but those do get authenticated. The witness has been at the scene before or after and testifies that it is an accurate representation of the location.

          • BusPass

            So a “witness” shows at a challenge to a camera ticket…alrighty.

          • Jim Tuck

            Camera ‘tickets’ are usually treated as civil infractions of a municipal code so the city can keep the money instead of having to share with the state, etc. There are different standards of evidence in such hearings (generally, whatever the magistrate says goes.)

            Additionally, many municipalities that use automated ticketing make it nearly impossible to appeal at all, or charge the full face value of the citation to do so.

      • stumbled here from elsewhere

        It is so very nice to see someone with knowledge give a proper (yet brief) explanation of the rules of evidence and trial procedure. Every one of your posts on this topic has been absolutely correct, and i commend you.

    • Proud GrandPa

      From your link, Jefft90:

      And yet, union spokesman Roorda can’t help but gild the lily:

      “You’ve got a guy who has twice skated on serious charges all in the
      interest of prosecuting a police officer on a misdemeanor where the only
      evidence is video that exonerates him,” Roorda said in a prepared statement.
      “This is more than a case of prosecutorial indiscretion; it’s a case of
      prosecutorial vanity.”

      So this video exonerates him, Jeff? It may not have been admissible in a
      court of law, but it surely is in the court of public opinion, and it’s not
      likely that anyone watching the video will be giving him a good cop medal.
      Naturally, the union is asking that Bruce, who was fired as a probationary
      officer, be reinstated now that he’s been found not guilty. Hasn’t he suffered
      enough?

      Proud GrandPa respects the rules of evidence, but despises the union that calls for his reinstatement. The people of St Louis may not be able to convict, but they surely are able to deny…. giving him a badge and a gun. So much for the hollow cry for justice from corrupt labor unions. Remember this in November.

      • Jefft90

        I never wrote nor implied that the tape or the verdict exonerates him. I merely pointed out how the ruling was based on the rules of evidence and provided a link.

        What I tried to do and what ECLS is trying to do,is reason with a mob. But you can’t, a mob feeds on emotion and shits stupidity.

        • Proud GrandPa

          Sorry, Jeff90. The Jeff referred to above was the union representative. He is also named Jeff.

          .

          The government labor union wants this bad cop reinstated! I did not mean to imply that you were he. Thanks for the chance to correct this. Again sorry for any confusion.

          • Jefft90

            No worries GrandPa.

  • Juan

    Fucking disgusting

  • Proud GrandPa

    The video caption says it all: UNION THUGS!
    .
    I support freedom of expression. That’s why I vote Republican. Only Democrats support big gov’t labor unions. Conservatives, Libertarians, and Tea Party activists don’t.

    • Constitutionalist

      Libertarians are the ONLY people on your little list that support freedom of expression. You, sir, are a fool and a sheep.

    • Bob

      Public sector unions should be abolished. They mainly serve to protect the incompetent and corrupt. They also create an adversarial relationship between the employees and the people they serve, namely, US!

      • Proud GrandPa

        Exactly, Bob. Good observation. I strongly agree, because of the corruption of big labor unions. They no longer serve the little guy, the taxpayer, or even the average worker.

        .

        What is the wisest way to oppose these corrupt, big gov’t labor unions? The governor of Wisconsin and the Republican legislature successfully rolled back the big gov’t teachers union sweetheart deals. We need to elect people like them everywhere.

        .

        I also praise Ronald Reagan for standing against the excesses of the corrupt air traffic controllers union when it broke the law and ordered an illegal strike. Kudos for the party that did that.

        .

    • Jon Quimbly

      What a tool you are, and a partisan. That’s anybody who blindly accepts whatever their party does – people like you put criminals like Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes into office.

      • Difdi

        Better Bush than Obama. Obama has not only broken every promise he made to reverse Bush’s wrongdoings, he’s usually taken it further than Bush did.

        Extra-judicial imprisonment under Bush? Obama asserts the authority to go a step further and have extra-judicial executions. Bush got permission from Congress to fight his war, Obama tried to establish the precedent that drone strikes are not waging war (which I have no doubt will bite us in the collective asses).

        Remove the telephone pole from your own eye before you complain of the dust in the eyes of others.

        • Proud GrandPa

          True, Difdi. The democrat party officially supports these bad policies including big gov’t labor unions. The republican and other parties do not. For me the choice is obvious.
          .
          Some republicans are big gov’t RINOs… Republican In Name Only. That explains the bad results from a coalition of RINOs and DemoLiberals. Only one way to restore America– vote the bums out.

    • Contrarymary

      The whole election thing is a big ole farce, and you are still falling for it?

      • Proud GrandPa

        Mary,

        I too have heard about rigged elections. That may be or may not be so, or may be so sometimes and others not. I have worked in one party and judged several elections locally. It would be easy to fool us average people with rigged electronic voting.
        .
        Still I believe that our elections are mostly honest. You could be correct though.
        .

  • Herbert Napp

    I wonder how many gun control freaks think it’s such a good idea now. Yes, indeed people! Only the POLICE and MILITARY should have “ASSAULT WEAPONS”. They NEVER do anything wrong. Want to change someones mind on 2a? Link them to policestateUSA and this site.

    • Joseph Murray

      What are you even talking about?! America is already the most heavily-armed country in the developed world; what good has it done? How many corrupt cops have been dealt with by armed citzens? Give me one case.

      • inquisitorX

        Christopher Dorner?

        • Al

          There have been a few others – they just haven’t been recognized as such.

        • Guy Fawkes

          Dorner was a weird dude. He was a bigtime supporter of gun control, here is a quote from his manifesto – “Mia Farrow said it best. “Gun control is no longer debatable, it’s not a conversation, its a moral mandate.”
          Sen. Feinstein, you are doing the right thing in leading the re-institution of a national AWB.”

          The full version can be read here: http://www.policymic.com/articles/26194/chris-dorner-manifesto-full-text-read-the-full-christopher-dorner-manifesto
          Just saying I don’t see this guy as the poster child for gun rights, other than to debate his idiotic proposition that gun control would have stopped him. He was involved in targeted assassination, any gun would work for that.

          • inquisitorX

            This issue at hand was specific to armed citizens taking it to corrupt cops.

            Not about their’s or anyone’s weirdness or stance on gun control.

        • Joseph Murray

          Funny, I had the same thought as I typed the qyestion, but didn’t want to seem unnecessarily provocative.

      • Herbert Napp

        If you do not believe in a tipping point or the poster that got to you before me, you’re really stupid.

      • Difdi

        The fact that it might not have happened yet does not mean it can’t happen.

        • Joseph Murray

          Weak, dude.

          • Difdi

            At least my response was stronger than yours.

  • Owlisen

    WTF ???? So COPS wont be judged by the same law as us citizens ???…. you got to be kidding me ?!?!?
    If a COP assaults someone and there are video of it, isnt it the courts duty to look at the evidence ?????

    • Antoinette

      If those police were the ones being assaulted I’ll bet the Da, Judge and police would want, demand even that the tapes be viewed.

      • Contrarymary

        Surely you jest? Seriously, it is just mind boggling that our justice system has gone so far down the sewer. I’m learning something new everyday now.

    • Contrarymary

      Quit thinking rationally! My gosh, are you nuts or what? America has sure dug its own hellhole for sure.

  • Peaceful Streets

    Cops are cowards. So is this judge.

  • Bob

    Judges are human beings and are as susceptible to corruption as any other. Judge Theresa Counts Burke should be investigated by the FBI.

    • matism

      Any bets on whether THAT is gonna happen?

    • Herbert Napp

      Same FBI that hasn’t done sht in the IRS investigation?

    • Contrarymary

      Uh whatever happened to the citizens saving the citizens? Why are people just insistant on handing over their duties, to government?

  • Gavin

    Where can we contact this scumbag judge?

  • SlimJim

    http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=230

    She can and should be removed. Flood with complaints.

    • Contrarymary

      And fill this out with full explanation, links, etc. and mail it in. http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=234

      • AlexScott

        Thanks. I will call the department to find out if I can complete this form since I live in a different state.

  • Gene Lattanzi

    Pigs. All of ‘em.

  • Jazz OZ Hamilton

    This alleged “judge” AND the crony union boss should be stripped naked and horsewhipped in the town square by the proper citizenry.

    • Contrarymary

      I’m curious, whom exactly would be “the proper citizenry?” The family members of the abused teen?

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    The judge couldn’t admit the videotape without proper foundation. State v. Minner, 256 S.W.3d 92 (Mo. 2008) (en banc). The defendant officer did not testify. The victim refused to testify. The defendant’s partner testified, but said he did not think the tape accurately represented what happened. Had the judge admitted the tape, she would have been overturned on appeal.

    If there was a way of prosecuting the partner, it should be looked at, but I doubt you could win. Too many ways for him to get out of a perjury charge on this.

    It’s BS, but under the law, there is no way for the prosecution to get the tape in.

    • Clark

      .”…he did not think the tape accurately represented what happened.” WTF is that supposed to mean??? Is the partner claiming the tape was altered?

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        It means he probably lied. He didn’t want to testify in the first place, took the Fifth, and had to be ordered to testify by a grant of immunity.

        Based on the union president’s statement, the code of silence there is apparently greater than normal, and the partner was probably afraid of ending up like Serpico in NYC years ago.

        • SteveDK

          Thanks for the explanations.

        • Difdi

          So if someone who is not a police officer were to testify in court, under identical circumstances that a video is not accurate, what happens then?

          You and I both know what should happen, but what will likely happen?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            The same thing happens. I’ve seen it multiple times, and have never seen a judge let an unauthenticated photo or video in. It is a real quick way to get reversed on appeal.

          • Darksideblues42

            Since I am not a lawyer, or an expert on the law, I have a question on something here.

            If the officer depicted as striking the suspect made statements in his official report as to the event in question, and these statements are made “To the best of his knowledge and recollection” (Or whatever language accompanies a police report in that jurisdiction) AND that report is used as evidence in the trial, why can’t the video be used to refute the version of events contained in the report?

            Also, would the witness testifying to the video authenticity have to be one of the people present? In the traffic-cam scenario, those events are often reviewed first by the company monitoring the camera, then sent to an officer for validation, neither of which can accurately testify to the specific events at the time the picture is taken if they are not there.

          • Contrarymary

            Good questions.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            A report is inadmissible as hearsay.

            Authentication doesn’t have to be to the specific events alone, but to the location also.

            Also, most traffic cams are not criminal actions, but administrative ones heard by a hearing officer, not a judge (although some of the hearing officers are called administrative law judges, they are not actual judges).

          • Darksideblues42

            ECLS,

            I understand, however, could the officer now be charged with false official statements since his official report (his statement of facts regarding the incident) is not accurate given the video evidence.

            Also, Could the prosecutor have had a video expert testify that the video in question showed a true and impartial record of the events it recorded and was not tampered with or altered? Especially if the partner, after being compelled to testify, seemed to make a reference to the video as not being accurate?

            I guess I am just having a very hard time understanding how a video tape, which, provided it is not edited or altered, or just a short clip out of context, can possibly not be evidence in a court of law, when you clearly know that it was in the best interest of the officer not to validate the video. It seems like a conflict of interest.

            Also, if I lie to a police officer during an investigation, it is obstruction, or making a false statement. Since this officer must had made a statement during this investigation, could he be charged with obstruction?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I would have to see a transcript of the testimony or the statements made to form an opinion on that.

            Those are typically very difficult to prove, you almost need a smoking gun in the guy’s hands.

            I would support it if they have the evidence.

    • bj

      Where does justice reside amongst all this procedure? The court should more creative in seeking justice; if it favours anything else more, then it is not serving its primary purpose.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        Should they be creative just when it is something you don’t like, or for everyone?

    • Contrarymary

      And who made up those rules, laws and regulations? Exactly!

    • legalpanther

      Here is the exact language used by the case cited by ECLS.

      “As his next point on appeal, Minner claims that the trial court erred by admitting the videotapes of the drug sale transaction, because the State failed to lay the proper foundation. HN8Whether a sufficient foundation has been established for an exhibit is a decision within the broad discretion of the trial court. State v. Copeland, 928 S.W.2d 828, 846 (Mo. banc 1996). “The party offering a videotape in evidence must show that it is an accurate and faithful representation of what it purports to show.” Phiropoulos v. Bi-State Development Agency, 908 S.W.2d 712, 714 (Mo. App. 1995). The foundation may be established through the testimony of any witness who is familiar with the subject matter of the tape and competent to testify from personal observation. State v. Powers, 148 S.W.3d 830, 832 (Mo. App. 2004).

      At trial, officer Hensley testified that he set up two video cameras in the car to record any activities that occurred outside the driver’s side window. Officer Hensley observed the informant from a distance of approximately five hundred feet. After the sale had been accomplished, officer Hensley collected the drugs and the cameras and sealed them in evidence envelopes. Officer Hensley testified that the tapes were transferred from 8 mm tapes to VHS tapes but that no changes were made to them. Officer Hensley testified that he watched the videos after the sale was completed and that it was a fair and accurate representation of what he witnessed.

      Minner argues that the foundation is insufficient because, contrary to officer Hensley’s recollection that only one man approached the informant’s car, the videos showed two men walking up to the car. Sufficient foundation for admitting a videotape can be made by a person who is familiar with the subject matter of the tape and is competent to testify to the subject matter from personal knowledge. Phiropoulos, 908 S.W.2d at 714. Officer Hensley’s testimony established that he was familiar with the subject matter of the tape and how the tapes were recorded. The fact remains that Minner was recorded delivering drugs to the informant, and there was no indication that the tapes did not accurately reflect the transaction. That officer Hensley did not recall that two men initially approached the informant’s vehicle does not mean that the tapes themselves do not depict the transaction at issue. The court did not abuse its discretion by finding that officer Hensley established a proper foundation for the videotapes and admitting the tapes into evidence.”

  • Jag D. Panxer

    APPEAL! JUDICIAL ERROR! EVIDENTIARY CHALLENGE! JUDICIAL NOTICE! OVERTURN!

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Appeal what? Legally, the judge was correct.

      • Jag D. Panxer

        Lawyers are why there will be no justice in this. Put yourself in the kid’s shoes. Thank you sir, may I have another? And I suppose judicial discretion covers the judge from not accepting the tape (even with no facts or witnesses) into evidence and doesn’t meet the standard of the exclusionary rule, and if roles were reversed the judge would have been hot and ready to admit the tape as evidence against the kid. I wasn’t involved in this, and I’m damned sure that if I were, I’d made damned sure to have gone to a jury on this case. There is no justice in this world, at least non provided by this gang calling themselves a government. It’s a moot point. Good day sir.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          The exclusionary rule has nothing to do with this – it covers something entirely different.

          I can tell you that almost all judges don’t admit evidence against normal suspects either if it doesn’t meet the requirements of the law. I’ve been there when it happened, more than once.

          Also, the defendant ex-officer is the one that chose not to have a jury, and the state does not have a right to insist on a jury.

          I’ve already said that the defendant should have been convicted, but he’s not the problem here, it is much worse and much more a systemic problem.

          First, the officer’s partner apparently lied or had a “loss” of full memory of the event. He did not want to testify in the first place and had to be ordered to testify under a grant of immunity. This indicates that the “code of silence” in St. Louis is so pervasive that the officer was apparently scared of retribution if he testified truthfully. In NYC years ago there was the same attitude, and an officer that stood up for what was right was set up to be killed. He ended up having to leave the country. You have to break that culture.

          Second, you can’t just change the evidentiary rules to loosen them up. Once that happens, it never goes back, and those loosened rules are used against citizens.

          Finally, the state has to prove each and every element of the offense with evidence that is admissible, or the court has to find the defendant not guilty. You could have committed a murder and confessed to your wife in detail but that won’t matter if there isn’t any other evidence because your wife’s testimony is inadmissible. The state couldn’t prove it here because they couldn’t get the video admitted.

          If you want to blame someone, blame the partner.

          • Difdi

            The government has all the tools they need to break that culture. They just choose not to.

            Few individual officers would stay out of prison if they were treated the same way as private citizens are in terms of what makes you an accomplice or conspirator.

            Very few police departments would survive if subjected to the standards of what makes an organization corrupt under the RICO Act.

            I’m pretty sure the feds are well aware of how few officers would be left after the laws were applied equally to all. I’m damn near certain that’s why they refuse to even think about it.

          • Jag D. Panxer

            I guess if judges were so accountable and respectful of the rules of procedure, then the appeals courts would be empty…oh, wait. Again, lawyers are the reason this didn’t go anywhere. The one on the bench, then one on the defense, and the one prosecuting. You seem like a guy who requires the last word (and if there’s a response, it’ll prove my guess). You can have it if you like, my final word will be ‘ignore/delete’. I’m done with this. Another rotten cops gets away, haza. Wait til next week, there’ll be dozens more. I’m glad this system is so hard on its own when they go astray…oh…

          • legalpanther

            I would love to see the transcript of the partner’s questioning concerning the tape. I would want to know how it is different and whether he believes that the tape was doctored or edited in some manner.

            But the ruling from the judge is valid based upon the rules of evidence.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Ditto, but I’m not going to pay to get it. :)

  • jodi lover

    That’s DISGUSTING!!!!!

  • Terry

    Interesting judgment.

    So the judge would not have any problems with the friends or family of this victim popping her or that scumbag cop in the face?

    • Difdi

      As long as the victim didn’t testify, the accused didn’t testify, and there was no notary seal on the videotape…she’d be a hypocrite if she did.

  • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

    BADGED UNIFORMED FASCIST THUGS exactly what these two are

  • Butch Blankenship

    what bullshit, she could seriously be a judge in Oakland County, Michigan. They have done that shit for years.always catering to the cops and the prosecuters. all I can say is Karma will get em’ all!

  • David Faulkner

    Whats red orange and looks good on police?

    FIRE

  • Janna Schroeder

    This is becoming a “policed Country” and it WILL NOT STAND!, I AM NOT OWNED. BY ANYBODY, OR ANY GOVERNMENT! I AM NOT OWNED. I AM A FREE CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND MY GOVERNMENT WILL NOT SQUASH MY INALIENABLE RIGHTS! IF YOU ARE POLICE OFFICER CONDUCTING POLICE DUTIES IN THE PUBLIC ARENA YOU WILL BE RECORDED!! YOU NOW IN A VIRAL VIDEO MEDIA WORLD. I SUGGEST YOU GET USE TO IT. YOU WILL NOT TAKE AWAY MY RIGHTS. AND if you were conducting your duties as a sensible humane human, you would need to be worried about people recording you!

    • Antoinette

      My sentiments exactly!

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Under admiralty law as demonstrated by the common law UCC, the use of all caps indicates that you are willing to submit as a slave of the corporate de facto government.

      Either that or you’re shouting.

      Use your inside voice here.

    • Ed

      “Free citizen” is an oxymoron.
      You’ve been brainwashed in to thinking that you’re a citizen (the better to manipulate you with, my dear). Factually, all that’s possible for you is to be a human.

    • Contrarymary

      United States FOR and United States OF has two totally different meanings. Research both and then decide which one you are.

  • jmcaul

    And these morons wonder why people are fast losing ALL respect for ‘law enforcement.’

  • Florida_Native

    With a judge effectively in the pocket of the police union it’s too bad the Feds don’t initiate a civil rights case. It might knock her judicial extremism down a few notches.

  • miss higgi

    She the “judge” should be removed from the bench! How dare she. Not evaluate all relevant info. Damning to the cop or insightful about the cop? Shame on her for contributing to the problem instead of doing what’s right and resolving the problem of bad cops!

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      On what grounds? She followed the law. Unless the video can be authenticated, it cannot be admitted into evidence. If you allow that in this case, you are opening the door to edited and falsified videos being admitted in trials of civilians.

      • jmcaul

        Are you kidding???? Did you see this video? What is not ‘authenticated’ about this?

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Yes, I saw the video, and the officer should now be behind bars. The problem is what I described above.

          • Jason

            You are piece of shit. If the teen had hit the cop this same video would have been used to send him to jail for 20 years. You are making excuses for the cops because you used to be one. Do you plan on becoming a DA so you can protect the other dirty cops (like you probably were) by not filing charges against them when they break the law.

          • legalpanther

            Sorry Jason, you are wrong. The tape needs to be authenticated pursuant to the rules of evidence. The difference in your scenario is that if the teenager struck the police officer, both police officers would have testified that the tape accurately reflected the events, thereby authenticating the tape. If the teenager had testified, he could have authenticated the tape by stating that it accurately reflected the events as they transpired. The problem with this case is the partner most likely committed perjury.

          • Barking Dog

            Go after him and appeal the case.

          • legalpanther

            There is no reason to appeal the case. There has to be a mistake at law or an abuse of discretion in order to have a valid appeal. So this case is over and should remain that way.

            There may be a possible perjury claim. However, I have rarely seen them prosecuted as it is hard to prove.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Well, we now know that you cannot read.

            Thanks for proving you’re an idiot.

          • Contrarymary

            Better he an idiot, then a fool such as you. However, I don’t see Jason as an idiot, he only speaks the truth.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Makes me wonder if you’re in some type of relationship with him.

          • John R Lipscomb Jr

            and your a useless Nazi bastard you fucking pig

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Oh goody. I’m always happy to see a moron lose it and resort to the Nazi remarks. Especially since it means that he has no further logical arguments to present.

            Thanks for playing.

            BTW, did your dad tell your mom his name on their one night? Or did she just pick one for you out of the phone book?

          • jeanine4truth

            Then following that logic–no videos of any defendants can be used without authentication–or does the ‘law’ only apply to the rest of us poor slobs. What is the point of filming if authentication is required? In any case–justice did not happen.

          • legalpanther

            That is correct. All videos must be authenticated. Remember, authentication is not limited to just video, but you must authenticate audio, text messages, emails, other documents (there are some limited self-authenticating documents), etc.

            Authentication of videos is not usually that difficult. This was just an odd case where the prosecution seemed to be surprised by the partner’s “lack of memory.”

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I agree that this was not justice.

            All I am pointing out is the requirements to get the video entered into evidence.

          • Ricky Dickinson

            How is it not authenticated? It was filmed directly from the back of the police van itself. Do they not trust their own recording devices to tell them the truth of an event? If so why have them in the first place. If they aren’t going to be used as evidence without someone saying “hey that really happened, let’s use that as evidence!” then it’s a completely moronic thing to even have. Oh wait.. my bad. If the roles were reversed then obviously it would have been viewed whether or not the cop said it happened. That’s why it’s there, according to Roorda, to incriminate civilians. Not officers of the law. Nevermind, my mistake. ;)

          • Not so Anonymous

            Even though you have a point, so does Ricky Dickinson. The video was recorded with the cameras in the police car used by the very cop being tried. I’m pretty sure the source of the video could’ve been easily proven by logs, just like any other video presented and admitted in court should and can easily hold by itself without a need for witnesses (what’s the use of video evidence if it needs witnesses otherwise?). What should make this video even easier to authenticate is the fact that it was recorded by cops, and therefore handled by the P.D. The authenticity of this video shouldn’t have been questioned in the first place, with or without witnesses; the Judge negligently didn’t do her job.

            To make things worse, this Jeff Roorda dude thinks police recordings should ONLY be used to protect the cops, not to hold them accountable. Simply put, the guy thinks that if a cop gets caught doing an unlawful act on his own car’s camera, he shouldn’t be held accountable by it, but if he gets injured by someone right after having committed this unlawful act, that same video can and should ONLY be used to protect the cop. How the hell can someone think a completely unbiased piece of evidence should be used ONLY in a biased way?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            The witnesses aren’t to vouch for what is on the video, or the veracity of it, they are only needed to verify that it is an accurate depiction of the location and events. It is a procedural matter.

            To get the logs admitted, you would have to have a witness authenticate that they are accurate.

            No one is saying (except Roorda) that the video doesn’t prove that the ex-officer abused the kid. No one is saying (except Roorda) that the video should not be used to prove the officer committed a crime.

            The problem was that the prosecutor didn’t have a witness to authenticate the tape.

          • Boffin

            So, how would a (and I don’t know if they have them in MO) traffic camera picture be used as evidence. All you would need to do is show up and say “this isn’t an accurate depiction of the location and events”. Without a police officer to authenticate the picture, it would never be entered as evidence.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            In most jurisdictions, the red light cameras tickets are not held in a real trial. They normally go to an administrative hearing where the procedures are more lax.

          • legalpanther

            I concur on you comments about Jeff Roorda. There is no defense to what that police officer had done. There is no logical reason why you should be able to use video against one side but not the other. That is the definition of unfairness.

            However, the Missouri courts have ruled how video tapes are authenticated. The scenario you provided does not fit within that ruling very clearly. The judge does not have the ability to make rulings on what she thought is right, she must make her rulings on what is right with the law. Let me give you an example from my earlier days of practice.

            In a certain midwest state, cognovit notes were legal and enforceable if certain requirements were met, specifically that it was a business transaction. A cognovit note is a promissory note which allows the holder, under defined circumstances, to hire an attorney on the borrower’s behalf to confess judgment. So what happens is the holder of the note’s attorney drafts a complaint and an answer which fully confesses judgment to be signed by an attorney of the note holder’s attorney’s choosing. All the requisite documents are taken to the court, the court makes sure it is all in order and judgment is obtained immediately. In one day, on two separate, but related cases, received $500,000 in judgments in less than an hour. The statute allows the debtor to request a hearing. A hearing was had and after the judge took it under advisement, took the bench and began to state how she hated cognovit notes, about how unfair and heavy handed the cognovit notes are and how she believed it went against the notion of fair play and justice. At that point I thought she was going to vacate the judgment, but she did not. She then stated the legislature passed the law, it has been upheld by superior courts to her and that she is obligated to follow a valid law no matter how much she disagreed with the same.

            Courts are bound by the rule of law, they do not have unlimited powers, nor should they.

      • Ernie Menard

        What more authentication is needed than the video was made by the police?

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          To authenticate a video, you have to show that it was an accurate representation of the location and what happened. Who made the video plays little to no role in that. I cited one Missouri case earlier, but this is very basic law, and is substantially the same across the nation.

          You can’t just show up and say here’s a video.

          • Difdi

            The police have records of where their vehicles are and when. If the video came off of a police vehicle, then it is no different than a patrol car dash cam — Or are dash cams and police body cameras inadmissible too now?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            So? How’s that get a witness to testify that it is an accurate representation?

          • Difdi

            What I don’t understand is how physical evidence of a crime can be negated by what is arguably an accomplice of the criminal saying “nah, it didn’t happen the way the video shows it” and that makes the physical evidence go away…

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Well, if the defendant wasn’t committing felonies that he had to clam up on, you can get the defendant to authenticate it.

          • James M Morriss

            What is to “clam up” on? It is no admission of any guilt to say that he was there and what is seen is what happened. Why he is there, how long he was there and any other minutia that is asked is irrelevant.

            The police say he “lunged” at them. If that is true, then that cop has the fastest reflexes in the world.

            All this being said, no judge or court needed for the superiors to at least reprimand this guy for unprofessional conduct. I can see no reason for a forearm smash in the face of a handcuffed man, that you both outweigh and can outmaneuver, as being justifiable.

            Prudent self defense tactics dictate that you take the action(s) that most likely to stop the attack, disable your opponent, and pose the least risk of causing you harm. If he were truly “lunging” at the officer, especially exiting from the truck, the most expedient maneuver would have been simply to pull him in the direction of travel and trip him to the pavement. Thus using his momentum and lack of balance to force him to the ground while not risking a broken elbow or a court case. Though in hind site the court is not much of a risk.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            No, but if he testifies to part, he has to answer the questions on cross, which would likely include what had you been arrested for, did you commit that crime, what other crimes had you committed, etc. If he doesn’t want to answer those questions, he has to take the Fifth. He cannot pick and choose what questions he wants to answer. If he does, his testimony is stricken from the record, and you lose your authentication.

          • tecumseh

            it cant. Ex cop doesnt know what he is talking about.

          • Difdi

            Oh, he does know what he’s talking abuout, he just has two cognitive blind spots.

            First, he assumes that what the law says should and must happen is actually what will happen or does happen. No one ever gets convicted wrongly in the world he lives in. If reality disagrees with him, reality must be wrong.

            Second, he sees the law as a thing of beauty, not the organized system of brute force it truly is. There are times when the law is wrong, but he’s like those super-patriots — his country, right or wrong.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            LOL, boy are you wrong.

            There are plenty of people that have been wrongfully convicted. That’s apparent.

            Second, while the law is a thing of beauty, there are plenty of problems with the law, and plenty of rulings that I disagree with. There is much that needs to be changed.

            But even the decisions that I disagree with are, in fact, the law until they can be changed.

          • RaymondbyEllis

            I lost a post that may still show up. The long and short, ECLS and legalpanther are right. These rules may be outdated, but they’re there to protect, especially against the mob that wants the outcome they want. For that mob, the rules of evidence should change by their whim.

            Calling them the epithets they’ve been called just shows further why these rules are in place.

          • Ernie Menard

            The witness, in this case the police officer that plead the fifth, didn’t have to testify that the video was an accurate representation of the incident. The police officer would have had to testify in what manner the video differed from his recollection of the incident.
            Seems pretty simple to me. The prosecutor failed to get the video authenticated by any person in the chain of custody of that video.
            Furthermore, it also seems to me that the judge had the discretion to inquire of the prosecutor why the prosecutor failed to have the video authenticated. The prosecutor brought the case, it was his or her duty, on our dime, to do a thorough job.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            My point is that the prosecutor had to have someone that could authenticate the video. The chain of custody is not relevant to authentication. Yes, another officer might have been able to authenticate the video, although I would have to really drill down in the research to be sure.

            This was a misdemeanor bench trial, meaning it was probably a 1/2 day or a full day. If the prosecutor did not anticipate that the partner would “lose his memory” after a grant of immunity, she may not have had another witness available who could authenticate the video. And based on the apparent code of silence in St. Louis, it may have been pointless to try.

          • Harry Balzanua

            so video tape of unoccupied stores are not admissible because no human was present to witness that is ridiculous.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I didn’t say that.

          • Difdi

            Yes, you did.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            No, I didn’t.

          • Difdi

            Did too. =P