Use of Force – Shooting Incident Investigations and Consulting

It is an unfortunate reality that commissioned peace officers must sometimes use force in the furtherance of their duties. When such a use of force occurs, often times it’s the officer’s own agency investigates the appropriateness of the force and the decisions that lead up to the event.

This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Sometimes, an independent investigation (or review) is needed.

Use of force incidents (including incidents where firearms are discharged) are dynamic and varied. So is the evidence produced during such an event. Traditional investigations focus on the discharge of weapons, the application of less-than-lethal devices … the tools of the application of force. In modern times, these incidents almost always are captured on police-deployed camera systems, nearby CCTV systems, and /or mobile devices utilized by witnesses to the events. Thus, the investigation must include multi-disciplinary subject matter expertise.

At shooting scenes, the crime scene team will identify, reconstruct and document projectile paths, called trajectories, based on impact marks including penetrating, perforating, or non-penetrating points of impact. Reconstruction of a shooting incident relies on careful examination and processing of a scene for pertinent physical evidence including defects and holes caused by projectiles. Accurate reconstruction typically requires the identification and collection of associated evidence and its subsequent analysis in the Laboratory.

This investigation will often take on a risk management function as the agency in question receives claims of ancillary injuries from ricochet, and etc. Managing all of these elements can be time consuming and complex. That’s where we come in.

We can take on some, or all of the investigative / analysis tasks. We are able to teach this topic because of our years of experience. Thus, we can either teach you and your agency how to perform this task, or we can do it for you. Or, we can review and analyze the work already performed – a fresh and unbiased set of eyes is always helpful.

If you like to know more, or if you would like to engage with us on your case, contact us today.