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We Must Address Force Psuedo-Science

The content below was shared by Amelia Royko Maurer via CopBlock.org/Submit, who is concerned about the information peddled as facts by those involved with Mankato, MN-based Force Science Institute, which lists as it’s tagline: “We save lives and reputations.” To do that, “expert” testilying is given, and psuedo-science is peddled as fact, to help those who wear badges face no repercussions for their violent acts when questioned in legaland. 

Individuals Involved: William Lewinski
Outfit: Force Science Institute
Phone: 507.387.1290

Detectives and officers through out the country are trained by the Force Science Institute and part of their training involves learning how to get away with excessive force. The leader of this group, Lewinski, is one of the most popular and successful “expert witnesses” for officers who are being sued for use of excessive force.

Bill Lewinski
Bill Lewinski

This isn’t science. It’s snake oil. I’m writing with hopes someone might look deeper into Lewinski and Force Science – Lewinski is on tour now, training officers all over the nation.

From their “What We Do” page:

Force Science is the research and application of unbiased scientific principles and processes to determine the true nature of human behavior in high stress and deadly force encounters. Force Science’s groundbreaking, reproducible studies address real problems encountered by law enforcement officers on the street and are meticulously documented.

The Force Science Institute is the umbrella organization under which three Force Science divisions function; the Force Science Research Center, the Force Science consultation division and the Force Science training division.

The Force Science Research Center is dedicated to scientifically determining and fully understanding the true physical and psychological dynamics of force encounters by conducting groundbreaking research into officer and suspect behaviors during rapidly unfolding, high-stress confrontations.

The Force Science Consultation Division provides expert support that will help attorneys, judges, jurors, review board members, investigators and others responsible for determining the appropriateness of officers’ behavior during force encounters to better understand the scientific realities surrounding these events as revealed by Force Science studies.

Here is my letter to Lewinski:

Dear Mr. Lewinski,

This is my third but not final attempt to contact you. I will say I am bit disheartened by your lack of response. I thought you being an expert on use of force, a popular “expert witness” for officers who have been accused of using excessive force and a person who has trained detectives and law enforcement officers in my community would have the answers to my questions at your fingertips.

In addition to the questions below, I would like to request information on how you established “Force Science”? What level of scientific rigor is used to validate the methodologies, data and conclusions that produced the major tenets of “Force Science”? Are your journal articles and publications peer-reviewed and if so, by whom?

I am very curious about the psychological effects daily policing has on the human brain and if or how that research inform the statutes and policies surrounding the use of deadly force. I’m hoping you have answers to these questions regarding fear, judgement and the option of re-holstering a gun in high intensity situations.

1.) In high-intensity situations, how long does it take, on average, for an officer to put their gun back in their holster say, if they realize the suspect’s actions do not warrant deadly force.

2.) Civilians want to trust that officers have access to sound judgment in high intensity situations. Civilians also want to trust that officers have sound barometers for fear as those barometers and that judgment dictate how they will respond to us when we are our most volatile and vulnerable. In your research, what have you found to be the most reliable method of on-going screening for a reasonable fear response, sound judgement and overall mental fitness?

Thank you,

Amelia Royko Maurer

EPN

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