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Archive for the ‘video forensic expert’ Category

Video Forensic Expert – The Importance of Continuing Education

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Video Forensic Expert - The Importance of Continuing EducationEd Primeau has been practicing as a video forensic expert for 34 years. He has experienced and observed hundreds of hours, if not days, of security video. He has performed video forensic testing on analogue and digital security systems.

Ed has also forensically examined cell and smart phone video, tablet video and VHS. Other analogue formats Ed is experienced with include Hi8 and 8mm, digital 8mm, digital and analogue beta and even ¾” video.

We write this introduction to express to you that Ed Primeau has experience with many types of video recordings both analogue and digital.

Mr. Primeau takes continuing education with ‘Digital Video Processing Techniques’ taught by Dorothy Stout of Resolution Video Inc.

Written by Ed Primeau:

On the first day, we were asked to introduce ourselves and say what we expected to learn from the class. When it was my turn, I introduced myself and said ‘I don’t know what I don’t know. That is why I am here, to learn what I don’t know.’

Any forensic expert who thinks they know everything about their expertise is arrogant, especially in video forensics where technology is constantly changing. Dorothy took our class through three days of very interesting lectures about digital video processing techniques, software training and actual security video hands on assignments. Her demeanor and teaching style in the front of the class made these three days very invigorating. Learning was fun and easy thanks to Dorothy’s experience. She is sought out by government agencies, law enforcement and private practice video forensic experts like myself all over the country for video forensic training.

I learned about software programs, work flow, case management and most importantly, had my confidence boosted because I had already known quite a bit about the various video forensic processes that we covered and practiced.

Continuing Education is very important

Anyone with a passion for video forensics should consider taking one of Dorothy’s video forensic classes. I learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. When you are away from the office, learning becomes the focus. In the office with phones ringing and people interrupting, it is difficult to focus on learning.

2: Forensic Science – How Attorneys Select Forensic Experts

Friday, August 29th, 2014

2: Forensic Science - How Attorneys Select Forensic ExpertsShawn Warner is a 25 year veteran Chicago trial lawyer. In this post, we are going to discuss the role of the forensic expert. Why hire forensic experts? What do lawyers look for when hiring forensic experts?

Shawn Warner is licensed in Illinois but also works on cases across the United States.  He has worked on many medical malpractice cases, personal injury cases and business litigation.  He frequently employs expert witnesses to testify in court.  Shawn has gathered knowledge on what qualifies an expert witness to testify in court, what juries expect and accept in expert witnesses, and helpful tips on how expert witnesses should approach their testimony in court.  Many of his previous cases have proved how invaluable a forensic expert can be when helping the jury understand and reach a verdict on the case. Forensic experts help explain complicated issues brought into the court room so that the jury can understand the case and reach a decision.  They must have real world experience as well as a strong education to prove that they are an expert in their field.

In this weeks podcast, listen in with Audio & Video Forensic Expert Ed Primeau and Chicago Trial Lawyer Shawn Warner as they discuss the qualifications and importance of Forensic Expert Witnesses in court.

Establishing a Chain of Custody for Audio and Video Evidence

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Establishing a Chain of Custody for Audio and Video EvidenceAs an experienced audio and video forensic expert, I am very focused on establishing a chain of custody for audio and video evidence.

My job is to offer an authoritative analysis of electronic evidence, introduced in the form of audio or video recordings. The content of my testimony is twofold, interpretation and authentication. I interpret and clarify the recordings, and I authenticate the identity of those individuals seen and heard. But I must also authenticate the evidence as evidence. Has this recording been tampered with? Is the recording I examined the original or a copy? Through whose hands has this recording passed before and after it reached me? Where and how has it been stored?

The answers to these questions may determine the admissibility of the electronic evidence, and ultimately, whether a defendant is found guilty or innocent. Establishing and maintaining an unbroken chain of custody is vital. Without it, the evidence and my testimony, no matter its probative value, may be successfully challenged and ruled inadmissible. According to the online IT Law Wikia, chain of custody is defined as “a process that tracks the movement of evidence through its collection, safeguarding, and analysis lifecycle by documenting each person who handled the evidence, the date/time it was collected or transferred, and the purpose for the transfer.”

I always make a video recording of my process/investigation when I retrieve evidence. For example, if the video evidence is on a digital video recorder, I travel to the DVR and personally retrieve the evidence myself. The video I record of my retrieval process effectively establishes a chain of custody. Of course, I follow the same procedure when I personally retrieve an audio recording.

However, there are many instances where I obtain evidence from lawyers who, in turn, receive recordings from the police. Whenever I do not retrieve the evidence personally, I must carefully read the reports, depositions, and related documents that accompany the evidence I receive. This paper trail must support the construction of a timeline, an unbroken, chronological listing that accounts for the seizure, custody, transfer, storage, and condition of the evidence. The timeline must be free of any gaps, periods of time during which the exact custody and location of the evidence cannot be accounted for. A weak link in the chain of custody can easily overturn a conviction on appeal, so I am always prepared for chain of custody questions when I testify.

A typical chain of custody form includes blank text fields that allow for the entry of the following: Case Name and Number, Type of Evidence, Evidence Initially Procured (Where, By Whom, Date & Time), Manufacturer and Serial Number of Media Device and/or Media, and a table listing Evidence Inventoried By (Name, Date, Time, ID), Evidence Released By (Name, Date, Time), and Evidence Received By (Name, Date, Time).

As I mentioned earlier, there are actually two chains of custody when considering electronic evidence: the physical recording itself and the data it holds. With the proliferation of home computers capable of desktop audio and video editing, there has been an increasing incidence of tampering with recordings before they are collected as evidence. I can usually spot recordings that have been altered very quickly, once I begin my electronic analysis.

Slowly gaining acceptance with law enforcement, security companies, and the legal community are online services that maintain and track the chain of custody of electronic evidence, which is stored in the cloud. Particularly useful for the archiving and storage of video from body cams, vehicle cameras, and surveillance cameras, these services hope to modernize the handling of electronic evidence by eliminating the repeated transference of physical evidence, maintaining standardized security procedures, and providing easy access to the content of electronic recordings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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