• Lance and everyone in his office immediately came to our rescue, taking everything off of our hands so that we could focus on my husband's recovery. There are no words to describe how thankful we are for Lance and all that he did for our family.
    - Wife of Police Officer Represented in Auto Accident
  • Your diligence, tenacity and professionalism are outstanding. You got us a much higher settlement than we thought possible. We have and will continue to recommend you without hesitation. Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
    - Police Officer Represented in On-Duty Accident
Law Enforcement & First Responder Defense | Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
FLSA & Overtime Cases

Your Edge is Our Experience

August 16, 2016
[Blue Line Lawyer]

Pattern & Practice: the predictable and dangerous trend

It has happened so often, it is predictable. A LEO uses force, typically deadly force, and the city erupts in violence. The steps between the two follow a pattern that I’ve watched and studied. It’s time to expose the trend and find ways to stop the cycle to prevent the mass destruction and death that typically results.

Step one: A LEO uses force, typically deadly force. Although this is typical, it is not always the case. The death of Freddie Gray did not involve the use of deadly force.

Step two: “Witnesses” come forward. I hate air quotes, but I would probably use them if I was speaking about this. We have seen time and again that these “witnesses” are involved parties furthering their own interests or people who did not have an opportunity to see what they claim to have witnessed. As in Ferguson, many have been discredited by sound, forensic methods and evidence.

Step three: Speculation is rampant, politicians and other “leaders” make reckless and uninformed comments. I group these two events because they feed each other. At a time when people in leadership should encourage calm and wait for the results of investigations, some of them cannot help themselves.

Step four: Media attention hits critical mass with local, national, and international sources feeding off reports off each other, competing to be first to publish, and prominently featuring anyone willing to speak on camera. Law enforcement resources cannot keep up with the requests for information and authoritative sources are lost in the sea of reports.

Step five: The investigations conclude. They take the same amount of time they always do, several months. The slow, methodical process yields facts and destroys speculation and rumors.

Step six: The LEO is cleared by the investigative process including a grand jury. However, that fact is lost in the turbulence that has become reports by the formal and informal media.

Step seven: Those who were wrong, speculated, and made reckless comments criticize the investigative process and judicial system. Why? It’s easier than admitting you were wrong.

This weekend and this week, we’ve seen horrible destruction and violence in Milwaukee. Law enforcement agencies need to get ahead of this cycle and educate people, including the formal and informal media, about the investigative process. Be prepared for this cycle to unfold in your community. There is too much at risk to ignore the effects of this cycle. Stay safe.


Subscribe to Blue Line Lawyer Blog

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice about a specific issue or situation. Working directly with an attorney on your situation is the best method for navigating legal issues. If you have a concern about a specific issue or situation, you should seek legal advice without delay. Contact the supreme court or bar association in your state for assistance locating attorneys in your area.