Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Statement Analysis of Sheriff Victor Hill

Sheriff Victor Hill was involved in a shooting of a woman at a model home.

He refused to give a statement to police, or be interviewed.

After several days, he handed over his gun and clothing as evidence.

He has released the following statement:

"As reported, on May 3, 2015, I was involved in a tragic and heartbreaking accident. Gwenevere McCord, who is very dear to me, was critically injured in this accident. Please understand that for the past 48 hours, I have been entirely focused on Gwenevere and her family. I will continue to pray unceasingly for her recovery. I ask you all to please pray for Gwenevere and her family throughout this most difficult time."

Here is the statement analyzed:

"As reported, 

This is to affirm that he is addressing what has been reported and a linguistic signal that this statement is prepared with the media reports in mind.  This is similar to a "self reference" where a subject says, "Like I said before..." or "As I told the other officer" which suggests that experiential memory is not foremost, but memory of what was earlier referenced.  It is to be aware of what was "reported" in the press as taking emphasis over experiential memory.  

The reader should be aware of this as possibly reduced reliability.  

on May 3, 2015, I was involved in a tragic and heartbreaking accident. 

1.  The date is referenced, because that is what media reported and it is, therefore, confirmed:  a signal that the subject is working from the media report rather than experiential memory. 

2.  "I was involved" is passive voice.  This is a deliberate use of a phrase that avoids responsibility for the shooting.  The allegation is that he shot a woman.  He avoids admission of shooting, which is the nature of passivity:  it conceals identity and/or responsibility.  Where a shot is fired from an unknown entity in a crowd, passivity is appropriate.  

In a shooting where he is the shooter, this is an attempt to avoid responsibility for the shooting. 

3.  He reports that it was an "accident", while avoiding responsibility for causing it.  An "accident" indicates unintended. We see if the rest of his statement bears this out.  Thus far, the passivity does not. 

4.  Notice that the "accident" is "tragic" and "heartbreaking."  

This is to use "narrative form", that is, the editing of an account to include emotion. It belies a need to show that there was no intent on his part, which should cause investigators to learn if there was because it calls our attention to motive. 

5.  Note that his "involvement" with a "tragic and heartbreaking accident" comes first.  This is more important than the victim, who comes after this, in his priority. 

6.  Note that in the first sentence, he avoids saying he shot someone, or even, in passive voice, that someone was shot.  

For most, the shooting is the most important element of the story. 

It is not for him, however.  He has a different focus.  

Note that this statement avoids any mention of anyone but him.  

Gwenevere McCord, who is very dear to me, 

1.  We note that Gwenevere McCord is an incomplete social introduction.  This is an indication of a problematic relationship. 

2.  "who is very dear to me" shows:

a.  distancing language.  She is not, "my friend, Gwenevere McCord" but has the name distant from the word "me",

b.  The word "me" is included in the second sentence, confirming the importance of the first sentence:  the focus is not the victim, but the subject, himself.

Recall the rule of Statement Analysis:  Where one begins a statement is very important to the subject and sometimes even the reason for writing.  In spite of the shooting of a woman, the subject, himself, remains the dominant theme. 

c.  Note "who is very dear to me" is to affirm the problematic relationship with the need to persuade closeness to the victim.  It is unnecessary wording that indicates a need to persuade, and even justify:  he would not have shot her because she is so dear to him.  Not only is the emphasis on "me" (the subject) but its inclusion, particularly after the incomplete social introduction, is problematic. 

If the victim has been involved previously with the subject, investigators should seek to learn if any elements of coercion exist that may lead to denial, or minimization. 

Investigators are likely to learn of a serious problem in their relationship.  

was critically injured in this accident.

Her status comes only after he makes sure the reader knows:

1.  He was "involved" but not responsible
2.  He was emotionally attached to her
3.  This is tragic and heartbreaking, but we do not know to whom, outside of the context emphasis, which is the subject himself
4.  that she is "dear" to "me", which, in priority, is more important, in the statement, than she being "critically injured" as order shows priority. 

 Please understand that for the past 48 hours, 

Note the need to be polite.  Before asking for prayer for the victim, the reader/audience is asked to understand his lack of cooperation in the investigation:  his focus: 

I have been entirely focused on Gwenevere and her family.

The need to qualify his focus, in light of "critical" shooting, suggests that his focus has been on something else:  the statement bears out this emphasis:


 I will continue to pray unceasingly for her recovery. I ask you all to please pray for Gwenevere and her family throughout this most difficult time."

Note the need for prayer:  before asking the audience to pray, it must be known in his priority that he will "continue to pray unceasingly", placing emphasis upon himself, over her need for prayers to be answered. 

One might consider this as an entry of "Divinity" in  a statement. 

Analysis conclusion:

The subject's focus is upon himself.  
He avoids responsibility for the shooting.
He editorializes in order to gain sympathy for himself.
He addresses emotions to avoid intent, suggesting intent is sensitive.
He gives us several indications of a problematic relationship between himself and his victim.  

His defense is stated:  "accidental shooting." 


Anonymous said...

O/T - breaking news!
The Patriots deliberately deflated footballs and Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.

But you knew that already didn't you! LOL!

Anonymous said...

lots of fun statements here -

John Mc Gowan said...


Report: Cop Who Arrested Freddie Gray Threatened to Kill Ex's Husband

One of the police officers accused of killing Freddie Gray reportedly threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend two years ago, according to court documents obtained by the Guardian. Lt. Brian Rice, who, the report claims, also has also allegedly threatened to commit suicide, was reportedly disciplined internally for the threats and twice had his guns confiscated.

All Six Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death Have Posted Bail
The six Baltimore police officers accused of being responsible for Freddie Gray’s death have posted …
Read more
Rice was the cop who made initial eye contact with Gray, causing him to flee, and was one of the officers responsible for the 25-year-old’s illegal arrest. But as the 10-page complaint filed by Andrew McAleer, the husband of Rice’s ex, alleges, Gray’s death was far from the first time Rice has exhibited violent and disturbing behavior.

According to the document, Rice made the young children of his ex-girlfriend, Karyn McAleer, “shoot” at a photograph of her and her husband that Rice had taped to a wall. And in 2012, Rice was reportedly hospitalized and had six of his guns confiscated after he threatened suicide. That incident resulted in a suspension from from the police force. Eight months later, Rice was reportedly suspended again from his job after receiving a restraining order from Andrew McAleer.

From the Guardian:

“I am seeking protection immediately,” McAleer wrote to a court in Carroll County, Maryland, in January 2013. He alleged Rice’s behaviour had caused him “to have constant fear for my personal safety” and a “fear of imminent harm or death from Brian Rice”.

Rice was ordered to stay away from McAleer, his home and his workplace after a series of alleged confrontations, including one armed standoff in June 2012 when officers from two police departments responded to a 911 call and spent 90 minutes defusing the situation.

McAleer alleged Rice was screaming and smelled of alcohol during the 2am confrontation in front of McAleer’s house. He said his wife later said Rice had told her he planned to kill McAleer during the June 2012 encounter.
Rice also reportedly sent Andrew McAleer “harassing and sexually explicit text messages” from his police-issued Blackberry and, in January 2013, drove to McAleer’s house, where he revved his engine and drove slowly towards McAleer in a way that made him “become distraught and fear [his] life was about to end.”

Rice was released on bail last week after being charged with assault, manslaughter, misconduct, and false imprisonment.

John Mc Gowan said...
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