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Analysis of eyewitness testimony in a police shooting with fatal outcome–Manifestations of spatial and temporal distortions

Dahl, Mats LU ; Granér, Simon LU ; Fransson, Per Anders LU ; Bertilsson, Johan LU and Fredriksson, Peter (2018) In Cogent Psychology 5(1). p.1-10
Abstract

Eyewitness statements are commonly used in the criminal justice system and viewed as having a high-probative value, especially when the witness has no motive to lie, other witness recollection corroborates the account, or the witness is highly confident. A fatal police shooting incident in Sweden had 13 witnesses (nine civilians and four police officers) and was also filmed with two mobile phones. All interviews were conducted before witnesses viewed the films, allowing for the analysis of discrepancies between their statements and the videos. In this incident, a police patrol was sent to find out a man who was reported to have attacked two persons with a knife. When found, the perpetrator refused to obey the officer’s commands, and the... (More)

Eyewitness statements are commonly used in the criminal justice system and viewed as having a high-probative value, especially when the witness has no motive to lie, other witness recollection corroborates the account, or the witness is highly confident. A fatal police shooting incident in Sweden had 13 witnesses (nine civilians and four police officers) and was also filmed with two mobile phones. All interviews were conducted before witnesses viewed the films, allowing for the analysis of discrepancies between their statements and the videos. In this incident, a police patrol was sent to find out a man who was reported to have attacked two persons with a knife. When found, the perpetrator refused to obey the officer’s commands, and the police eventually shot at him. The analysis showed clear differences between the witness testimonies and the film. Elements associated with perceived threat, for example, the assailant’s armament and movement direction and number of shots fired, were remembered fairly accurately. However, most witnesses poorly recollected when, that is, after which shot, the assailant fell to the ground. Moreover, memory of the actual order of events was altered and important aspects omitted that were crucial from a legal point of view.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
event memory, eyewitness, police shooting, real-life case, temporal distortions
in
Cogent Psychology
volume
5
issue
1
pages
10 pages
publisher
Cogent OA
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049576000
ISSN
2331-1908
DOI
10.1080/23311908.2018.1487271
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b3d8c86a-a548-4118-b3df-d901e1adb4f7
date added to LUP
2018-07-26 10:01:11
date last changed
2019-10-15 06:42:16
@article{b3d8c86a-a548-4118-b3df-d901e1adb4f7,
  abstract     = {<p>Eyewitness statements are commonly used in the criminal justice system and viewed as having a high-probative value, especially when the witness has no motive to lie, other witness recollection corroborates the account, or the witness is highly confident. A fatal police shooting incident in Sweden had 13 witnesses (nine civilians and four police officers) and was also filmed with two mobile phones. All interviews were conducted before witnesses viewed the films, allowing for the analysis of discrepancies between their statements and the videos. In this incident, a police patrol was sent to find out a man who was reported to have attacked two persons with a knife. When found, the perpetrator refused to obey the officer’s commands, and the police eventually shot at him. The analysis showed clear differences between the witness testimonies and the film. Elements associated with perceived threat, for example, the assailant’s armament and movement direction and number of shots fired, were remembered fairly accurately. However, most witnesses poorly recollected when, that is, after which shot, the assailant fell to the ground. Moreover, memory of the actual order of events was altered and important aspects omitted that were crucial from a legal point of view.</p>},
  author       = {Dahl, Mats and Granér, Simon and Fransson, Per Anders and Bertilsson, Johan and Fredriksson, Peter},
  issn         = {2331-1908},
  keyword      = {event memory,eyewitness,police shooting,real-life case,temporal distortions},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--10},
  publisher    = {Cogent OA},
  series       = {Cogent Psychology},
  title        = {Analysis of eyewitness testimony in a police shooting with fatal outcome–Manifestations of spatial and temporal distortions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2018.1487271},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2018},
}