Latest Blog Post from Dave Blake

  • Human Factors on Trial

    Human Factors on Trial

    Dave Blake is the prevailing Human Factors / UOF expert in the Daniel Willis Murder Trial (Bastrop, Tx).

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  • Taser use restricted

    Taser use restricted

    The courts have once again restricted the use of the ECD (Taser) in regards to passive resistance...(read more)

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  • Police Use of Force Decision Making

    Police Use of Force Decision Making

    An article discussing current trends in evaluating police use of force. Decision making being the central topic...

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  • NY Times Attacks The Force Science Institute

    NY Times Attacks The Force Science Institute
    The New York Times recently published an article by Matt Apuzzo entitled, “Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later”. The article’s title continues to vilify American Law Enforcement while the contents of the article attack Dr. William Lewinski and the Force Science Institute.

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  • Journalist Experiences Split Second UOF Decision Making Scenario

    Journalist Wearing A Badge
    All police officers are not perfect, a very small amount might even be downright bad. As in every occupation and the populace in general - there are some rotten eggs. However, unlike other occupations, Police are quick to purge rot pretty quickly.

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  • High Risk Traffic Stops

    How to improve officer training
    The problem with ever-increasing stress during critical incidents such as a HRTS is found in an associated decrease in critical thinking abilities. You’re behind that stolen Honda Civic from this morning’s roll call. The important information has been relayed to dispatch and cover units are en route.

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  • Kids & Replica Weapons

    How Many Kids Have to Die?
    On October 22, 2013, deputies from the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s department challenged an armed man walking in what has been described as a high crime area within the county. The man reportedly turned towards the Deputies while raising the barrel of a rifle.

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  • CTI's Force Encounters Analysis Course

    Force Encounters Analysis Course
    California Training Institute (CTI) has developed what may be the most important law enforcement course available to today; a dynamic, participant-centered course, providing the latest, in unbiased scientific evidence pertaining to officer involved use of force (UOF).

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Human Factors On Trial

Deputy Daniel Willis Murder Trial

David Blake, M.Sc., C.C.I, was contracted by Texas Municipal Police Officer Legal Defense Attorney Robert McCabe as an expert witness on Human Factors in Police Use of Force. Mr. Blake reviewed the evidence and based upon the totality of the circumstances in favor of innocence, agreed to testify as a human factors expert for the criminal defense of former Deputy Daniel Willis of the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office. 

Mr. Blake was certified as an expert and presented a full day of human factors science pertinent to the case, including; The physiological response to fear, the concept of "priming" behavior, vision capabilities and limitations,  memory and action / reaction time.

The media had the following reaction to Mr. Blake's testimony:

The Verdict 

Through the joint efforts of TMPA attorney Mr. McCabe, his co-council Mrs. Kristen Jernigan, expert witnesses Dr. Rahn Bailey, and Mr. Blake - the trier of fact was able to rule in favor of Mr. Willis, finding him "not guilty" of murder.

While this entire event was a tragedy and a life was forever lost, the judge appeared to base his judgement on the reasonableness standard. A standard founded upon the information known to the officer at the moment in time the force was used. However,  what an officer reasonably perceives is not always so easily determined without an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the human being, inclusive of: vision & perception, the processing of information, reaction time, memory encoding and recall.

The following statement from the judge will remain with me always (text below):

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ---Daniel J. Willis you were in that arena, and it is the verdict of this court that you are NOT guilty of the charges stated in the indictment"