Police Officers are not experts on self-defense

In State v. Taylor, the Kansas Court of Appeals recently ruled that the district court erred in letting an officer testify as to whether the defendant was justified in using a knife for self defense. The Court ruled that non-expert witnesses may only give opinions that are based on their perceptions and that are helpful to understanding their testimony. The Court examined the fact that the officer was not present when the knife was used and concluded that the officer was testifying to things he had not perceived and that were not helpful in understanding his direct testimony.

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