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  #1  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:18 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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Police lineup

Having read Northern Thalia's thread about her purse getting stolen, and the next step being a lineup to see if she can identify the schmuck who nicked it, I was wondering how the police actually go about gathering other similar looking people for the lineup?

Do they literally roam the streets looking for similar types? Do you get paid for your time if you're asked to be in a line up?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:24 AM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Link to Bricker's article on this same topic.

Interesting aside: in Texas, you're much more likely to look at a photographic lineup for a petty crime. The other five photos in the lineup will come from a computer program that goes over the statewide database of mugshots and selects people who have similar facial features.
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:37 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I was the so-called victim of an attempted armed robbery (it wasn't the best idea those guys had and they landed back in prison for it). Here in Massachusetts, I had to do a photo line-up of about 40 people. I caused myself a problem because my original description was too good. Imagine that you call in a crime committed by someone that looks like a housewife, 35-37 years old, a white blouse, and mom hair. They police scan the database for people that look like that and you get back a photo lineup of only women that match your description. It wasn't easy but I got mine right the first time. The police picked me up at about 2:00 am just to do the lineup and, after I passed, they offered to take me into the jail to see them. No thanks.

About two years later, I was working in the yard at our new house 40 miles away from the scene of the crime. When a car pulled up out of the blue. It was a private investigator for the defense. One of the felons had already plead and gone back to prison for three years. The other one decided to fight it. That was not a good move because I did the same photo lineup again and got it right. He went back to prison a few months later for 5 years. The Boston DA was very happy with me and I got a thank you call after it was all done.
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2007, 11:39 AM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
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Just to add a personal data point, many years ago when I was a college student, I was walking near the Administration Bldg. when a campus security officer stopped me and asked if I would mind being in a lineup, since I matched the general description of the suspect they were trying to ID.

Since they allowed me to leave afterward, I assume the witness didn't pick me. And no, they didn't pay me for it.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2007, 11:43 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik
Link to Bricker's article on this same topic.
Doh! It didn't even occur to me to check!

Cheers for the link.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:03 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
I was the so-called victim ...
That's a very odd phrase to describe yourself with. Were you a victim or not? My guess is that they tried to rob you, but bungled it so badly that you were totally unharmed.

More details, if you can?
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2007, 01:03 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
The Boston DA was very happy with me and I got a thank you call after it was all done.
A thank you for what? Picking the guy that actually did it? Picking the guy they wanted to put back in jail?
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2007, 01:09 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam yax
A thank you for what? Picking the guy that actually did it? Picking the guy they wanted to put back in jail?
Maybe it was thanking him for being a good citizen and doing his civic duty to help put criminals away when a great many citizens wouldn't bother or would screw it up.
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2007, 06:06 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam yax
A thank you for what? Picking the guy that actually did it? Picking the guy they wanted to put back in jail?
The guys in question were two black gang-bangers at 19 and 20 years old. They tried to rob me at double knife point right outside of my apartment building in the Brighton section of Boston. I didn't think at all before I fought back and hit one of them in the face. I am not sure if that was the safest move because there was no one else around but I was in really good shape at the time and knew that I could outrun them. I was at the locked back entrance to my apartment building within 45 seconds and on the phone with 911 secure in the building within 2 minutes.

The 911 operator took things very seriously and relayed the message to the police gang squad right away. Even in a big city like Boston, they knew who I was talking about because they had just gotten out of prison and more felonious theatrics were completely expected. They went on to commit three successful armed robberies in the next hour but the gang squad was out in full force and knew where they lived and what path they would be taking home.

The police detective that arrested them was about the biggest white guy I had ever seen at over 7 feet tall and probably 300 pounds. I asked him about the actual arrest and he said that they cooperated because he had to open fire on them the last time they were arrested and went to prison. Their prior violations were numerous but the one they got nailed hardest on was ordering a delivery, luring the delivery man inside, and them cracking him over the head with a pipe. They gave one delivery person permanent, debilitating brain injuries from that.

It was very hard doing a photo lineup at 2 am even though the incident was still recent. My initial description was good so I basically got photo pages of 40 gang-banger looking black guys in their late teens to early twenties. They had hoods on when I encountered them although I ripped one off of one guy. I got the lineup right however.

The Boston DA simply wanted them put away for as long as possible because they were considered very dangerous. I had to go and meet with the DA twice in downtown Boston and they treated me like a star. They started prepping me for trial as well. Remember, that there were 3 other sets of victims. They dropped out one after the other for reasons that I could never understand. I was the only one left and the first guy plead for 3 years maximum security. Two years later, a private investigator working for the defense showed up out of the blue. I did the lineup again right in my driveway and declared my commitment for a criminal trial. He plead shortly thereafter and got 5 years maximum security.

The District Attorney's' office kept my updated because I was the only one that seemed willing to help put them away. I got the feeling that a large number of felony victims simply slink away.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 11-26-2007 at 06:08 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:24 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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Are these lineups double-blind yet? I know it was being talked about, after several cases of witnesses being given hints (mostly unconsciously) of who they should pick.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2007, 06:59 AM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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I dread ever having to pick someone out in a lineup. I wouldn't be able to -- outside of obvious things such as sex and hair color, people really do all look pretty much alike to me .

Face Blind
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2007, 01:36 PM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBaldGuy
Just to add a personal data point, many years ago when I was a college student, I was walking near the Administration Bldg. when a campus security officer stopped me and asked if I would mind being in a lineup, since I matched the general description of the suspect they were trying to ID.

Since they allowed me to leave afterward, I assume the witness didn't pick me. And no, they didn't pay me for it.
If I were in your shoes, I would have turned down their request. What would have happened if the victim screwed up and picked you? Sounds like your position was a no-win one.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2007, 08:04 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
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Originally Posted by vetbridge
If I were in your shoes, I would have turned down their request. What would have happened if the victim screwed up and picked you? Sounds like your position was a no-win one.
It wouldn't mean anything except that the victim didn't get a good enough look at the perp to identify him. They don't do a lineup until they have a suspect.

They didn't bring FatBaldGuy in for the lineup because he was a suspect, they just brought him in because he was a FatBaldGuy and so was the suspect and it gives the suspect a fair chance of not being identified.

Last edited by jasonh300; 11-27-2007 at 08:05 PM..
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2007, 12:51 AM
Darryl Lict Darryl Lict is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minor7flat5
I dread ever having to pick someone out in a lineup. I wouldn't be able to -- outside of obvious things such as sex and hair color, people really do all look pretty much alike to me .

Face Blind
That's a fascinating article. I'm not super great at faces, when people are wearing sunglasses, I have a hell of a time recogniziing people. Face blindness must be pretty damn frustrating, even debilitating as the article suggests. I do however have a perfect pornographic memory, I can recognize all kinds of female porn stars.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2007, 05:56 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Lict
That's a fascinating article.
Ditto. Personally, I can tell faces apart easily enough, but can't match up the face to the name without constant repetition over time.

But in recent years (I'm now in my fifties) I have discovered other things about my mental processes which are definitely sub-normal, and the Internet has been amazing in helping me to understand it and deal with it, so I can relate to your experiences in that way.
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