Timothy Williams is a leading national expert on police procedure, use of force, and wrongful convictions. Tim has 29 years of active law enforcement experience and about 46 years of experience working in the criminal justice system.
Tim has served in the LA Police Department as a police officer and ascended to the rank of Senior Detective Supervisor, retiring from the elite Robbery- Homicide Division. Today, Tim is the owner and CEO of T.T. Williams, Jr., Investigations, Inc., an Expert Firm in the City of Los Angeles, CA. Tim is a police procedure, use of force, and wrongful conviction expert in both State and Federal Court with cases throughout the United States.
Tim hopes to level the playing field in both criminal and civil rights cases where due process and equal justice within the criminal justice system is experienced.
To learn more about Tim, you can visit his website at www.timwilliamsjr.com or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out his book, "A Deep Dive: An Expert Analysis of Police Procedure, Use of Force, and Wrongful Convictions."
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Hey, this is a special edition of watching the Watchers. My name is Robert ruler . I am a criminal defense attorney here in Scottsdale, Arizona and for normal regular viewers of our show, you know that watching the Watchers is a program that we do to help hold law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, politicians, basically anybody involved in the criminal justice system accountable. And as we do that, we have an opportunity to speak with some people who have been in the system, both on the law enforcement side and out. And today we're joined by a very special guest. His name is Tim Williams and I'm going to bring him on. Before I do that, I want to tell you a little bit more about him because he's got an impressive background and we were having a conversation that we're going to jump back into here in a quick moment, but let me give you some, some information about his bio. So he is a leading national expert on police procedure, use of force and wrongful convictions. You somebody who has 29 years of active law enforcement experience and 46 years of experience working in the criminal justice system. He served in the Los Angeles police department as a police officer and then he Rose to the rank of senior detective supervisor, retired from the elite robbery homicide division. So he is now today the owner and the CEO of T T Williams jr investigations, which is an expert firm in the city of Los Angeles in California. He is an expert witness testifying on things like police procedure, use of force, wrongful conviction in both state and federal court throughout the United States. And he is here live with us via zoom. We're both , uh , in , uh , in , uh , I think shelter in place, kind of work from home quarantine from our office , uh, status. And so , uh , first and foremost, I want to thank you for being here. Uh , mr Tim Williams. Is it alright if I call you Tim? Please do. All right , so , uh , w before we, we first of all, thanks for being here. I'm , I'm really excited to talk to you.Speaker 2:
Yeah, well thanks to have it for having me.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know , the introduction was made by a friend of ours and it's, it's, it's perfect because , uh, we've, we've got a lot, I think that we can communicate to one another. And so one of the first things that I wanted to, to kind of jump back into, we were talking about a case that you , uh, actually testified in that made national news. It was a really big deer deal here in Arizona and it was, there was an officer, a Brailsford, I believe was his last name. And this was the story where , uh, there was an individual in a hotel who was shot and killed by the police. Can you, can you give us a little bit more detail on sort of , uh , how you were involved with this case?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I was , um, I was called by the district attorney's office and ask if I would , uh, you know, look at the case and analyze it from a police procedures , use of force perspective. And , um , I looked at the case and I analyze it and I, I, I, no , I gave my analysis and then I was deposed on that case . So the Arizona , um, the , um, uh , posing council has the right to depose a witnesses like they do in Florida and they don't do that in California by the way. And , uh , they came to my office most of the case and I, and I , I went there to testify , um, in my depth , my deposition testimony and my trial testimony work with whoever a puller would not pull her officer . But we're different in the fact that a lot of the things I talked about in my deposition, I wasn't allowed to talk about , uh, in, in the trial due to the fact of the opposing counsel or the defense opposing what the prosecutor was getting ready to put forth. And apparently the courts made a ruling on that. But , um, the , um, the , um, the Genesis or the , the, the analysis of it basically is that , um, the shots did not have to be taken in my analysis in that Brailsford matter. Um, the , the defendant or the director , the victim was doing what he was asked to do. And , um, and then it just got out of hand, so to speak, in I think three or four shots were fired and he died there on the scene.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And so a little bit more background for the audience who's not familiar with this, right. This was a situation where I think there were, there was a , uh, a couple or, or, you know, the victim, as you said, they were staying at a hotel. There was a disturbance. It , all of this was recorded on, on the officer's body camera. And , uh, the officers get called to the scene, they come into the hotel and on video we see this all unfold . Uh, you know, the , the gentleman whose name escapes me, who was shot and killed was , um , you know, being, being shouted orders to you basically drop to his knees to crawl, to uh, you know, do all sorts of weird things, cross his legs behind him, you know, put his legs on top of one another and all these kind of really , uh , sort of scattered orders from the officers who were on the scene. And what ended up happening was he, he sort of reached his hand back, I think behind him to kind of pull his shorts up. Just, this is just from my, in my, you know, very rudimentary seeing of the video on the YouTube and things and he as he pulls his hand back , uh, officer Brailsford, you know , I think thinks that he's reaching for a weapon and opens fire with his AR a weapon and, you know, fires are shot and basically kills him, executes him on the floor there. And you know, this story, once it, once the video came out, it , it spread around like wildfire. People were shocked. A lot of people thought that , uh, that this was, you know , sort of analogous to murder or execution and the , you know, the , the whole, the whole process went forward. He was charged with a crime and the court procedure went through and he was found not guilty. Right. He was acquitted here.Speaker 2:
That's correct. He was acquitted of the , of the, of the, of the charges there , understanding the , that the family as a civil rights suit against, I guess the department for that alleged shooting. But that's, that's your , what you said it was the Genesis of a capsule of what had happened. And there was some discussions that I had as what should have been and procedurally what should have been done and to, to engage any, any, any questionable activity from , uh, the victim who was cooperating with everything that , that , that he was told to do.Speaker 1:
Yeah, it was a , it was a pretty shocking , uh , case that we were doing. We were not doing, watching the Watchers or hosting the show at that time. So the things that I was , uh, the things I've observed, I just saw on the news and on YouTube. But , uh, can you, can you kind of walk us through, maybe so people understand your, your role in all of this. What is your analysis look like? So, you know, you're a former detective, you're somebody who used to work with law, you know, w be an officer in situations like this when you're brought in as an expert to sort of deconstruct what happened here. Can you walk us through sort of what your analysis was or, or what the process looks like? I know you do this on a regular basis and you've got a book out and we're going to talk about all that stuff. But I want , I want people to understand what it is you do so that they can decide whether to use you as a resource in the future. Sure.Speaker 2:
Well, what I do when I get , um , uh , retained on the case, I look at the case from the Genesis. I look at the nine one one call that that that may have come out and look at the initial contacts [inaudible] with the, the, the, the suspects or witnesses to brings them to the suspects . I look at what their reaction is and how they approached the problem. I look at the supervision aspect of the cases. All right . Just do what they are procedurally, what they should have done. And I look at the investigative aspect of the case and seeing what investigations, how the best skater or the detective approached the case to, to um , uh, prove or to establish that, that the suspect was actually involved in the case. What science was, was brought there to corroborate all that investigation done, to corroborate all that. If it was alibis or the alibis investigated , then I look at the , uh, the soup , the Adonis , the supervisory aspect. Each , the patrol officer and the detectives have supervisors and all these reports have to be approved by the supervisors. I looked at, look at what they have done to make sure that all the T's are crossed, all the I's have got it . Then I go up to the management level. You're gonna see what, what they have done to, to challenge , uh, the, these issues, protocol questions were asked to do , corroborate all this. Then if there's an administrative side, like internal affairs, I look at it , look at that and see if they have addressed it based upon , uh, the policies or procedures that were in place. And also , uh, uh, the , the, the statute mandates when I say statute laws that certain things like there is , there's certain way juveniles are handled versus adults and all these things. Yeah . Making sure that they have addressed all shoes . Then I dropped my analysis on based upon my background, education and experience. All right . All right . Asking for certain things that that should have been done. We call that discovery and I work with that . That's a retainer , uh , that has retained me. And um , we , if we get it, we be , I bring that into my analysis. If there's, if it hasn't been done, I also bring that into my analysis, write a detailed report. A lot of times my report settles the case, both criminal on the criminal side. And sometimes I have to testify, not testify based upon my findings. And basically, and we will talk about this a little bit later, I'm sure is that the role is that an advocate? But he's a [inaudible] he or she is a, the teacher is , you know, to, to giving information to the, to the teacher dryer is a fact, which is a jurors in jury trial or if it's a court trial , uh, to the, to the judge who's making that determination. So , um, so those, these are the things that , that , that I do , um, in order to bring the case forward, my job was to level the playing field so that , uh , uh , uh , the person can get a , you know , a fair trial due process can be experienced, just , uh , experienced as well. And when you say leveling the playing field, are you, are you sort of implying that it is not level as it currently stands is? And if so, in what way do you think that it's overly favorable to the prosecutor's office or the prosecution? Well, let me, let me say this. Um, when I was with the department , um, and my almost three decades on the department, there was no one on the other side that was challenging any aspect of law enforcement. W when I retired , um, um, I, I was being retained by a counselor that I used to go up against. Yeah . They have retained me and I was, my, my testimonies were basically on procedural issues. And so what I did, I wrote a proposal to the precise, any judge in Los Angeles County , uh, as to embrace or to put in a police procedure , um, uh, expert on the day expert panel. Uh, the , the judge embraced it. Um, and I was only one in LA County for about five years. That was a police procedures expert. Now we've got about four or five, but I'd be , I get the majority of the calls, but the thing is that , uh, devil's ever been done. Uh , I was sitting in court and testify. The judge would have judges, we have sidebars and they would basically, you know, I don't know what to do. I never, you never had this before. Oh, site you get right because you have experts on both sides. So when you say level, the playing field, the set of the prosecution talking and bringing their experts in and talking about what you know procedurally what it should be done and the reason why it was done the way it was done, the defense never did that. Now they have an opportunity of doing that and it levels the playing field one to be no . Before it was once I was up and once I was down. Now you have kind of an even scale there where the triers effect can listen to both sides develop credibility who's , who's not credible and then make an informed decision.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And many people don't realize that many people , uh, don't understand sort of the behemoth of, of resources that the government has. They have, you know, a whole police department, they've got a whole crime lab, they've got, you know, forensic scientists and everybody involved. You know, that costs a lot of money. It costs a lot of manpower and they have access to that. Whereas the normal sort of everyday defendant just, just doesn't, you know, they're lucky to get a public defender if their income is low enough and , and they qualify for that. And so to have them kind of go in and face this, you know, it's , it's a David and Goliath situation. So essentially what you're saying is that, you know, you've got all this experience, all of this training and , and you sort of, you know, kind of kind of wrote the book on how a lot of these issues are going to be analyzed. Now you're saying you're available for the defense , uh, if, if there's a relationship to be worked out there.Speaker 2:
Well yeah, I'm , I am available if I'm available for both sides, as, as, as you, as we talked about in the [inaudible] , the prosecution retained me and, and the majority of my work though is , is look in the criminal side is defense work because you know, the police departments have their own experts. So I would not expect to get retained by my law enforcement or by the prosecutor when they have resources that they can go to. There has been occasions where that has happened. Now the, the, the thing is that again, you want to level the playing field. Instead of getting one side of the story, you get both sides of the story. And , um, and one of the things I've, I've gotten a chance to on some occasions, sit in and listen to officers testify, another sign , listen to experts testify on the other side and is no coherence as to policies and procedures that they should be talking about. And one of the things that I've, you know, I've, I've , um , I know this for a fact that police officers don't , don't study until they take on two . They try to take a promotional exam and they don't stay, don't current. And , um , I , I remember the times when we having roll call and new critical information comes out and form in the form of special orders or administrative orders and has hand out and roll call at the end and roll call. You see them, they see those things left behind or on the floor and no one reads them. No one studies. So, so the thing is that, you know what the Joe talk about that in my book, but the judges here they think is coherent policy. It's not coherent at all. And when they hear something that's correct, then they their rulings or made on bad stuff, they had been hearing over the months, years and decades. Yeah. Yeah. And people,Speaker 1:
people don't necessarily realize how important expert witnesses can be. Right? So if we're talking about a DUI case, they need an expert witness to come in and test the blood and do their analysis and come in and explain that all to the jury. And that's, that's a blood analyst , that's a blood expert witness. You have the same types of things in sex cases. You have somebody to come in and make arguments over whether or not there was penetration or whether this, you know, there were, there was consent. You have gang experts who know the vernacular about , uh, you know, how they communicate in all different things. And so you are essentially a policy and procedure expert, right? You know when police should engage in certain types of, of enforcement or when they, when they should, you know, fire their weapon or not fire their weapon as was in the case of Brailsford. Is that, is that a fairSpeaker 2:
yeah, it's a fair assessment. And, and, and, and this is training that everyone receives in law enforcement, you know, shooting, don't shoot type of scenarios. Um, as , as it relates to detective work, you're trained as to what to bring into an investigation, give you the answers. For instance, you see a blood spatter, well, blood spatter tells a story. So what you want to do, you want to bring a bless better expert in not talking from the detective side that I'm telling another side from the , you want to bring a blood spatter expert into, can you interpret what is this? This, tell me as an investigator you have just some issues with DNA. You want your serology section to come in and harvest that for you so that they can do DNA analysis, fingerprints, so on and so forth. On the side, my side, would I what I do, I also look at it the very same way. I , um , if there is some DNA stuff that's there, I would suggest to the , uh , the retainer [inaudible] get a DNA expert to look at this stuff, to confirm that what the people are saying. When I say to people, the district attorney is saying is in fact true. You see, and let me give you an example. Let me give you an example. I have a case where it was drive by shooting and the defendants , uh , so allegedly on them murder weapon. So I was looking at the case analyzed . Um, and I F I have found, I've found that that , um, that what I was finding in investigation didn't, it was, it was, it was some issues, but it wasn't rising to the level where it was mitigating to the defendant. So I suggested to the , um, defense attorney, I says, you really need to get a DNA expert on here. So , uh, and I, so he went to the court and that court appointed DNA expert and um , we had our defense meeting and I suggested to the DNA expert, I says, look, you need to do a, a, a analysis. I'm gonna to see what's going on here. Make sure that what they had is in fact correct. And he came back and says, well, you know, there was some, you know, there may be, it may not be. I said, no, I need you to do a deep dive. This is what we need to ask for. You know, I gave him some, some stuff that you need to ask for. And we got that through discovery. Come to find out the electropherograms, those little squiggly marks on the DNA analysis. They were, it was the, they were stutter marks . They weren't actually true science. Then what he found that, that the specimens were mixed up. So at the end of the day, it's the, when the jury came back, they found the defendant not guilty. You see? And the thing is that U S that's why it's important that you got to bring in the experts. I bring in experts in what I do. So you don't tell me what I got here. This is my, this is my view of my opinion. Am I on the right track? So you got to , you got to get into the weeds. You got to, you got to do that deep dive.Speaker 1:
Yeah, completely agree with that. And it's something that people, people just don't, I think naturally understand that they think, well, one lawyer should be able to do all of that stuff. And that's really not the truth, right? A lawyer is sort of like the general contractor when you're building a house, but he's got to go get somebody to lay the cement and put up the dry wall and you know , build the studs and do the electrical work and , and, and do the roof and all of these different parts of the house. And in a criminal case, there's a lot, there's a lot to that, right? You're somebody who is an expert in your specific niche. I'm not, I'm not a blood expert. I'm also not a sex crimes expert. You know, I'm not so, but we have good relationships with those people who we can bring in so they can educate us and they can add that component to our defense.Speaker 2:
Yes . Yes , that's right. I a lot of times they might testimony, I use a cable analogy. Well what I do to that of seeing a doctor , when you go to a doctor and you have your, your, your annual checkup and listens to your chest. So, Oh, I'm hearing a little something funny here. So what he does he some confirmation on what he's hearing or she's hearing? Yeah, they send you to our cardiologist. Okay. And that specialist, I'm seeing something out there. So I'm going to a specialist to give me a confirmation. So when I got, yeah, so, and then, then he , a cardiologist says, well I think you may have to do, do some, do some surgery cause we may hit me at some blockage there. So now I go in there and I asked for a DNA, look at the DNA work or, so just the DNA should have been done. See . So you , you liking it too when you're visiting a doctor and how they , they think from specialist to specialist, they figure out what's going on with your body. The same way when you do an investigation, you bring the specialist in, you figure out what you got going on out there.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I like your analogy a lot better than mine. It's, it's , uh , it's, it's clearly better. It makes more sense. So when we're talking about, you know, excessive force cases and, and you know how police are sort of interacting with know with the general public [inaudible] , it feels like to me that we're seeing an increase in these types of claims and these types of cases. Now, I don't know whether or not that's true. I don't know whether or not , uh , you know, law enforcement is sort of , uh , causing more of these things. I don't know if the population, you know, the general, like everyday citizen is sort of , uh, becoming more aggressive with police or I don't know if it's just some, just something that we're seeing more of because more people have more cell phones and we were seeing some movements like black lives matter and we're seeing some really big pushes for criminal justice reform from a number of different organizations throughout the country. So I don't know if there is an actual increase in, in these types of excessive force claims or you know, police shootings across the country. Do you, do, you know, do you have any feelings on that or any insight into sort of how this is, is , uh, operating in our country today?Speaker 2:
Well, I, let me, let me say this, as I , since I've been in this business, almost turning the corner to 50 years. Yeah. Um, you've heard in the communities about police brutality, you've heard in , in the communities about a whole bunch of stuff that goes on between the please and the community, especially in minority communities. Well, I transitioned from 1974 and before to where now technology has advanced. We think that we're seeing some, some new revelations, but it's not new. Revelation . Technology's just changed to amplify these revelations that had been talked about before do was present to document it . Okay. So the things I thing , nothing has really changed. The culture of it has not changed. Technology has changed to to expose what has right now. The thing is that I, I find that's, you know, where this falls upon you, their attorney do to make sure that you have, you pick the right jurors. Is that the, I I find this some misses is just not an appetite to do the right thing from a juror's perspective because, you know, these are cups , these are people I call. And I'm not saying that , that I don't, I don't, I hate to use a broad brush stroke , but there's a small element that makes the hole look bad. Yeah. And um , and there, there are a lot of officers out there who do magnificent work, lot of detectives out there who do magnificent work. But there , there was this small cadre of individuals that will question everything that's being done and, and uh , there is an and , and I have seen things that, that I would have never thought I would see working in law enforcement, but now that I'm doing what I'm doing at a different level at the 35,000 foot level because it's very sad. It's a very sad picture. Do you mean that sat and sat in what regard? I mean, do you , are you talking about sort of the criminal justice system or you know, how law enforcement is operating today? Yeah, well it's all, all the above. Um, aye. Aye. Aye. I am one of my chapters. I think it was n****s , my final chapter in my book, I give analysis of the system and , um , I, I , um, I can give it a title criminal justice perspective. And , um, I, it's my opinion that, that the criminal justice system is on life support. Yeah. It's on life support. Um, you have any time you have individuals, 20 and 30 years in prison for crimes that didn't, didn't, didn't commit. The system has failed though. It's destroyed them. You need time . You have individuals who are taking a plea deal because they don't want to be in prison cause they don't trust the system. Get a fair trial. The system has failed though. There are times when the system gets it right. But again, Oh you can get it right with a not guilty. You can get it right with the hung jury. You can get it right with the a guilty. Where were you were, were you seeing justice being fair? Trial being, being, being a observed. We're do processes being observed and , and , and where the system works together, but [inaudible] but you know, the stuff that I see when I get called , I don't see that working. Let's see. So the system , so the whole system needs to change. Anytime you get a district attorney or prosecutor filing a case that has no coherence to the crime at all, then that's a problem. Yeah. And they, and they push it to get a conviction and they had 15 and 20 years later you find out that that get the wrong person in custody. Well that should have been thought about [inaudible] and litigated upfront . And that's a, that's a management problem with law enforcement. That's an investigator problem. Patrol problem. There's a prosecutorial problem is the Liddy is a judicial problem. I mean the system as a whole system, a systemic problem. And then you, then you get me, you get a call, you had retained me and then I have to look at this stuff and I, and I, and I bring out bad tidings.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And you know, I, I'm, I don't want to be too kind of callous here, but you know, I agree with you first and foremost that there are a ton of problems in the criminal justice system. We see it every day . We've got seven lawyers here who just do criminal defense. That's it. That's it. So, you know, we are on the, on the ground in the thick of it every day. And a lot of what you said I resonate with completely. Um, and I want to ask you about that sort of a , a little further diagnoses on why you think , uh , it is so bad and why we see a lot of the excessive force cases and stuff that we do see. I'd love to get your opinion on where all of that is coming from. I've got mine. But before I do, I want to kind of ask you, you know, a big criticism for somebody in your position is that you were a part of that problem. You know, you were in the system, you were for 29 years, 40 years or whatever, you know, for 29 years, I think almost three decades. You know, you were an officer who was know , presumably, you know, arresting people and putting people into that system. Uh, you, you've since left that, you know, how do you, how do you kind of reconcile your prior career with what you're doing today? Did the system leave you or how do you respond to that criticism?Speaker 2:
Well, that's a , that's a fair question. Number one, I was, I was, I was, I worked the system. The system wasn't me. If you understand. Yeah. I, you know, a lot of people become innocent , socialize in the areas they are working in. I worked hard not to become institutionalized, number one. Number two, if I didn't have it, the person didn't go to jail. And I've had, I've had a superior say, well put this in the , in the report says no, I'm not putting that in a report is it? If you want to put it in a report, you put it, put your name to it and you go to court. So there, there, there, there was a , you have, you have to have that , that core value. You have to have that , that you don't, you don't, you don't, you don't bow down to the, to the system if you will, if you take an a person's freedom. I had a case where it was, we had a series of robberies and , um , all right . I , I did my investigation. I , and I thought I had found a person who was doing that . So I put together a six pack that's, you don't need a photo display. Yup . And I went and showed it to, to the victims who were out there and like say safer . So I went to, showed it to 10 of them and six of them , um , identified this person. So I had them arrested, but it was something was hounding me in my mind that, you know, this may not be the person, so what defense attorneys do? I request a live lineup and I had some [inaudible] victims look at the live lineup and he wasn't picked out. So I said, well, you know, you know this, maybe they just didn't, didn't, didn't figure it , didn't , didn't pick them out. I was filed upon and then he was getting ready to go to trial. Come to find out that the series started up again and the victims call me and it says detective Williams was the same guy that was doing it. Well, you know, you don't have to be a Phi beta Kappa . They figured this out that the person you have in custody, is that the person who did it? Yeah, so I called the da , the da. I said, we got it . We got, I need to go before we need to go get this guy out of jail the next day. Um, we bought a me , yeah. From the County jail and I told the judge, this is not the, it's not the suspect. And he was released the judge, every time he sees me, you know , I , I pass by as Courtney way in our wave and he brings me in and he tells all the staff about that, about that case because apparently no one has ever done that before. So the thing is that I say , I said all that to say this is that you got to make sure you get it. You get it right. You've got to make sure you get it right. I've handled hundreds of cases. How does the cases that I, you know, my job, I, I and I, when the kids are home at that , at that time, that was resting people putting him in jail. That [inaudible] . Right.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And I really liked what you said about, you know, not becoming institutionalized because I think, you know, when you were talking previously about sort of the , the sad state of the criminal justice system and how it's on life support, you know, my initial thought was, well, how do we diagnose what the problem is? And the, the, the, the word that comes to my mind when I think about it is culture. And you, and you had thought about it , you said the word institutionalize and not becoming institutionalized or buying into that culture. Uh, because, because it , it feels like it's pervasive to me. I mean, when you were just sitting there describing to me what you went through, I can't tell you how many cases we've handled, how many interviews that I've personally done, how many interviews our team have done, where I, I can't tell you, I can name one time of the thousands of cases that we've worked on where an officer told me during an interview that he made a mistake or , or that something was not functioning properly. And he said that. And I was like shocked that that, you know, I got an admission from a guy that said that you, you know what, maybe the evidence wasn't actually there and now that you bring it up and it just, it feels like to me, you know from the front lines that your type of, of thought process wa , you know, when you were processing cases as an officer, it just doesn't feel like it's, it's out there that much anymore. And , and to me it seems like it's a cultural thing.Speaker 2:
Yeah. It's always, you know, this, they have this blue line , you know, we know this , this , this culture. I did not embrace that. I did not embrace that. And in my re when I retired I had about 400 people came to my retirement and I told them , I says, I says, one of the things that I've worked hard on is not embracing a law enforcement culture. My persona , you see , cause you, you, you lose your perspective, you lose your objectivity when you have to. You have a very, you have, you have, you have a lot of power at your fingertips. And if you abuse that power, it may come back to haunt you 20 and 30, 40 years down the road. And so the thing is that, you know, you've got to, you know, we, everybody makes mistakes. We all make mistakes. I have , if someone tells you to ever make a mistake, then you get as far away from that person as you can. Yep . Cause you know, that person's lying . We all make mistakes. But the question is, you know, have you learned from your mistakes? Uh, do you, do you try and do what is with what is correct? Do you try to pull the oath that you have been taken that , that you, that you swore you this , you swore that you would have pulled? And , uh , you know, I've, I've, I've, I've taken notes twice in my life once, when I was in the military once, when I was in law enforcement. So those olds are very, very seriously and , um , and even today, even though, even though I'm doing what I'm doing, that all still is still there before me.Speaker 1:
There's Trump and that's , that's amazing. There's tremendous pressure, I would imagine too, conform to the culture to become institutionalized, you know, basically anywhere. It doesn't matter where you work, you know, they want you to be a part of the culture and do things the way that they're doing. And if you're somebody who doesn't sort of acclimate to that, now you're kind of an outsider and you're somebody who's not playing, you know, not playing the game, you're not on the team in, in many institutions. Did you experience that while you were working there? Because as you said, you wanted to sort of resist the urge to let law enforcement culture become part of your persona. So that's the first question, you know, what was the pushback there and then related, since you've left and now you're on kind of kind of the other side, I mean, you said you were , you're , you're available to both sides, but you know, typically prosecutors aren't calling you, the defense is calling you. Um, what is the response been there? So, you know, how have you kind of crossed sides? You've crossed the aisle to a certain extent. Has that left you ostracized by the law enforcement community or relationships still good there?Speaker 2:
Well no, I still have family in law enforcement. Yeah , yeah. Ostracized . I, I don't, I didn't walk with the rest of the ducks. You see, cause the thing is that you know, you , when you're out there, you've got to make sure you do West was correct. I didn't take shortcuts. I don't leave any shortcuts and I'm number one, the number I , you know, I, I've gotten to know, da approached me about several years ago and I worked with that da uh, when I was working, it's a division and he says he's still, he's still making [inaudible] . I says, no, I'm not making trouble. I'm , I'm leveling the playing field and you should want and you should want to the field level as well. Then I walked away from it. But the thing is that, and , and, and I've had the district attorneys have their , for family members or their friends contact me when they're with their friends got in trouble when they needed somebody to me . Okay. Police officer whose grandson got in trouble. It was looking at it , look, if he had gotten convicted, you'd be looking at at prison time. And he came to me and he says, can you help my grandson? I said, I'm not going to look at the wreck . Look at the reports. And I testified in that case, this and this in this grandson walked. So the thing is that you know, you, you are a, a , um, an enemy until you're not, if you, sorry, let, we'll let a family member get in trouble. Let a loved one get in trouble or friend get in trouble. They're going to be with beat down your door and calling you. Let's see. So yeah, I got that . I've gotten negative feedback, but that doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me. My job is to keep on doing what I'm doing and, and to make sure that the playing field is level.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And it is great work that you're doing. You know, it's , it's very powerful when from a defense perspective, you have somebody who used to be a police officer who can kind of come to the other side and call, you know, kind of call BS when, when that's appropriate. It's, it's, it's powerful. It's persuasive. You need to have a lot of authenticity, a lot of credibility. Um, and so, you know, I can, I can thank you on behalf of defense attorneys everywhere. We appreciate, you know, the work that you're doing and it's always, it's always something, you know, there , there are a lot of people out there who hate cops who hate police and that's not the position that I've been trying to take on this program. We do want to hold, you know, law enforcement accountable. But as, as you sort of described previously, you know, there's, there's kind a real small, I would say subset of law enforcement who are , are, are very bad. But there , there is, it seems to me kind of a broader culture. So there's not a lot of officers who are actually out there maybe committing crimes that would be charged with a crime or they're not, you know, killing people. But there is still this sort of, this , this culture that goes on where there's some maybe some wrongdoing that exists within the, you know, certain departments that is sort of being , uh , just swept under the rug. So, you know, one example that we have here in Scottsdale is we had a, we have a number of officers who have arrested people for DUIs and they come back with zeros across the board, you know, blood results come back. It's zero, zero, zero. But they were arrested and they were convicted of it. They showed up in court and they got convicted. And so we've identified I think nine, nine , uh , defendants who pled guilty to DUIs, even though they weren't under the influence of anything. And so the criminal justice system just let this thing kind of skate through it from the police, arresting them to the prosecutor or you know , uh, charging them to the judge, accepting their guilty conviction. All for somebody who was legally 100% innocent. Um, that is a catastrophic failure, you know, that is, that is failure from every single entity that isn't involved to an innocent person who doesn't know better. You know, you're somebody who's been in this position, who , who's been working in this field for a very, very long time. We've talked about culture problems and institutional problems. What do we have to do to start to start pushing things in the right direction?Speaker 2:
Well, you're, you're, you've been breaking up, but I've been hearing this piece of work, or what you're saying is that, you know, you've got to , um, you know, we , we, we, all of us have, have to have to play our parts correctly. One of the things that I do as an expert, if the defense attorney or retains ballad , do I tell them upfront, I'm gonna give you the good, the bad, and the ugly on your case. And I'm going to tell you if you have something, I'm gonna tell you if you don't have something. And , um , I've, you know, and I've, you know, I have, I have told attorneys and they've made me, what can you do this? Can you do that? I says, that will destroy my credibility. I'm saying , I'm telling you what you have and what you don't have music. And , um, and you know, us , I tell you what, I can give you what you should be looking at. And um, and it's like anything else, you know , um, when I was, when I was supervising , um, younger detectives , uh , love these guys, they , they , they have blinders on and they couldn't see the, you know, the forest for the trees. Sometimes. Sometimes you have to have a , you gotta have a focus on your investigations. You've got to have a theory on what has happened. But if things that may change that, then you have to be flexible to move in that direction. And I find the same thing, you know, I've , and even on the civil rights side, I may tell an attorney, we'll have you, have you looked at this? Have you looked at that? Well, that's not the way I'm going. Well then I can't help you. You see, and I give you an example. I had a, it was a , um , it was, I think it was a temperate murder case. He had three defendant cases . He had three attorneys and a three precept . Theresa . We were the, they wanted me to talk with them and about the case. And we were , we were during noon recess. And I was explaining to them what , um, what was, you know, what my views and opinions and position was, which was [inaudible] two theory theory of the case . And so two of them wasn't paying attention to me. I said, well, look, you guys are wasting my time. You know, I can have other people that want my time and , and , and I, and I w I got on them in front of their peers in, in the, in the, in the attorney room, find the , listen to me. And I testify that afternoon, all three defendants walked. You see , see , the thing is that, you know, as attorneys, you know, and I, and that's what I do. My lectures, I told the attorneys is , you gotta be flexible. And if you go in there and you have your blinders on experts in and they have a good experts not going to compromise your integrity. Now you may have experts in there who are in it for the money. They may, they may do whatever you want them to say. You say whatever. Do you know what I'm saying ? I'm not one of them. You can see it . So the thing is that, you know, you've got, you've got establish that up front and down front and , um , you know, I , I've, I've, I've, I've had a decent reputation with the bench and, and other attorneys , um, in that I've , you know , that I've worked for so, but they know that Tim will always give them the honest, honest direction and advice. [inaudible] [inaudible] you're not ready for trial. And these are the reasons why you're not ready for trial. You see, they may not want to hear it, but you've got to give it to them.Speaker 1:
Right. I completely agree with that approach. You know, it's something if you're inauthentic as an expert witness, everybody can tell. Everybody knows that. The jury can tell. The judge can tell, the defense attorney knows it and there is already this idea that, you know, a lot of expert witnesses are sort of hired guns by defense lawyers and they're just going to come in and they're going to say whatever the defense told them to say because they're , you know, out to make a dollar. But [inaudible] you know , that argument is persuasive for juries. If they can be told that by the prosecutor's office. If the defense attorney can't keep that stuff out, then that can, that can destroy a case right there. Just that sort of allegation of potential bias. But when you have an expert who is somebody who you know, has a reputation that is essentially impeccable , uh, and will testify to that effect, it comes across through the jury. People can sense authenticity and , and somebody who is not authentic. So you know, the fact that you're doing that I think just helps your , your testimony become much more effective.Speaker 2:
Yeah . What'd you got ? Not to testify to? You know, you've got to let the, cause they will [inaudible] yes . What you're getting per hour. And that's , those are legitimate questions. Yup . They will. They will try to ask them what you've made that year. That could be a legitimate question. Uh , based upon their, what they trying to present you as, what the question down, how you answer that is that I'm being paid for my time, not my time testimony. Let's see . So you can't bind me from my test when you pay, you pay me for my time. Right. You say , well and right. And the prosecutors getting paid by the government and the cops are getting in the bind , the Colton's getting paid, everybody's getting paid. So it's kind of a stupid argument, but you know, if, if you don't know how to, how to handle it, like you said you did, you know, then, then certainly that can be persuasive. A jury can, you know, they don't know any better. They don't know that the prosecutor's getting paid, you know, also for their time. And so, and if you pay a prosecutor, is that, are they changing their charging decisions based on their, you know, their weekly salary problem , you know, they show they , they , they were all, you know, when I was with the, with the department, we will, even the prosecutor, everybody is a civil servant. Everybody, they, you know, our job is to serve the people you see now that I'm one of those are , my job is [inaudible] is to level the playing field, annoying , knowing what's going on out there and , and to , so that you, the defense attorney can put in a coherent case on so that you, the defense attorney can talk, look in the eye of the jurors and say with a hundred percent confidence, boom, this is this, this is that, this is this, this is that. Cause they're , they're , you know , you know, the judge is gonna is gonna say, well the expert's testimony, let's see. So it don't decide to evidence, but what , what I'm telling you is, is procedurally what should be done now is for the, for the uh, the jurors made that credibility count or , or assessment cause they're going to hear from the other side as well. You just, you just released a book, right? When did this come out? It came out , um, Kim on the 31st, but it was, it was, it came out on the 25th and officially came up three first dive, a expert analysis of police procedure, use of force in wrongful convictions. Yeah . So you just broke up there just a little bit. I think you're on wifi. So we're having a little bit of a, of a zoom delay. But let me, so let me just show the audience here. The name of the book is a deep dive, an expert analysis of police procedure, use of force and wrongful convictions. Can you give us kind of a, an overview on the book? Tell me a little bit about, you know, what's in it and what inspired you to write it, where your kind of your goals were. Yeah. Well, what inspired me to write it was, you know, I, you know, I make, I make a lot of , um, uh , presentations to the public speaking engagements and then at the [inaudible] , so you're to give, ever say, well, what is it that you really do? Yeah. So, yeah, Melissa's been for the past hour . So when I, and, and, and, and the attorneys who never use experts and they've , they tried to figure out how to use the expert in their, in their respective cases. And so I, so what I did, I, and I, and I've, you know, I've, I know how the, I've seen some of the struggles from the as well, so I wrote for everybody, for the civilians, the attorneys, the bench and law enforcement, those younger attorneys who've tried to get into law, students who are trying to get into this business as far as working in criminal justice or even becoming civil rights attorneys. So it's, it's a , it's , it's for everybody. And I, I talk about what I do, I talk about issues of discovery because , um, the attorneys are not detectives or detectives are not attorneys, but together we can come together and get everything that's needed out. Let me see. Um, written reports are critical. Um, you've gotta know how to write, you know , um , uh , people I've, I've seen , uh , reports that are or from experts that are like a , uh , a motions and they're with, with, with [inaudible] . Well, hell you're not an attorney. You got , you know, and the in the, in the judges will kick your report out. You write like that. Yeah. I see. So your , your your right to report and then, and then when you hear them testify, you know, you , I'm wondering who's writing this report. Did they write the report? Then somebody else write the report for them. Then you, you, you, you get into a talk about supporting experts. Yeah . You bring me on board, but when you bring me, I'm a , I'm going to suggest you may bring some others too . You see. And in that way you can have a cohesive approach in that way. You as an attorney can know how to handle the case. Then I talk about media interviews, you know, I, I let them know that what you say in the media will end up in the court. Yep . This interview will probably end up in the , in the court, in the end , in the , in the , in the , um, in the criminal court or more importantly in my civil rights cases. And I'll, I'll see excerpts from this excerpt from that and , um , and uh , which will be out of context by the way. And yeah , about , um, um, you know, about the , the bench and how do you know how the bench here's so much bad testimony until when they hear stuff that it may impact [inaudible] . So the thing is that, you know, hopefully they will look at it and say, Hmm , um , just like the of use of use force where a person is resisting, well , this is a department of justice DOJ report. And that came out of playbook 1995 and I talked about that in my book and is the title of the article is , um, is dealing with a 60 ation positional asphyxiation. And then embedded in that report or that study is an anatomy of a struggle. And in that portion, and I learned it in my book, it talks about if a person, you know, you have the weight of, of, of, of individuals on your back and it compresses your chest. If you are in your chest and you can't breathe, it's like a person jury room and they're not resisting you. They're just struggling to breathe. So , so I laid that out and all day they're posing , it's when I testify that way. And so what I have done, I started using that as an exhibit in my, in my reports so that way they can't get away. So the judges, the judges can see it and , and work on that and , and , and get a proper ruling. Then I talk about , um, don't stipulate to anything, analyze everything and anything that's investigative or scientific, you bet . Not stipulate by suggesting you bet . Not stipulate to anything because you may be selling your client down the road down the river. And I remember that the example I gave you about the, the , the , uh , the off the drive by shooting and , uh , we found out that the , the , the , that the DNA was wrong mixed in the exhibits were mixed up. Well , what would happen if you were stipulated to them ? You lost your case. Yeah . Lost your case. You see. So, you know, so that's, that's important. And I talk about deposition and trial preparation and, and you know, and this is a different type of preparation for both. And I'm , you know, I lay that out in there as well. And then , um, I talked about the internal affairs , uh , supervision and management and , um, and I, I kinda internal affairs pretty well because, you know, that's, it's , I have, I have seen , um, internal affairs reports where they, where they doing a sexual investigation and they, and they, they said they had to get a textbook to do their investigation. Now what the hell? Kind of the investigations that were , and they put it in writing, put it in writing. I have one internal affairs investigation. It says, I , I've never, I never, I didn't know what a murder book was. What the hell? Why the hell are you investigating a murder if you don't know what a murder book was, if you see when you wouldn't know what to do with it when you find it. So I mean, this nightmarish stuff. Yeah. Yeah. That a laboratory is let go by, but you gotta you gotta you got to delve off into that . My views of the criminal justice system as a whole. So, you know, I've, I've, there's a lot of things I talk about in there and, and um , I think it's a , this from cover the carvers by 87 pages and it's , uh, I , I'm kind of biased. I called it a mandatory read.Speaker 1:
Well, well, I'm looking forward to reading it. You know, we got introduced just a couple of days ago and so we hopped on this podcast on this show before, before I had a chance to even read it. But basically, you know, based on our conversation, I am looking forward to it. It may be, as you said, it may become mandatory reading for all of our attorneys here, so myself included. So I'm looking forward to, to ordering a copy or several for our office here , uh , where, where can people get a copy? Where can people connect with you if they wanna if they want to , uh, you know, have a discussion with you about maybe using you in their case or, you know, a defense attorney's case. Let's throw out some contact info.Speaker 2:
Okay . Uh , for the book for the book is you go to my, there's a webpage is Tim Williams, journeyer.com Tim williams.com. You clicked up, you go to that page and it takes you right to order my book. You click one and bam, you're right there. You know, all they need is your credit card and uh , it'll come to you in a matter of two or three days.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And you can't see it, Tim , but I, but I've got it pulled up on your website so they can see right there. They can go right there. Click the buy now button 1995 a deep dive.Speaker 2:
Yeah, Tim Williams during your.com. Then if you want to go to my website , uh , know more about me is TT Williams , pi.com T T Williams, [inaudible] dot com you get to the good one. Biographical sketch, my curriculum, VJ , my fee schedule. That's what the attorneys want to look at. More importantly at that fee schedule. And um , at the cases I've handled since 2005 and , um, so you know, and, and , and, and that in there , direct them to my, to, to the , to the other webpage and buying the book. My office number or office number is (213) 439-9026 (213) 439-9026. I know that we're going through this a COBIT 19 , um, issues, but I'm , I still get calls. Um, we, we, we, we work very safely. Um, um, and um , we're available. We're available. And , um, and I would strongly encourage you to purchase the book and to get a feel for what experts do and what they should and should not be doing. One of the things I talked about near and I, and I think that you as an attorney, you should be very concerned about is that continuing education approach , going to have more degrees in it as the mometer does . That doesn't impress me. What impresses me is your continuing education. What are you doing to keep current with your craft? And I give you an example. I think I talked about it in my book as well. I was sitting in as I'm the judge, let me sit in and has a table with the attorney as an expert. And I was in a consulting expert, if you will, in this particular case. And this guy was talking about, you know , um, uh, giving her by the walk down memory lane. And , um, as he was walking down memory lane, he kind of tripped and , uh, and says, well, you know, I was doing this. I was doing that when , uh, and I have those expertise. Well what he was talking about, sworn personnel don't do anymore. That was back in the 70s, early seventies. And this was, I was in I think about 2005 or so when this case came up. So I reached over until the attorney asked them this one question and this and this expert is done, is done. We says, when was the last time you were trained in this area? And , uh, the witness, the experts, they didn't know . The alleged expert stated well was no late seventies, and the judge almost jumped off the bench day just spur you says you have until one 30. That's , that's when during the noon breaks recessed to find somebody that's desk desk expert in a particular area or are you going to lose this portion of the case? I will dismiss this portion of the case. And that's how experts get destroyed because they don't get it. Don't have continuing education, have a goal , uh , return anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per year of continuing education because things change just that much. And you've gotta be, you gotta be current and know what's going on with that. And you got to know what jazz , make sure that you stay on top of this stuff. See that helps. They only you, but they help the attorney as well.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I think that's just great advice in general across the board. You know, attorneys, we do have mandatory continuing education every year. It's 15 but you know, normally 15 hours. Normally we're doing way, way more than that. It's just, it's just what's, what's necessary in order to be good at it. I always laugh at these attorneys who market themselves as, you know, practicing law for 25 years. I'm like, that's great. It's been cool that you've been doing it a long time, but what have you done in those 25 years? What have you created? You know, what changes have you implemented? What are you doing to educate yourself to, to, to, to be more effective attorney. Anybody can just sit in a, in an office for 25 years and, and you know, kind of do nothing but it really takes, you know , some discipline and some focus in order to continue to get better and better at your craft.Speaker 2:
Yeah. You do. Indian judges go to school, they have the, they have, they have their continuing education. So, so the thing is that, you know, you've got to, you've got to, and I don't have that requirement on me for that's my requirement that I put on my right. Yeah. And um, and I , I look at the opposing experts and I've, I go through the curriculum. VT , I'm only looking for one thing. I'm looking for the good training education. And I very rarely see it . Yeah. Very rarely see it. And, and another thing as we , they used to continuing education. Do you deal with a lot of these criminal cases? You need a need to really scrutinize the investigative aspects or experience that these detectives out . Cause a lot of times you find that they don't have what you think they have and you gotta you got to ask. It's , cause they're not, they're not putting out curriculum VTS . Right. You see, so you got to ask them. And this were an expert like myself. We'll, we'll, we'll help you, we'll help the attorneys questions ask and then you could, you can, you can kill their expertise real, real quick, real quick.Speaker 1:
Yeah. You've got, you know, this, this conversation has been amazing. Um, I've really appreciated all of the insight that you've shared and I would encourage people to absolutely buy your book. Yeah. The website for the book is Tim Williams jr com and your office website is T T Williams, pie.com . We're going to put all of the links to everything in our show notes when this show goes live. But Tim, is there anything else that , uh, that we didn't get to today that you wanted to kind of leave us with?Speaker 2:
No, I , I, I just, I just want to leave you with this in a criminal side. Every case that you have as a police procedure case, every case. Yeah . Because please set the follow procedures to get the case where it goes. So every case is procedure. Um, one of the things that you, and on the civil rights side , uh, you'll , you'll always hear about post peace officer standards and training . Well, you as an attorney and the courts have to understand that that's not policy. It drives policy. So you , the , the agencies have manuals that they have training and all the training is pollster certified, but it's not, those learning domains are not policy. They are agency policies . They drive agency policy. So you've got to be clear on that. I, I, I, I, I pushed that. I was in San Francisco in a civil rights case and the judge heard about my, the federal judge heard about my testimony and I have to clear associate , she got called in to testify about that. And um , the , the , uh , city attorney , um, call a rebuttal witness him from train . Uh , but my testimony on just that issue and , um, the , the rebuttal witness says , I agree with Mr. Williams. He's correct. So the thing is that, you know, you've got to, and the learning domains will tell you that, but you got to guess why you, why important to you ? You , they have experts in the, in the case so much w I think I get away from the wind lose and draw what you, what you want to do is make sure that justice is met. You want to make sure that you processes is that it's not a baseball game. You don't strike some balls and strikes you want, you want, you know, you want to make sure that your client has got the best experience as far as a trial as he or she can get. You want to make sure that you get the proper jury that will, that will listen and give you the best outcome. And , and again, the , the , the experts should training to the teacher, to the teaching the jury and informing the court. You see?Speaker 1:
Yeah. And I think that's a beautiful note to leave off on justice, right? That's all we want. There's a lot of moving parts. There's a lot of , uh, things that are involved in, in reaching that. But there are, there are good strategies, there are effective tools and there are less effective tools. And I'm happy that you and I had the opportunity to meet and uh , and get to know one another because I think you know, your, your insight is very valuable. I'm happy that we had you in law enforcement when we did have you because of your disposition, because of the fact that you operated with a ton of integrity. You refuse the urge to become institutionalized and to let that culture kind of corrupt you and you know, and you've served your community for a number of years and you're continuing to do that just in a little bit different capacity. So I want to thank you for, you know , all of the things that you are bringing into the criminal justice system. We appreciate that the, you know, the work that you're doing and thank you so much for coming on the show with us todaySpeaker 2:
and thank you for having me.Speaker 1:
All right, mr Tim Williams. So that was a , a very special episode of watching the Watchers. We were , were , uh , happy to have him here. As you know, he's got a book out. Let me plug the links just a couple more times. So the new book is called a deep dive, an expert analysis of police procedure, use of force and wrongful convictions. You can get a copy of that on his website. He's got two of them, so the book is available on Tim Williams jr com Tim Williams jr com. Just go to that website, scroll down just a little bit. You're going to see it available there for 1995 get a copy and if you're an attorney, if you're somebody who wants to speak with him about a consulting or about utilizing him as an expert witness, we've heard you know all of his qualifications. He's obviously very good at what he does. Check out his website at T T Williams, pii.com T T Williams, pi.com and his office number there is (213) 439-9026 this was a special edition of watching the Watchers. Remember to tune in on our live Wednesday nights at 4:00 PM that's 4:00 PM Arizona time, 7:00 PM for a on the Eastern coast time. If we're the three hour difference, it's, it's a live show. I would encourage you to come on and check the chat box. Tell us what you want to talk about. Remember, we have at the very end of the show, our favorite part of everybody's favorite part of the broadcast is the bad Popo section where we talk about bad police officers. So tune in and let us know what you think, whether they're bad Popo or not live 4:00 PM you can find us on Facebook. Just go on watching the watchers.com search that or go to our, our law.tv that's gonna forge you right over to our YouTube channel. There'll be live, so we'll see you on Wednesday.