Friday, December 10, 2010

Officer Thompson Doesn't Like Being Grilled Like A Suspect!

You just had to be there to see and understand how angry Officer Thompson was when she was cross examined by Crystal's defense attorney Mani Dexter.  During "Direct" questioning by Assn't DA Mark McCullough she simply looked like a deer caught in the headlights and like she was about to cry.  But when Ms. Dexter challenged her on some of the finer points of her testimony she looked like she wanted to jump off the witness stand and put some serious hurt on her interrogator. 

For most of the cross examination Officer Thompson would not look at Ms. Dexter.  Instead, she turned her head slightly and looked down.  When forced to answer a question under repeated questioning she faced the jury with a stone hard look on her face and spat out the words.

At one point the defense attorney asked a question that went something like this: 

Attorney:  "The reason you make sure that the two parties involved in domestic violence are separated is that there is a potential for one of them to snap, isn't that right?:"

Officer Thompson had to be asked the question several times (three I think) and each time she refused to accept the word "snap".  Eventually the defense attorney called a side bar with the prosecutor and the judge and the jury was sent out of the court room for a few minutes.  There was some discussion and when the jury was back in their seats Ms. Dexter read from the transcript of the evidence suppression hearing. That hearing was the one about Crystal's fourth amendment rights being violated because she asked them to leave and they didn't.  The evidence wasn't suppressed but the officer was under oath and there is a transcript.  So, at this point the defense attorney read from the transcript and asked if Officer Thompson remembered saying those words in court.  Now that she was faced with her own words Officer Thompson's only response was:  "Yes, if that's what the transcript says".  What else could she say, right?

This officer looks to be under thirty.  She is on the small side and, at the time of the incident in question, she had been with the Durham Police Department for a just a little over a year.  So, I think Rookie is a description that fits her status both then and now. 

I have to admit that I feel just a little sorry for this young officer.  It is clear that she does not feel good about the position she is in.  She is being asked, I believe, to testify, under oath, to things that she knows did not happen that night.  Her superior officer, Officer Tyler appears to have completely mucked up  that domestic violence call in a testosterone driven frenzy and now she is caught in the middle having to help clean up the mess he made of the situation.  So, I feel her pain...but only a little.  She could, if she so chose, tell the truth and if she were true to the oath she took when she put on that uniform that is exactly what she would do. 

More to the point...the jury is seeing all this.

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