Force Investigations; Forensic Video Review & Analysis
As a force investigator, it is your responsibility to ensure evidence (like video) is properly reflected in your report.
Simply watching a video and reporting what you see can…and has, led to officers being fired and criminally charged. Training can easily fix that.
Whether it’s from a body camera or surveillance camera, video is technical and can be deceiving. As the investigator, you must understand it.
C.I.R. has purpose-built a new course specifically for force investigators that use video and audio evidence. The training combines and teaches four aspects that you must know as a force investigator:
• Use of force principles: Apply the standards of a reasonable officer to the evidence.
• Human factors related to video: Learn how officers commonly respond in force incidents, and how this is reflected in video evidence.
• Technical video examination: Easily learn the technical details you need to know to accurately review and examine video.
• Video review techniques: Learn the techniques to identify issues and report the details of a video proficiently and accurately.
You’ll will quickly learn:
Technical Examination: Investigators will learn important technical information that turns data into video and what it means. Investigators will also learn:
• How video is encoded and recorded
• Errors that occur in digital video
• Available forensic video software
• Making a reasonably accurate timeline.
• Discover free software and specialized software for video examination
• How to use video and audio for timing purposes
Video Review: After you have a grasp of the technical information, you will then learn the techniques to extract as much data as possible to conduct a thorough and complete force investigation using video & audio data. Investigators will learn to:
• Identify the limitations of video
• Capture digital images for the investigation
• Compare the video to available evidence and statements
• Techniques for video examination
Human Performance: Once you understand the technical information, and how to review video, you will move on to:
• Apply use of force and police standard
• Integrate police performance factors and simple scientific principles to your video examination
This will help you and decision-makers better understand what they are seeing on video in instances of:
• Controversial shot placement
• Identifying decision-making windows of time
• Issues around the time to start & stop shooting
• Action v reaction
• Threat assessments in the moments preceding the use of force
At the end of the class, you will be able to:
• Competently examine and review video specifically for the purpose of force investigations
• Explain and document the process for analyzing, examining video, and presenting video evidence
• Accurately apply use of force and policy standards to the digital evidence.
You’ll also learn:
• How biases and knee-jerk reactions can, and often do, contaminate an investigation.
• How crucial, life-changing details are often missed due to misunderstanding or misinterpreting the evidence.
We’ll go step by step to avoid these traps.
You will also get hands-on training to develop the needed skills to professionally obtain, examine video, and report on video evidence to the citizens, courts, and your administration.
While you’re in the class, you will use forensic software to examine video and will need your own computer. The system requirements are:
• Windows 10, 64bit or above
• 8 GB of RAM, but more is better
• Wi-Fi/Internet connection, for a demo software license
• Agency permissions on the computer to download and install the software
In the event students do not have your own computer, you can still partner with another attendee or follow along with the instructor.
About the Instructor:
Jamie Borden is a retired Police Sergeant from Henderson, Nevada. Nevada’s second largest city forms the Las Vegas Metropolitan area.
He is a court-certified expert in Use of Force, Police Practices, and Forensic Video Analysis.
Jamie has reviewed thousands of force incidents and has been an expert in over 170 civil or criminal law enforcement use of force cases.
He has traveled the country teaching thousands of officers the lessons learned from each of those cases.
He is both highly trained and experienced in police performance factors related to training and decision-making, video analysis, training, and police use of force.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are there other classes like this? The short answer is no. Here’s why: Most video classes are about video in general and not specifically related to use of force. These classes tend to instruct you mostly on information that is not related to force investigations.
Classes related specifically to force are usually lectures and are not hands-on workshops. So, the knowledge transfer is minimal, and you do not develop skills in these classes.
Is it my role as an investigator to examine video? That depends. If your agency has a forensic video analyst, then it may not be. However, video analysts are usually not trained in force investigations, human factors, and force standards.
We still recommend this training to ensure you provide input and guidance to the video analyst to provide specific information from the digital evidence.
If your department does not have a trained and designated video analyst, this class is crucial to a proper force investigation. You simply cannot watch a video and take it at face value.