NET Journal; 269b; Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson. Part 2
The following program is from NET. Dr. Dr. Let the record further show that this trial was started yesterday with the selecting of the jury, the jury was selected, but not sworn by last evening when the court adjourned. The jury is presently not in the courtroom, Mr. Davies, I understand you want to make
a statement for the record. Yes, I made your own. We have debated among ourselves whether or not we should waive this jury. If we did so, it would be based entirely upon the proposition that we would rather not have a jury than to lend lip service to the suggestion that this is a jury of Mr. Watson's peers. The times are changing in this country and the Constitution is a living viable document. We're convinced that some changes are going to have to be made in jury selection to include more young people as the people under 30 take up such a more significant portion of the population in this country. People with young and new ideas would have to be included in the panel, not exclusively, but we think there should be some representation. We don't have that in this case.
We have exercised our challenges. We have no more. We do not feel it's a jury of our peers. It will accept the jury for the trial of this case, but we want to perfectly clearly understood that we, by doing so, wish it in no way either through inference or through implication on our part. That we feel this is a jury of our peers or do we waive any of the objections we have made prior to this time with regard to this particular panel and to this particular jury. Thank you. Mr. Davies, the court will note that all your objections stand, your remarks are in the record for whatever purposes they may be relevant at a later time, and it is the court's understanding that you are in effect accepting this jury panel under protest, if you will. If there is nothing further, I will bring the jurors out and have them sworn at this time. The city and county of Denver versus Lauren R. Watson.
I'm James Warren, but the presentation of evidence itself starts today. The prosecutor puts in his case first, and if, when he is done, he is not presented facts on which the judge thinks the jury could find the defendant guilty, the judge may dismiss the case then and there. The defense would not need to put in any witnesses at all. As the prosecution presents his case through witnesses, the defense has a right at the end of each witness to cross examine, to try to shake that witness or to get additional information. So in a way, the defense will begin to put its case in here too. It's worth asking whether it gives the prosecutor an advantage to go first. On the one hand, he may be able to convince the jury so well that it cannot be unconvinced.
And it's not as though the prosecutor at that point is going to go away. He'll be right there. He can cross examine defense witnesses and put in his own rebuttal witnesses. On the other hand, once the prosecution has made its case, the defense counsel can shoot at it. What he and his witnesses say can cast doubt on the credibility of what's been said for the prosecution. He can judge the strength and weaknesses of different parts of the prosecution's case and attack that which hurts the defendant and leave untouched that which doesn't. Thus, I suppose all we can say is that the order of presentation gives each some benefits. There's some balance of advantages. There's another rough balance of advantages that is important to note at the outset. The criminal trial, as Mr. Davies, the defense counsel kept reminding us yesterday, is based on the notion that there is a presumption of innocence. One way of putting this might be that in order to win, the prosecutor must change the jury's mind, overcome this presumption.
And he must establish guilt not just by a bare preponderance of the evidence, not just 51%. He must convince them beyond a reasonable doubt. That sounds like a lot of convincing. It is the presumption of innocence real. In fact, isn't there often a presumption of guilt? Some jurors must believe that where this smoke does fire, that the state wouldn't go to all this trouble if they weren't pretty darn sure the defendant was guilty. And some will say, if you can't believe a policeman, who can you believe? At this time, I would ask all the prospective jurors to stand and be sworn in as jurors in this case.
Before we commence the trial, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let me point out that the procedure of the trial will be as follows. So you may hear statements, opening statements by both attorneys, which go to what they intend to show in evidence, opening statements are not evidence. After you hear opening statements, you will hear the evidence presented first by the city and then by the defendant if, in fact, the defendant desires to go forward. Both attorneys will have opportunity to question all witnesses. You will hear first the direct examination and then cross examination. After all examination, evidence is presented by direct and cross examination. You will be given instructions on the law and after that, here closing arguments of attorneys.
You will have plenty of opportunity for deliberation when the case is completed. Mr. Morgan, did you desire to make an opening statement in this case? No, you're on your own waving opening statement. Mr. Davies, did you wish to make an opening statement in this case? You're on a wee would reserve an opening statement for the time being. In that case, we'll ask the city to proceed with their first witness, please. Right off call officer Kent, well, as the city's birth witness. Officer, would you step forward and I'll put you under oath. You solemnly swear by the ever-living God that the testimony you're about to present in this cause before the court will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yes, I do, Your Honor. Would you have a seat, please? Would you please state your name and your occupation to the court and to the jury? Robert C. Cantwell, patrolman, sitting County of Denver. Officer, Kent, well, how long have you been so employed as a Denver police officer?
Five years. Officer, Kent, well, directing your attention to the sixth day of November of 1968 in the middle of the morning on that day, around 10, 30 a.m., did you have occasion to be in the vicinity of 34th Avenue and Franklin Street? Yes, sir. I'll ask you if you saw on that occasion at or near that location, the defendant, Lauren Watson. Yes, I did. Do you believe that you would be able to recognize and identify that same Lauren Watson whom you saw on that occasion at that location if you saw him again in the courtroom today? Yes, I would. If he's here, would you point him out and identify him for the record, please? He's sitting at the defense table to your left and the black coat, black shirt, black pants. All right. Officer, Kent, well, I'm going to ask you to limit your testimony concerning the location referred to a 34th in Franklin and ask if you had any contact with the defendant at that
location on that date. Yes, I did. All right. Very briefly, what was the occasion of your contact with the defendant at that location? The party was under arrest or was advised that he was under arrest. And would you describe what you observed with respect to Mr. Watson, what you first observed with respect to Mr. Watson commencing at the location of 34th in Franklin? He just got out of the car and advised him he was under arrest. There's several other parties with him in this vehicle. He used a language in there and he says, a few pigs and he went inside the filling station
there with the other parties. Me and other officers who have arrived at the scene went in or tempted to go in the station after him. Oh, you said a filling station, sir. All right. Now, how many persons were initially in the car with Mr. Watson? I believe there was three or four other ones with him. All right. Now, were there any persons other than police officers and other than their occupants of the car at the filling station at 34th in Franklin at this time? The station was open. I'm sure there must have been a filling station attendant. However, I don't recall seeing him when the scene took place. All right. Then as Mr. Watson got out of the car, what did he do? I told him again, I said, you're under arrest and he said, a few pigs and him and the other
parties dashed for the filling station door. All right. I might ask officer at this time at the time that the defendant and the other parties dashed for the filling station door. How many times altogether had you told Mr. Watson that he was under arrest? Two other times, sir. All right. What did you do when they ran for the filling station door? We pursued him. In your effort to put Mr. Watson under arrest, were you an immediate company of any other police officer? Yes, sir. Who was that? A several officer for Zini. Is that the same officer for Zini that's here today? Yes, it is. All right. Then how many other police officers were there at this time at 34th in Franklin? There were several and still more come and then what happened?
Well, the first ones there were me and the officer for Zini and two other officers went towards the door of the filling station which was being blocked from inside by the other occupants that was with Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson was observed from the outside either attempting to make a phone call or was already in the process of it. We hit the door and we knocked one of the parties out of the way so we could enter the filling station. Did you get into the filling station? Yes, we did. All right. What occurred next? I went directly to Mr. Watson and advised him again that he was under arrest, to place his hands on the wall so he could be searched, at which time he refused to place his hands on the wall, continuously calling us pigs and so forth. Which time I grabbed one of his arms to restrain him so we could search him. The officer for Zini grabbed the other one. He swung around with the arm I had on him which swung me loose of him.
I went back, grabbed his arm and that time several officers came in the filling station and assisted us and grabbed his arms which he kept struggling his body around making it very difficult to place handcuffs on him. We started to take him out of the filling station while at this time another party was being under a place to arrest other officers and he started Mr. Watson, started interfering with the other officers. Would you drive in what manner? Hey, we were trying to lead him towards the door and the other party was being arrested more or less to the right of the door and he kept struggling over there and getting the officers waged with his legs and we had to keep pulling him back and dragging him towards the door. Was he saying anything with respect to the arrest of the other person at this time? Yes, sir. He never shut up the whole time. Well, I'd rather you'd tell me what he said with respect to the arrest of the third person. No, you don't have to go with the MPGs, you know. Without, in the slightest, attempting to be a facetious officer, were there any animals
of the poor keen species there, were there any pigs, you know, four-legged animals in the station? No, sir. It was not. I would rather defend, it depends, he is suggesting you mean an actual animal, yes. Yes, yes. I was trying to get some meaning of the word pigs. What happened next? I mean, sir, Frisini got him into the police car and the window was down, his, well, his windows were down and he, by the time numerous of people were starting to gather around the scene, and he kept on hauling out the window, black, the object to this, the testimony has been that Mr. Watson was placed under arrest. Now, if the question is, one of the charges here is resisting the officer. Now, if he's been placed under arrest, and I think this is irrelevant to that particular
point, unless it can be shown that it's something to do with the other charge of an appearance. He's obviously in custody, he's obviously in the police cruiser. How can this possibly be relevant to resisting and arrest? Well, Your Honor, only insofar as it would shed light on Mr. Watson's attitude or motives with respect to the opposition, only insofar as it would clarify any physical activity of his. Well, I don't think he's charged with violating the First Amendment of the United States Constitution for speaking, Your Honor. The objection will be sustained. All right, fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Davies. Thank you. Officer Campbell, I get the impression that you don't like the word pig when it's applied to you. Is that right? How do you mean, sir?
Well, do you take offense when somebody calls your pig? No, sir. You don't. It doesn't bother you. Then there's no, you kept mentioning it in your testimony as if it perhaps had some effect if it didn't, it's really irrelevant to this whole case, isn't it? The word pig, yes, sir. Calling you a pig. Or any of your partners a pig. Now, during the course of this episode, did you ever have occasion to use the word nigger? No, sir. You never used that, did you? No, sir. Or how about black bastard? No, sir. You never used that. Anybody, any other officer in your presence, use those words? No, I didn't hear any of them. They could have. You just didn't hear them, is that right? I'm sure they did. Did an officer use the word nigger? Sure. Well, that's completely irrelevant, Your Honor. Unless it pertains to this incident, this case. Have you ever heard an officer use the word black bastard? I've been in the same objection, Your Honor. All right, officer.
Now, this was the day after elections, wasn't it? Yes, it was. Mm-hmm. Who won that election? Do you recall? That is also irrelevant. Interesting. But irrelevant. It's difficult for me to see the relevant thing, Mr. Davis. I don't see any real problem, if... I think we all know who won the election anyway, so I'll withdraw the question. All right. The question's withdrawn. Now, when did you first see Mr. Watson on that day, Mr. Cantwell? 2,800 block alley between... He was emerging out of the 2,800 block alley between Welton and California Street. Now, actually, Officer Cantwell, didn't you see him a little bit before that? Didn't you see him on the front porch of his house at 2835 Welton? No, sir. I did not. You didn't have your car parked out in front of that house, so Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson emerged from their house that morning? No, I did not. You absolutely did not. I did not. And you didn't stand there and wave your fist to him and say, white power now. I did not.
You didn't do that, huh? All right. Where were you then? I'd take the diagram, they'd draw us a diagram where you were and so forth, the diagram of the area. Would you please? Yeah. I wonder what area you were talking about. 34th and Franklin? I'm not sure which area you were referring to. I wish... I want you to draw a diagram that... Let me tell you what we're going to do, Mr. Cantwell. We're going to trace your path from the time you first saw him that day until you made this arrest. Your Honor, at this point, I'm going to object... I think the material allegations of this case refer to a location of 34th and Franklin Street. I'm going to object with respect to matters that might have occurred at other locations with the exception, I have no objections to any testimony showing that Mr. Watson may have been placed under arrest in another location, but with respect to going into the subject
matter for which he was placed under arrest, I don't think that that is relevant or material of this case. I know if I attempt to do introduce his evidence, I would be properly admonished. Well, if he tried to introduce those prosecutors, he probably would be admonished if he was doing his defense law. He well knows that it's absolutely correct. Now then, we have here a resisting an officer. Was the officer in the performance of his duty? Was he affecting a legal arrest? And to find that out, we have to go back and find out... Well, we don't know what he... All he said was I jumped out in my arrest of Mr. Watson. Now, if they want to stand on that much, then I think this court can throw the case out right now. There's no showing it as their burden is to show that it was a legal arrest. Now, we want to go into it. We want to find out why he attempted to arrest Mr. Watson, because we say he didn't have any reason to arrest Mr. Watson, and if he didn't have any reason to arrest Mr. Watson,
then Mr. Watson can't be guilty of resisting an illegal arrest. The question of whether or not this was lawful arrest is a question of fact. It must be determined by the jury, I would ask... The issue is the arrest, and I would ask both attorneys to try to limit the questioning as much as possible to that, to those facts and not to go into too much collateral. I understand your problems, Mr. Morgan, but certainly, Mr. Davis has the right to present these facts to the jury for their determination, not for the course of determination. The court will, overall, the objection. All right, Mr. Davis, let's continue with your cross-examination, please. Thank you, Your Honor. Officer Cantwell, before you draw the diagram, as I asked you two earlier, let's go back to the location of 34 in Franklin for a moment.
When you pulled in, Mr. Watson pulled his car into the lot itself, the filling station lot, or was it out on the street, into the lot, sir. You say he went up and talked to him again at that point, is that right? No, I think it's close enough to... How do you mean to actually contact... Well, did you have a conversation with him before he went into the station? About from where we are. What did you say? Did you under arrest? All right. Did you tell him what he was under arrest for? Yes, I did. What? Did you tell him? He looting a police officer. He looting a police officer. Were you right there, weren't you? Yes, I was. All right. Fine. Now, you were arresting him for looting a police officer. All right. Now, tell us about his looting a police officer. Okay. Well, he was...
I'd tried to stop him for traffic violation and... What? Well, in which one? Which one did you start to stop him for the first time? He looted... This all began. Yeah. That's the first question. That's right. He was coming out of the alley there at the rate of speed, which I felt as a pedestrian on the crosswalk or any vehicle closer than what... Well, we don't want your feelings about it. Just tell us what you asked for. I don't want his mental state of mind. Your Honor, he's asked a question. We're entitled to the answer. I am asked him what he... All right. Gentlemen, please. I would like you to address the court and not each other, number one. If the officer would please answer the question without stating his feeling rather just stating his observations, I think we'll avoid the objections. He came out of the alley at a high rate of speed and now fast. I don't know. Your Honor. I'm going to interpose the objection. When the examiner asks a question, we have a right to let the witness finish answering the question before he interrupts with another question.
It's elementary. The officer may finish his answer. He also fell to make a complete stop at the intersection before he left and turned on a welton. All right. Now, then officer, would you draw a picture of that location you've just talked about? We'll have a lot of pictures, you know. With locations. Well, the alley and the intersection 28th and Welton, and I think you ought to put California street in there, and Welton, do I try that whole block, you know, between 28th and 29th and Welton and the alley and Welton and California? Is that, with that encompassed, that's very, you've just talked about. 28th and Welton and the intersection of California and Welton and, I mean, California and 29th and Welton and 29th. Yes. Okay. All right, that's fine. Where I was Mr. Erot Watson, when you first saw him, well, but hadn't you seen him before
that? No, sir. You hadn't driven down that alley prior to that time and seen him in his car in the parking left behind his house, and you hadn't, now that's, where was your car now, well, I say, and you hadn't, this is the first time you saw Mr. Watson at that particular morning. You hadn't been down the alley at all. No, behind his house. No, sir. Okay. Now, you're saying that he came through there to high rate of speed? What would you say the speed was? Well, judging, I'd say he's going at least 30, 35, 30 or 35. And he didn't stop at that crosswalk, and you didn't just go on, he did not. And then he turned, which way did he go? You went right, sir. And which way did you go? I see. And you immediately turned your light and siren on, I presume. No, sir, I did not. All right.
What happened then? You could, you come out of the alley, come up here, they left in, turn here, and I got behind in here, I turned over the light on. And you say he didn't stop at that Welton? No, sir. He did not stop saying that. All right. And you immediately turned your light on. Now, it's not on the diagram, but tell us what transpired after that then. Sit down. Sure. Well, after he made his left hand turn on the Welton and I's in pursuit of him, I turned over the light on. And I let it go for about a block before I hit the siren. And at which time he didn't evidently, because of daylight or something, he might not observed your headlight. I gave him a little leadway. When I felt that he had enough time, probably at least, be looking through his rear view mirror like he's driver's supposed to, I hit the siren and he did pull over at 29th and Marion, 29th Avenue.
What you're saying, then, officer, if I understand you, is that from the time you turned your red light on until he stopped, it was two blocks. Yes. Okay. Now, what happened when he stopped? I was asking for his driver's license at which time he stated, I don't have to show you my license. You've seen him before. I turned around and went to the police car. I was going to get my citation book out. I turned back around and he's in his car gone, so he didn't place him under arrest. Not at that time. You didn't tell him he was under arrest? No, sorry. I did not. Okay, then what happened? I did red light and siren back on, notified dispatches that I was involved in a chase. Had about three more blocks, he pulled over and he stopped and he got out of the car and I got out of the car and just as I got out, I said, you're under arrest, Mr. Watson, for eluding a police officer. What thought he was under arrest for crossing a crosswalk? No, sir. You didn't ever arrest him for crossing that crosswalk? No, sir, I did not. You arrest him for eluding a police officer? Yes, sir.
But you'd never told him he was under arrest and he had stopped in response to your light and came out and talked to him. And he didn't tell him he was under arrest. Isn't that right? That's right. You had a light on him for two blocks. He stopped his car. He came out. You said, I want to see your license. You didn't say anything about eluding a police officer. You didn't say anything about crossing a crosswalk. And you didn't say anything about a stop sign. And you didn't tell him he was under arrest and you turned around and walked away. And he got his car and drove off. Isn't that your testimony? Yes, sir. It is. And that's eluding a police officer. Because next you arrest him, you put your light on again. He stopped again, didn't he? No, sir. And he got out of his car and came back. And you said you're under arrest for eluding a police officer? He did not stop his vehicle the second time until several other blocks. He did several blocks later. How many blocks? Oh, I'd say at least three or four. Three or four blocks? I don't have the diagram. I have a diagram. I didn't always go on the traffic. Well, you know now. Yeah. I'll bring it tomorrow. You may not have tomorrow. OK, so this time you told him he was under arrest, right?
For eluding a police officer. Right, right. At this point, I don't know what location we're talking about. It might be well if we could get that fixed in mind. Are you going to verify your question, Mr. Davies? Something. You mean you want me to change the question asking the location of this arrest? That wasn't my question. That was Mr. Morgan's question. He wanted to know the location. I think just so the jury is not confused. At which point you're talking about, we've heard about several different locations. All right, this is the second time Mr. Watson stopped in response to your red light. Right? Now, what location was this? I'm not exactly benched. I'm pretty sure it was 31st, that 33rd. It was 33rd and Marion. All right. Now then, this time, he got out of the car again? Yeah, he just stepped out the door of it. And you went up to him and you said, no, I didn't get a chance to get up to him.
You were some business or what? And you said, well, I parked the police vehicle behind his car. How close was the car? Oh, from here to you. And you were about from me to you. And you said to him, you're under arrest for looting a police officer. He got out. I got out and I said, you're under arrest for looting a police officer. What did he say? He didn't say nothing. He just jumped back in his car and took off again. All right, then. So he got back in his car and then this time, he followed him all the way to 34th and Franklin, right? Yes, sir. Now, how many blocks would that be? Not five blocks. At which point, he got out of his car and you, again, said you're under arrest? Yes, I did. And did you say for looting a police officer? Yes, I did. All right. And he went into the filling station and started making a phone call.
Yes, he did. You know who he was calling? No, probably you, though. Yeah, that's right. By the way, does it offend and have a right to talk to his lawyer when he's in that situation? Do you know? From your own knowledge? It's sure I advised him. Ah, but you wouldn't let you jerked him away from the phone when he was trying to call me. I think he's already... In other words, it's OK to advise him that he can talk to his lawyer, but it's not a right for him to talk to his lawyers. How would you say it? He was hanging the phone up when we got in there. Now, officer, can't well. I want to give you every opportunity to refresh your recollection in this manner. It's a minor standing that your testimony is that you did not see in the morning in question. You did not see Mr. and Mrs. Watson on the front porch of their house and didn't exchange, say something to them. Is that your testimony? Yes, sir, it is.
Absolutely not. Yes, sir. And you did not then drive down the alley behind Mr. Watson's house and block his exit from his parking lot. No, I did not, sir. And you never saw him, don't you? The first time you saw him, he was here. That's right, sir. All right. And would you also say, Mr. Cantwell, that you did not, that when Mr. Watson exited from his alley, you were not parked this way, going this way? I was not, sir. I was just making a left hand turn on the California. And that when he pulled out of here, you didn't go around the block and come back down. That's right. Pursuit? No, sir, I didn't. So that if somebody said they saw Mr. Watson go by their filling station over here somewhere, and you come after about five blocks, about a five block difference between you, without your siren and red light on, you would suggest that he was mistaken, I presume. He would, if he said it was me. And if anybody said that they saw him in front of Mr. Watson's house that morning,
yelling white power now after the election, they would be mistaken too. That's right. And if five people saw you in the alley behind the Watson's house, prior to his coming down the alley, on two occasions, they would be mistaken too, wouldn't they? Definitely. And if somebody saw you driving down here after Mr. Watson pulled out of the alley and go around the block, they'd be mistaken too, wouldn't they? Yes, sir. It's a big conspiracy. That's right. All right. Now then, now you got to this, after this, 30 mile an hour chase, you got to the filling station, he got out of his car and went into the filling station to use the phone. Right? If that's, he went into the filling station, yes, sir. And started to use the phone. Yes, sir, all right. Now, before you got to him, he hung up the phone. I don't think he was going up with it. I don't know what he was, it happened so fast.
I don't know what, and you, you and Frazini grabbed him? Or what? Which time, sir? Right then. No, I grabbed him first by myself. All right. And then what happened? Then he, he stood out. I grabbed him after he fused to place his arms on the wall for a search, and then I went, well, wait a minute, because we missed something. I asked you what happened. You said you grabbed him. You didn't grab him, or you did something. You said I grabbed him. You said you grabbed him. Let's tell him what happened. What happened? You asked him to put his hands on the wall? Yes, I did. So he could be searched. I advised him at the same time, this is going in. You advised him? What? That he was under arrest. And what else did you put? Of his brutal rights, pertinent rights. What? He had rights made side, and things say he used Genshin Courgett right to turn either point it, or if you can't afford one, one would be appointed to you for questioning, you understand? And it's just a routine procedure that goes along with any other arrest besides a drunk arrest.
I see. So as I understand it, you came barging in this door, watching was by the phone. He had the phone this thing. You ran up, you asked him to put his hands on a wall to be searched, and advised him of these things. We advised him. We didn't run up to him, literally like you say. Oh, well, you walked quickly. Quickly. And you advised him. What did he do while you were advising him? Well, as Dave previously, he never restrained himself from using vulgar language in numerous times, referring to us as, yeah, you went through all of us. Yes. But you said you didn't find us. Presumably wanted to hear it again, or he wouldn't have asked him. So let's hear it again. The ejection start. Let the officer finish answering the question. He seems rather enamored by those words, anyway. So go ahead. Oh, you're right. I'm going to object to the off-the-cut remarks of counsel now. I think that the matter is supposedly
serious for everybody concerned. And I object to the flippance of facetious manner in which counsel is examining the witness. There's a proper way to do it. Let me just state that the ejection is sustained after a comment, which is not a question. The jury will please strike the comment, which is not a question. Now, officer Kent, what do you remember the question that you were answering? Would you repeat the question, please? I asked you what Mr. Watson did while you were advising him of his rights. Well, at that time, I'd grabbed hold of his arms at that time because he refused to place him on the wall. And that's the time I grabbed him by his arm. And when I couldn't bring it down and control him, officer Fregini also was at that point grabbed him. And at that time, he was swinging his body around. It swung me loose of him. At the time, I went back and grabbed his arm again. And at that time, two other officers assisted at us getting his arms behind his back so we could put the handcuffs on him. Did he hit either one of you?
No, three didn't strike us. All right, then what did you do? Me and Fregini attempted to take him out the station. You could say you attempted one. Well, we had to struggle with him pretty numerous more times to get him through the outside. He kept on to go over to the other party. He was being arrested to go. Yes, he was. Officer, can't well. Isn't it true that many police officers have the opinion in them, sitting kind of Denver, that there is a bullet waiting for Mr. Watson from a police gun? I'd never have been able to. I'm going to have to object to this. This witness could hardly answer. If he wants to ask individual officers, he can call him. But this witness is not competent to state what's in the minds of other persons not in court. First of all, your Honor, the question wasn't asked in a mental state. It's whether it was expressed.
It's not asked to listen for the truth of the medical whether or not it's been said. The objections overruled for, and the question may be asked for whatever it's worth. Have you ever heard anybody say that? I never heard it that way. How have you heard it? I've heard he had a bullet waiting for one of us. Oh, really? I see. But he was handcuffed at this time, right? Yes, he was. Well, wouldn't you say it's accurate to say Mr. Kent? Well, there's a general feeling of distrust between the police officers in this community. I'm Mr. Watson on both sides. I don't understand the question, sir. Do you think that he trusts the police in this town? Well, I, again, you're on it. The defendant's the best one answered that question. The objection to the suspect. Do you trust, do you think Mr. Watson is a bad person? I don't even know him. You never met him before that day. No, sir, I never. I've seen him's picture, but I've never met him. I've still never met him personally. But you have never, I never talked to him anything like that. No, sir, I never. So you don't think he's a bad person? No, sir. And you don't know whether he thinks you're a bad person.
I got his general opinion that day. Yeah. Like maybe he was afraid of you. I don't think is that way. Now, Mr. Kent, well, didn't you, in fact, tell a report from the Rocky Mountain News that you had told Mr. Watson he was under arrest on the first occasion when he didn't show you his driver's license? I never did thought to report from the Rocky Mountain News. OK. Never at all. No, sir, I did not. And if he thought you had, he was probably mistaken. If he, the article he probably wrote up was he's taken it directly off to the reports like they do, we have no say so, what they did. OK, I'm glad you mentioned that. Did you make a report related to this incident? Yes, I did. All right. Did you reduce it to writing? Yes, I did. Do you know where that report is now? It's probably in the internal affairs. All right.
You're under under rule 16, what if the rule is, we would ask that this be produced for our inspection? Oh, the police have a tremendous problem. I really have great sympathy for the policeman because he takes a lot of things. I hear again and again cases where people are extremely nasty to police officers. People like to be nasty to police officers. I think this is sometimes a game almost. You talk back to police officers. And then the person comes into court and they're not nasty. They're just sweet and nice and they get up on the witness stand and they're sincere and sorry. And the judge considers this and the policeman thinks to himself, what a change. And I know this happens. People can be very nasty on the street to police officers. They have to take a lot of guff, but I always tell police officers that that's part of their job. They have to have a thick skin. Well, they say pigs can't hurt. You can call a policeman anything you want because they both have a patient to joke.
You can't hurt them. You can't hurt their feelings. Well, I mean, here I am. I've got a wife. I've got two children. Do I look different than you or anyone else? You've got a mustache. I don't. But I mean, I'm human. I put the uniform on because that's my job. Should I be treated any different than anyone else? I like respect, too, not because I'm a policeman because I'm a human. People calls me name. Sure, I mean, I don't take a physical action like if you're down town somewhere and somebody comes up to you and calls you a dirty, rotten pig. Oh, I think as far as just the words are concerned, they shouldn't be too disturbed. That just doesn't bother me that much. But when it's said to them enough and said to them in a way so as to provoke these officers, a lot of these expressions, again and again, and in different ways just to provoke, you can understand, I think, why they lose their cool and get upset. They're human. They're individuals. They are subject to the same problems that all of us have.
We don't like to be called names. Now then, you indicate in your report that at the 2,900 block of Marion, the party was stopped by officer Cantwell. And that the defendant, you call it, you say, subject. Watson got out of his vehicle and approached the police car. At which time you had gotten out of the police car and you were approaching him? Is that accurate, sir? Yes, that party is, sir. Did I recall your earlier testimony? You had your siren in red light on, but you don't mention it here. You don't put all that, I mean, are you going to stop and just honk your horn at him? Well, I don't know, I'm just, sir. Well, I mean, that's understood, sir. Is that understood? So you wouldn't necessarily mention that in the report. Is that what you're saying? That's right, sir. Sort of assumed by all of everybody. All right. Then you say that you asked Watson for his driver's license
and he told you that he did not have to show it to you, that you had seen it before. Had you seen it before? No, sir, I have not. All right. Then you say Watson then was then advised by officer Cantwell that he was under arrest for failure to show his driver's license. Your testimony this morning was that you did not advise me was under arrest at that time. Which is it? Well, as the report shows that is I didn't read this report prior to court, and evidently I did put him under arrest at that time. So your earlier testimony this morning was inaccurate? Yes, correct, sir. You say then, then it goes on, it says officer Cantwell, then I guess you're referring to yourself, aren't you? Then attempted to stop him numerous times by using the red light and siren. Now it suddenly has become a significant before you didn't
mention it because it was insignificant. Now you mention it because it is significant. You mentioned that you had your red light and siren on now. Isn't it really true officer Cantwell? The reason you mentioned it at this point is that you didn't have it on the first time that you turned it on after the first stop. But he stopped voluntarily after seeing you behind him. Isn't that true? No, sir, that's not true. But you mentioned it the second time, and not mention it the first time in your report. That's great. The first time in the same report you didn't mention it because it was insignificant. The second time you mentioned it because it is significant. But it's the same fact. You're light and siren, isn't that correct? Two different reasons, sir. Honor, at this time, I would like to approach the bench with counsel. I have a small matter to take up with the court very briefly. Mr. Davies. This may seem a little something insignificant, sir,
Honor, but I don't think that we suspend at the usual rules of propriety with respect to examination of the witnesses. And I have checked counsel exam new witness from his seated counsel. I thought maybe Mr. Davies was tired. I don't know. Any local rule of requires that. It's just custom. The rule of propriety of requires that. He's sitting down with him, stand up, and I'll stand up. Well, both stand up. All right, Mr. Davies, why don't you come back here a second? I see you. I don't have any strong feelings. But I think it is preferable to have an attorney stand. I don't know what the other judges rule on this. Have this S in my, in my guard, I don't think on the table. My, well, we can be somewhat relaxed. I think it's a question of custom letter. And why don't you stand or sit on the edge of the table. OK?
All right. Let's continue with the cross-examination. Where were we, officer? Red light and siren. The red light and siren, OK? So, and then you indicate that at 30-second Marian, the defendant or subject Watson pulled over, stopped again and got out of his car. And that you, again, advise this part of yours under arrest again for looting a police officer. Of course, the first time you'd advised him is under arrest for not showing his driver's license, right? That's correct, sir. Now, you're sure that that first time you did, in fact, tell me is under arrest. Yes, sir. Rather than what you said under oath this morning that you hadn't, to say he was under arrest. Yes, sir, it's true. OK.
Then he got back in his car, all right. Now, then you indicate in your report, officer, that he pulled into the filling station, and he got out of his car. Is that right? Yes, sir. And this morning, your testimony was that he got out of the car and you yelled at him that he was under arrest, and he ran in and started to use the phone. Is that accurately state what you said this morning? Yes, it is. Now, it seems that in the report, you indicate that you, oh, and I think this morning, you also indicated that you and officer Frizzini were there together by this time. That officer Frizzini had come along, is that right? Yes, that's true, sir. Now, in the report, you indicate that officer A.D. Pinto was the first on the scene, and along with you, advised Watson to place his hands on the vehicle so that he could be searched prior to being placed
in a police car. Is that right in the report? Is that an accurate reading of the report? Yes, it is, sir. But that doesn't go along with what you said this morning under arrest. Said he jumped out of the car and ran into the filling station. Now, which is it? Which is what? Well, what did you do? The report says that you stopped, that you went up to him, you told him to put his hands on the vehicle so he could be searched. That's what you say in your report. This morning, you made no mention. That you said he jumped out of his car and ran in and started using the telephone. If your report reads like my report reads, it does not say in here that I approached him at any time. All right. Then you say, at this time Watson refused to place his hands on the vehicle and went into the, heardly went into the filling station. So he, not only did you tell him he's under arrest and he should put his hands on the vehicle, but he even responded and said he wasn't gone to, right? So he did have some conversation. No, sir. He didn't say that. No, sir.
You said he refused. Well, he didn't put them up there. Oh, what you meant to say was he didn't put his hands up on the vehicle, not that he refused. That's true. All right. Now then, then you go on to say that on our arrival into the station Watson was using the telephone with the other three male and one female party standing around him. Is that correct? Yes, it is. Then you said that he was advised he was under arrest. Again advised that he was under arrest. And you began to search his person at which time Watson started struggling to keep officers from searching him. Is that accurate? Yes, correct, sir. In other words, on the day of the offense, you indicated that his struggle with you is over the question of whether you're going to search or not, whether you're going to arrest him. Both. You don't mention the other one in your report, do you? Well, that's understood, sir. Oh, is it? By the internal affairs, yes, sir. I see.
Now officer, in this day and age, the advisement of people as to their rights has become rather important for the police, hasn't it? I mean, you've mentioned that you advised this man while you were coming in to get him off the phone. When you got up to him, you advised him of his rights. Isn't that correct? I have tried advising, but he was under arrest again, yes, sir. But you did advise him of his rights. Verbly, yes, sir. But you don't mention in the report anything about advising, Mr. Watson, until after you got him down to the police station. That's right. Didn't you think that was important? No, sir, not at the end. Not for the part of this report, sir. You didn't think that was very important. That's right. Isn't it really the fact that you just didn't advise him at that time officer? Can't well, I mean, think of it, officer, to try and refresh your memory. I don't have to, I know. I did. Well, let's talk about it a little bit. Maybe you'll have some flash of recollection to be important to you. You've gone through a slow-speed chase.
You've got, there are at least eight officers there, seven officers there. A lot of people, people are falling on the floor, people are getting touged, you're hand-cuffing people. There's somewhat of a concern, isn't there, for the possibility of a situation developing that might be unhealthy, isn't that true? And you're standing there advising this man while you're calling to be searched and stuff. Is that really right, officer? Yes, I'm really happy. Object this way. I bet that's a good way of that. Objection, defiant. I'll do it. What's your name? Let me hear you here. Your honor. This statement that may have been suffixed with a question mark is so long involved so many facts that it could not be answered. It has the vice of being obviously a multiple question. That makes sense, your honor. It has to break it down into questions that could be answered, point by point in fact, by fact, instead of such a long dissertation, isn't this so, officer? It may come as some surprise to Mr. Morgan, but I am not directing my questions at him. The officer answered the question.
He's the best judge of whether he can answer and comprehend the question. Maybe his level of comprehension is higher than Mr. Morgan's. We don't know, but I think he's the one to make that decision, your honor. That may be true, your honor, but I seriously doubt if, either Mr. Davies or the witnesses level of comprehension concerning the rules of evidence is on the same level. And I think it's for me to make the objection when a question is so patently improper as this. In the future, the court will ask the questions for you one question at a time. All right, let me ask this, officer. It's my understanding that you charge Mr. Watson with eluding a police officer. Is that right? Yes, I did. Now, when you charge someone with eluding a police officer, when you have a high-speed chase and finally run him down, versus what in a high-speed chase, you run him down, or I catch up with him, I shouldn't say you run him down. Do you charge him with eluding a police officer
and resisting arrest? No, if you don't resist. Well, isn't, how many he's driving? You're trying to arrest him, and he's driving away at 120 miles an hour, isn't that kind of resisting arrest? I never looked at that way. You have charged when you look at it that way, you might think it might be resisting arrest. But it's because eluding a police officer is really the same as resisting arrest only you're in a car, isn't that right? Oh, you're right, I'm going to have to. Jack, in the first place, the court will be giving instructions on what resistance is. Council well knows what it is. I know, I object to this. Continual statement by Mr. Morgan, the council well knows. I well know a lot of things. Very well, I well know, should know, then. The question is, I understand, goes to distinguishing between a charge of eluding, which is not before this court or jury, and should not be considered by them. All right, except on the related question
of whether this was a valid arrest. As distinguishing certain actions on one alleged charge or certain actions on another alleged charge, for this purpose, without asking the officer a legal question, the question may be asked and answered over objection. If I understand your question, Mr. Davis. Yes, yes, right. Can you answer, do you want the question repeated, officer? I don't have the repeated answer. I'll withdraw the question, all right? Question is withdrawn. Let's have another question, then, Mr. Davis. Now, then, officer can't walk. Let's see if we can get some things together here. First of all, you say on the summons and complain in effect what you're saying is that Mr. Watson resisted a search.
You had already placed him under arrest. And there's no mention of his resisting that arrest, only resisting the search. Is that right? Isn't that what it says on the summons and complaint? I'm going to have to inject the form of the question, Your Honor. As, again, I have to say, as counsel, well, those of us should know, the ordinance charge is resisting a police officer in the discharge, your apparent discharge of his duty. It's not what counsel framed in the question. All right, then, Your Honor, I admit we have to go into the question of the search. If that's what Mr. Morgan's agreeing to the fact that the resistance was to a search, then I suppose we have to go into the question of the search. Now, charge is resisting a police officer, Your Honor. The ordinance, which the jury will be instructed on later, of course, reads, it shall be in lawful for any person to resist, any police officer, et cetera. Well, I think if you're going to read the ordinance to the people, you ought to read the whole thing, Your Honor, if I may suggest, I think the portion of it
is somewhat misleading. Be happy to. Shall be in lawful for any person to resist, any police officer, any member of the police department or any person duly empowered with police authority, while in the discharge or apparent discharge of his duty, or in any way to interfere with or hinder him in the discharge or apparent discharge of his duty. Now, what was the question? Question. Why, Your Honor, I don't know whether you've ruled on the objection. No, I like to hear the question again. The question is, isn't it true officer that from the sums of the notes you made on the Summers and complaint? What you're saying is that you placed him under arrest and a struggling suit after you started to frisk him, but that he was already under arrest at that point. You say, when officers started to frisk him, he started struggling. He was already under arrest, then, isn't that true? Yes, sir, it's true. So then, in fact, officer,
isn't true that the resistance charge stems from his resisting, you're frisking him. No, sir. Then, is it true officer that the resistance charge stems from his not stopping further police car? No, sir. All right. Now, then, officer, can't we? This morning, you said that you got out of your car and forzini was the first one there. This afternoon, you've indicated that it was a Mr. Officer Depinto. Is that correct? I don't. To my recollection, I stated there were numerous police officers there.
You asked me how many. I couldn't give you a definite number. You asked who went inside, and if I remember right, I stated to you, me and officer, frisini and other officers. And I also stated to you that it took two other officers besides myself and frisini to subdue Mr. Watson. All right, now, when did you say that? If you recall this morning, I testified that I grabbed one arm, an officer frisini grabbed the other arm, and which time, Mr. Watson, threw me off of his arm, and which time, when I grabbed his arm again, two other officers came to our assistance and helped us in getting his hands behind his back to put the cuffs on him. What did they grab a leg or just what did they do? Just teach help us on the arms, yes, sir. So you had two officers on each arm? I don't know how, actually, you know, I don't know how, actually, you had what arm or to that. In other words, it was all right. Now then, as I understand your testimony
this afternoon and officer, this Johnson person was under arrest, a considerable period of time, at least some period of time, prior to your removing Mr. Watson from the filling station. Is that correct? Yes, it is. And that on your way out of the filling station in the very close proximity, at least the way you describe it here, about three or four feet, Johnson and some other officers were wrestling on the floor. They weren't laying on the floor. Wrestling on the floor? They were underneath, more so. They weren't laying across the floor if that's what you. All right. And it was somewhat of a struggle, isn't that correct? Now you're saying, also in addition that you're saying that Mr. Watson, who had his hands cuffed behind his back and you and Frazina on each side, somehow, are you suggesting that he interfered with what they were doing on the floors? That what you're suggesting? Yes, I am, yes, sir. How did he interfere with it? He went into them. He walked into them.
We're one of the officers. He walked into them causing which officer did Mr. Watson interfere with? I don't know, isn't he? You don't recall that. You don't recall it. How did he interfere with it? What happened physically? What happened? You say lunch didn't what happened to the officer when Mr. Watson, who had Frazini between him and this officer, what happened? Frazini wasn't between him and the officer. Well, Frazini was on this arm, wasn't he? I stated I was on that arm. Well, you're on that arm. Well, you're between him and the officer then, is that it? That's right. Well, then he pushed you into the officer? He went sideways, sir. Just like you're standing now. Yeah. He went sideways this way. Did you turn around, you mean? Not that. Right there. That's the way we was taking him out. But the door is over here. That's right. It's right in front of him. Oh, well, he was standing like this. I don't know. We'd go down, take pictures, but I don't recall exactly how that station is. I don't think it's important that you recall officer. Well, I don't recall.
You just don't remember. You remember that somehow, somewhere in that melee, an officer got bumped by Mr. Watson, and you charged him with interference for that, for a man that was already arrested. Is that what you're saying? That's right. Did you make the arrest of Johnson? No, sir, I did not. You don't know what transpired between him and the officer to necessitate Johnson's arrest. Yes, I do. By your own, from what you saw and observed. Mr. Johnson was one of the parties, the main party, in fact, who was holding the door to keep us from entering the filling station. And I'm sure that is a, I'd have to see the arrest slip in the details of what the other officers wrote on there. But I'm sure that is one of the details that led to his arrest for interference or whatever he was charged with.
Well, right, you're saying, then, of your own knowledge, you know that Johnson was arrested for holding that door. I said, I believe it is one of the charges. You don't know for sure. I haven't seen the arrest slip. But in your report, you make no mention of anybody holding a door. No, sir, I did not this report here. No, sir, I do not. Is it because nobody was holding the door? No, sir. Or because it wasn't important in your opinion. It was not important to this person. When you mentioned that these people officer were standing around Mr. Watson. Yes, sir. Now, if you were going to describe where they were, and they were, in fact, holding the door, and you were going to take the trouble to describe where they were, why didn't you say they were holding the door? The reason I even put that into showing that they were also inside the service station, along with Mr. Watson. But in your testimony this morning, you indicated that you had to, in fact, break in the door. Isn't that important? Yes, it is. But you didn't mention it in your report. Isn't that right? It's not important to this, no, sir. Important to this trial, you mean? To this report. But this was a rather lengthy report
that you filled out, isn't it? Two pages. There's a lot of reasons why things are in this report. The question is, isn't this a rather lengthy report? Well, I've made a lot of money. I want him to answer the question, not to. I would like counsel to permit him to answer the previous question before he fires another one at him. He was answering one question when counsel interrupted with another. You know, answering a question I never asked, Your Honor, and I don't want him bartering. Number one, when a question is asked, please give the witness opportunity to fill the answer. Number two, I would ask Officer Kent well to answer the last question we'll go from there. Is it or isn't it a lengthy report, Officer Kent? Well, no, ma'am, it's not. We have no further questions this morning, sir. Wait a minute, Mr. Morgan. Officer Kent, well, get a few things in focus and in perspective here.
What is the speed limit in Alley's in Denver? Twenty miles, no, and what speed was it you said, Mr. Watson, came out of this Alley in the beginning? I estimated, I believe, 30. By the way, Officer Kent, well, does a resistance report purport to contain a complete narration of all the events that occurred with respect to an arrest? No, sir, they do not. They don't know. Is it limited to just certain subject matter? Yes, sir. What is the subject matter that this report is limited to? They're more, the internal affairs bureau is more concerned to see if any injuries were sustained by the party, and if so, Alley. What is the thing? In other words, there might be several facts occur that would be part of the whole situation that would not relate directly to the resistance. Is that the idea of the resistance report?
Yes, should be right in all day. All right. Now, I have no further questions. The question is, however, I would like to have this document, Your Honor. Mark, does the City's Exhibit A? Mark, that is City's Exhibit A. Exhibit is Mark. Your Honor, I would hand a copy, hand the exhibit to Mr. Davies in ordinary practice. I have given him a photocopy of it. I'll offer Exhibit A into evidence at this time. Do you have any objection, Mr. Davies? Oh, yes. Absolutely. I don't even know what this is. No foundation's been laid for the admission of that particular exhibit. Well, I'll lay some foundation, Mr. Morgan.
I think there has been foundation generally to what a report of resistance incident is. Let's follow the rules strictly, and if you'll identify this particular. All right, officer, can't well have you had a chance to examine the document that's been marked as City's Exhibit A? You're hand-exhibit to the office, can't we, please? Yes, I have. What is Exhibit A? It's a report of resistance. It's a photocopy of the resistance. Isn't it true, officer, that another object of this report is that if a person taken into custody files a complaint against you with the Internal Affairs Bureau, then this is filed by you to somehow at least protect yourself in the event of a complaint being filed against you. Isn't that one of the reasons for it to get your side of the story down on paper
with the Internal Affairs Bureau? I can't answer that question, yes, and honestly, no, that is the purpose of it, because I've never checked into their functions, and what. So I would have got the original from the captain if he was available today. So I went to the Internal Affairs. I would have got a copy from the captain. I went to the Internal Affairs to get the original. Nothing further this way. I have no further redirected the witness to your honor. All right, I do wish to recross the ceremony. No, you're wrong. Mr. Davis. Thank you, officer Kent. Well, you may have something to do. I'll call officer Frazzini, you ready? Could you please ask officer Frazzini to come here and discuss it? Would you state your name and your occupation of the court, please?
Joe Frazzini, please lend me your police power. How long have you been so employed as a Denver police officer, officer Frazzini? Four years. Directing your attention to the sixth day of November 1968, around 10, 30 AM on that date, did you have occasion to be at or near the location of 34th and 34th Avenue and Franklin Street? I did. Was that locate in the city in County of Denver, Colorado? It was. Did you see the defendant Lauren Watson at or near that location on that date? I did. Would you be able to recognize and identify the same Lauren Watson, if you saw him in court today? Yes, I would. If he's here, would you point him out and clearly identify him? He's a man seated to your left with a black leather jacket on. All right, tell the court and the jury where Mr. Watson, the defendant, was, when you first observed him and described what you observed. When I first observed him, he was in a car, a white car
with a black top. And he was pulling into a service station at 34th and Franklin. Party, Mr. Watson got out of the car and ran into the filling station along with several other Negro parties that were also in the same car. All right. Where had you first joined officer, can't well, at least your police car in close proximity to his, what location? Northbound on Marion Street, approximately around 28th, somewhere in that vicinity. All right. Now, when you got to 34th at Franklin, you say that the defendant pulled in a service station and jumped out of his car and ran into the station, is that right? That's correct. And what occurred next? Myself, an officer, can't well, and well, officer can't well told the party, as he got out of his car
that he was under arrest for looting a police officer. Mr. Watson continued to run into the filling station and several other parties with him all ran into the filling station, service station. And they shut the door behind him and they blocked the door so that we could not enter. Myself, an officer, can't well, and several other officers then had to push the door open, which was blocked by two or three Negro males. Do you chance to recall at this time, approximately, how many police officers were at 34th in Franklin at the time that you arrived? Officer Depino and myself arrived there, approximately the same time. And there were some other officers there that arrived almost, all of us arrived about the same time. Myself and officer Depino were there, and then the rest of them come to within a short few minutes.
All right, then what happened after the defendant and the other parties locked the door? What, they locked the door. They were barring the door with their bodies, and we had to push them. Push the door open and locked inside the service station. And we, Mr. Watson was on the telephone. He just hung up the telephone. And he turned and the officer can't well told him he, again, he was under arrest for eluding the police officer. And he just put you, we wanted to search him, to see if he had any weapons before we placed him or a police car to take him downtown. And I grabbed one arm and officer can't well grab the other arm. At this time, Mr. Watson, getting a raffle with us and through officer can't well, against the wall of the service station. And at this time, several other officers grabbed Mr. Watson along with myself.
And we forcibly put his hands behind his back and handcuffed him after quite a struggle in a small room there was in the service station. All right, what occurred next, officer Frazzini? Myself and officer can't well was, we had already handcuffed Mr. Watson and we were attempting to take him outside and he's several Negro parties. I don't remember if there were two or three Negro males inside the service station. And they were trying to stop us from taking him outside, grabbing one of them grabbed my arm. And I don't remember if it was officer DePinno or one of the other officers grabbed this party. And eventually we got him outside after somewhat more of a struggle on Mr. Watson was continually trying to pull away from us and continually resisting us, fighting us all the way, even after we had handcuffed him and more or less subdued him. Yeah, Mr. Watson, the defendant, say anything
while all this was going on that you remember? Yes, he stated when we first grabbed him by when he was in the station, when I first grabbed his arm, he called me a pig and he told me that I wasn't going to take him to jail. And several times after that he called me the same name, told me that he couldn't, I couldn't take him or we couldn't take him if he didn't want us to and in the rattle he stated that big several times. What else happened? We took him outside and he was hollering louder on black power and pigs and so on like that. And we finally got him into black at the police car and myself and officer Cantwell took him down the headquarters. I don't know for the question, you may inquire Mr. Watson. Thank you, honor. Officer Prasini, did I understand you to say that
that you responded to this call and you first saw that the defendant at about 28th and Marion Street? Somewhere in that vicinity yesterday, right in there somewhere. May have been 30th or 29th through 28th, right in that general vicinity. Several blocks one way or the other. Now what, would you describe what was going on when you first saw him? Officer Cantwell's car was behind the car which was driven by Mr. Watson and... Where were you in relationship to those two cars, man? I was behind Officer Cantwell's car. Got how far? Maybe half a block, three quarters of a block, something like that. And they were proceeding north on Marion Street. And Officer Cantwell's car had his red light and siren going. Well, did you see him stop? No, I never did.
Who? See who's that? Mr. Watson. No sir, I never did see him stop. He never stopped from... When you intercepted him at about 29th of Marion, you never saw Mr. Watson stop his car. Until 34th in Franklin. He just kept right on goal. Right. Right. He pulled in and you pulled in and... There wasn't much difference in time between your arrival, right? No, Officer Cantwell pulled in and he came in and I was... It was almost the same time, right? Right, and it did, but Cantwell got out of his car considerably before you did. I'd say maybe a few seconds, not very much more now. So you had Cantwell in your vision and... Yes, you see him. Yes sir. And I think you test me was you heard Cantwell yell to Watson. You're under arrest for looting a police officer. That's right. Did Cantwell... I mean, did Watson respond? No, he didn't even look. He just went right into the film station door. What else did Cantwell say?
When he got out of his car or... After he said you're under arrest for looting a police officer. Anything? Not that I recall, though. All right. Let me see if I have this all right now. Sir, because I don't... In any way, I want to trap you. Anything. You and Cantwell forced your way into... These people were blocking the door. You forced your way in, right? With several other officers myself and Officer Cantwell tonight. In foreign Watson, he was under arrest, right? Apparently, he said something to you that indicated to you that he wasn't going to go voluntarily. Is that correct? No, I don't recall any Stevenson. You just went ahead and grabbed him. Well, I grabbed one arm and he grabbed... And nothing more was said to him by Officer Cantwell at that time, other than the fact you're under arrest. He might have said, repeated, you're under arrest. Is that right? Yeah, that's... That's right. And he kind of threw Officer Cantwell off. He had his back to... Well, actually, he'd Officer Cantwell on myself
and he was facing the phone. When he turned around, he turned around with... Force of his body during his arm come around and has his arm come around. Officer Cantwell was just more or less out of hold of it and that's when he threw him. But it was a natural... Watson had to turn around to go out the door, right? I mean, he had his face to the telephone when you first grabbed him. I had turned around when Watson turned around and was in a threatening manner towards myself and Officer Cantwell with his arms swinging towards us. Okay. And then you finally got in handcuffed and Watson was cussing and you indicated. Right. And nobody... He was just... Just Watson, nobody else, or probably some of the other Negroes, but none of the white officers. I don't recall any of the other Negroes saying anything. Oh, just Watson was cussing. That's all I recall. Okay. All right. So then you subdued him. Was anything else said to him during that period of time? By any officer?
Officer Cantwell might advise him of his rights. I don't remember if he did or not. Well, it would have been after he was handcuffed. Somewhere right in that time, yes. And you started out the door and as you were walking out the door this other guy lunched at you, grabbed the whole of you to try and stop you from taking Watson out and other officers grabbed him and they had a scuffle and you went on out the door with Watson. Is that right? Pretty close. The other party was standing in front of the door and he wasn't going to let us go out to the other officers. And that's what... And that was... That's the substance of what happened. Right. Pretty close, yes. No further questions this way. I don't have any redirects. Thank you, officer, for sitting. You may have seat. Your Honor, I think I'll reserve a resting. I know at the hour until we've taken up the mat and we're going to take up tomorrow morning. I think I'll...
Big too, Betty. Yes. All right. I'm a housing gentleman of the jury as far as your work is concerned. It is over for the day at least. I will excuse you then until 10th 30th tomorrow morning. You may leave the courtroom at this time. You're welcome to get your coat. Court will be in recess then until tomorrow morning. These guys... Sir. No, I don't mean you. I need a testimony over it. Not yet. Well... They got to go home. Can't see the only thing you can see. I don't think it's the only possible thing that they could be talking about. The only possible thing that he is in the first charge you come from
is on Cantwell's allegation. I was able to walk out. He learned that the struggle on the floor. But for Zinc said that didn't happen. So they're running around, you know, terrorizing my community. Before this particular arrest, I had seen you. It stopped me several times. And let's say three weeks to maybe a month period. Who? Cantwell. Preceding that daytime, night time, you know. Called me like Black Master, son of a bitch, you know. Dread me shoot me, dared me to fight him and all this kind of stuff, you know. But policemen are the minority. You know, we are the minority as a whole. We get condemned for everything. We can't do nothing, right? Whatever you do is wrong.
No matter what it is, you're wrong. Well, I tell you this, crime rate's not going to stop under these conditions either. I mean, it's going to keep going and going and going and tell the people finally realize what type of a policeman you have to be to keep the crime rate down, as long as they want it this way. And as long as they want back here, I mean, crime rate's going to go. Every time you try and enforce it, you go the other way. Every time you stop somebody, harassment. I mean, first thing you bring up officer, you're harassing me. Well, I mean, that's not right. We're just doing our job. There are problems out there. There are problems. And the police officers are the ones that have to deal with them. And they have to make snap judgments. And that's pretty difficult because when I'm sitting up in the bench sometimes I have to think and think what really is the situation here? What really is the evidence? The officer doesn't have the time to thoroughly question all witnesses and make this decision. He has to make a snap judgment to arrest or not to arrest, to give a complain or not to.
It's a hard decision to make. Have you ever ridden a police car? Yes. On a few occasions when I first became a judge and there's a very interesting story about that, if I have enough time to tell you about it, I rode with a radar officer who I think is one of the same officers he rode with. And while I was riding with him, some very interested citizen called up the dispatcher and said car number such and such has a lady riding with it in the car. Very upset that an officer should have his girlfriend in the car. And so the call came over the air officer so and so. We have a report from a citizen that you have a lady in your car. Could you please let us know what the problem is and the answer came right back. Without any thought, that's no lady, that's the judge. Today's session of the trial began with Mr. Morgan, the prosecutor, trying to put in a simple little case. It went something like this. Officer Cantwell and some other policeman tried to arrest Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson ran into the filling station and then forcibly tried to prevent the officers
from handcuffing him and taking him out. Ever since then, things have been getting more complicated. In cross-examination, Mr. Davies has been picking and pulling at the case, trying to find and suggest as many inconsistencies as he can. It has gotten confused, with unexplained and unsettled points floating around. It's too early to know what is important and what isn't. If you're confused, you can be sure the jury is. I certainly am. Two other points are worth thinking about. The first relates to an issue that never formally gets into the trial, but is very much a part of the background of the case. Most of us know that policemen have broad discretion in making decisions, whether and how to make an arrest. Even if we accept the prosecutor's version of the facts here and put to one side any issue of personal or racial bias, we still must ask whether the great show of force by the police at the gas station was necessary and wise. I'm not suggesting that we try to decide now whether it was or it wasn't in this particular case.
It's much more important that we consider whether we want to place on any policeman with no guidance or control from the legislatures and often little or none from his own department. The burden of making this sort of decision on his own. A lot is at stake. It's not inconceivable that the events that led to this case could have triggered a riot. If as citizens we do have views on how we would want the scenario with 34th and Franklin to be played next time, and how we would want it played in our city and our neighborhood, we'd better think of ways those views can be expressed in legislation, in police department rules, and in police training materials and courses. If we do not, we will continue to rely on the legal system to try to sort out the facts and to sign blame after it's all over. This leads to the second point. I think you can already get a sense of how small apart the parties whose actions led to the case play in the working out of it in court.
The trial is the lawyer's show and, to some extent, the judges. If either side is badly represented, the theory of the adversary system breaks down, and the trial is unfair. If both are badly represented, it turns into a crap game. In many cities, good defense lawyers and prosecutors are simply overwhelmed by the increasing volume of cases. This is why lawyers, judges, and law teachers are so worried that the lack of able, well-trained criminal lawyers. Get the run.
Car ran into a garage. 3350 gave over, OK? Attention, all cars, reading the description of a one at the party. Five mail. 840-45. We may have to use this mic. We may have to put it in place. 420 pound heavy bill. We may have to put it in place. We've got brown hair with gray. Where is the filing? Where is the filing?
- NET Journal
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Educational Broadcasting Corporation. NET Division
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- For the first time on American television, a documentary examines the judicial system through a detailed presentation of a single trial. The case is set in Denver (only Colorado and Texas allow cameras inside a courtroom). It pits The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson. The charges: resisting a police officer (Officer Robert C. Cantwell) in the discharge of his duty,' and interfering with a police officer in the discharge of his duty." The larger implications of the case involve the conflict between police and Black Panthers (Watson, a member of the Black Panniers at the time of the trial, has recently been purged from the Party), and the system of legal justice as it applies to blacks and other traditionally underprivileged groups. The other "principals" are Judge Zita Weinshienk, an attractive and sympathetic young woman; Defense Attorney Leonard Davies, a 28-year-old local lawyer; Wright Morgan, assistant city attorney, who offers a sharp contrast to Davies in both age and style; and police Officer Robert C. Cantwell, Watson's antagonist. Each of these principals comments on the trial and on critical factors involved in it during a series of interviews, which are interspersed into the trial. The charge against Watson stems from an incident that occurred on November 6, 1968 - the day after President Nixon's election. Cantwell contends that he attempted to stop Watson for speeding, but was repeatedly thwarted after twice entering his car and notifying him that he was under arrest. Finally, at a service station, Cantwell says he was able to subdue Watson with assistance from three other policemen. Watson's story conflicts in almost every detail with that of Cantwell. He states that the policeman had driven past his house early in the day, gloating about Nixon's victory, waving a fist at him and shouting "White Power." He also swears that Cantwell never formally arrested him and that he submitted in the service station without a struggle. The four ninety-minute parts correspond with the trial's four days which took place in March 1969. The trial involves a charge of resisting a police officer in the discharge of his duty and interfering with a police officer in the discharge of his duty. Watson, the defendant - at the time of his arrest a member of the Black Panther Party - counters with charges that he is a victim of police harassment. On the day of Watson's arrest - November 6, 1968 - he testifies that Patrolman Robert Cantwell shook his fist at him and shouted "white power" - a reference to Richard Nixon's election victory. The antagonism between Watson and the Denver police forms an undercurrent within the trial and is a basis of attorney Leonard Davies' defense of Watson. "The issue has national implications, involving police and Panthers, the American system and the black man," says Don Dixon, NET's director of public affairs programming. "The case is really a microcosm, reflecting one of our country's most critical concerns." Each of the four programs will contain legal analysis by James Vorenberg, professor of law, Harvard Law School. Vorenberg is also director of the Center for Criminal Justice at Harvard Law School. He was executive director of President Johnson's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1964-67) and director, Office of Criminal Justice (1964-65). From 1954 to 1962 he was a member of the firm of Ropes and Gray, after clerking under Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter from 1953 to 1954. He received his LL.B. from Harvard in 1951, after graduating from the same school in 1948. During each program, Vorenberg will comment on legal subtleties and legal protocol, as defined within the trial. "Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson" is a production of NET Division, Educational Broadcasting corporation. A film by Robert H. Fresco and Denis Sanders. Additional Information from NET Press Release on Judge Zita Weinshienk: Zita Weinshienk is Denver's first - and only - woman judge. She is also the only judge - male or female - to preside over a case filmed in its entirety for national television. The documentary, "Trial: The City and County, of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson," will be presented on NET Journal each night - an unprecedented use of prime time for a single program. Recalling the case, which occurred March 1969, Judge Weinshienk reaffirms the value of allowing it to be filmed. She felt that it would be an excellent way to show viewers - many of whom have never been inside a real courtroom -- how an actual trial is conducted. At the time of the trial, her only scruple was that a more experienced judge should have had the honor of presiding for this television first. She also recognized that "The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson" would be a difficult trial. One key factor was the defendant's membership in the Black Panther Party -- a detail that was irrelevant to the case but potentially prejudicial. Since a jury's verdict could be influenced by this information, she reveals that she would have declared a mistrial if it had been divulged during proceedings. She feels that the trial of Watson brought out deep feelings about the way blacks feel toward the police. The mutual fear and distrust of blacks and police was evident throughout, she observes. Judge Weinshienk dismisses the importance of sex in her job. The robes divest her of sexuality and make her simply "judge." She was appointed to the municipal bench by Mayor Tom Currigan on June 15, 1964, and became a county judge the following January. Her prior experience includes five years with the juvenile court as probation counselor, legal adviser, researcher, and finally referee. Her involvement with this court stemmed from a paper on juvenile correction in Denmark, which she had submitted, in an effort to spread her knowledge of such procedures in foreign countries. She had, at that time, just returned from a year's graduate study as a Fulbright Scholar, receiving her diploma in law from the University of Copenhagen. In 1958, she received her LL.B, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Her undergraduate study was divided between Colorado University and the University of Arizona, from which she graduated magna cum laude in 1955. It was during her undergraduate years that she switched her interest from journalism, after having served as editor of her high school literary magazine. An aptitude test indicated that she had the potential to justify her in becoming a pre-law student. Since 1960, she has given a series of lectures on legal ethics to students at Denver University Law School. In 1969, she was selected as Woman of the Year by Denver Business and Professional Women. She is member of the Denver, Colorado, and American Bar Association, Harvard Law School Association, North American Judges Association, Colorado Association of County Judges, American Judicature Society, Denver League of Women Voters, and Soroptimist Club of Denver; also, she sits on the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver, and executive committee, National Conference of Special Court Judges. Born in St. Paul, Minn., she was raised in Tucson, Ariz. She presently lives in Denver with her husband, attorney Hubert T. Weinshienk, and their three daughters. Additional Information from NET Press Release on Wright J. Morgan: For prosecutor Wright J. Morgan, the case of "The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson" was an ordinary assignment - one of the heavy case load that confronts a city attorney. But the case - first to be filmed in its entirety for national television - sharpened his faculties by pitting him against a dynamic young defense attorney, Leonard Davies. The legal confrontation between Davies and Morgan highlights NET Journal - "Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R.Watson." "I enjoy being pitted against lawyers like Davies," says Morgan. "For one thing, it keeps you on your toes and sharpens you. It's a pity there aren't more like him. With Davies, you know you've got a fight on your hands right down to the wire." In terms of the general audience for the television trial, Morgan says: "There was a lot of law practiced in the Watson case, and it's an excellent example for people to see. I think it will bring home to many viewers just how important and dear our system of justice is." However, he disputes Davies' argument that the jury for the Watson case was unrepresentative. Racial composition is unimportant no matter who is being tried, according to Morgan. (Watson is a Negro; however, no blacks were among the panel from which the jury or six was chosen.) More importantly, says Morgan, the economic and educational backgrounds of the jurors insured a fair trial for Watson. "It's interesting. Most people selected to a jury will bend over backwards to be fair. Someone who doesn't necessarily like blacks will want to prove to himself and his friends that he is not prejudiced. He may even look for a reason not to convict, though he won't admit it to himself or to either attorney." Morgan was born in Trinidad, Colorado. He received his BA in 1951 and his LL.B. in 1957 from Denver University. After being admitted to the bar in 1958, he practiced law for a year, then became a city attorney - though he returned to private practice during portions of the next four years. He was also employed as a legislative referee, taught intelligence as a civilian at Lowry Air Force Base, and was assistant attorney general for the State of Colorado. Since October 1963, he has been assistant city attorney - one of seven assigned to the Denver district court. He is also deputy district attorney, with authority to act as prosecutor in cases involving the district. Additional Information from NET Press Release on Leonard Davies "The defense of the unpopular client is the highest service a lawyer can perform. There cannot be a system of class justice." Leonard Davies, a dynamic young attorney, found that his credo was put to the test when he undertook the defense of Denver Black Panther Lauren R. Watson. For four evenings viewers of NET Journal follow this trial - and with it an unparalleled TV exploration of the American judicial system. In "Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson" attorney Davies demonstrates how in the relatively short time he has been practicing law - three and a half years - he has built an amazing reputation for himself as the defender of the underdog. Davies believes that any trial lawyer worth the title should want to handle those cases and individuals who are unpopular with the public, not because the victory is so much sweeter when you win but because defending the unpopular cause or individual proves the fact that our system does work. "I abhor violence, I abhor violent people, but I would represent anyone - even a member of the KKK - because he deserves a fair and honest trial just as much as a respected community leader who has been accused of improper handling of funds. I don't pursue or practice any political or social philosophy that would set me against any group or individual." The young attorney first met Lauren Watson when he was asked to handle a few legal matters for a small black community theatre group known as Points East (now defunct). And when Watson first had trouble with the law he asked Davies to represent him. He has been his legal advisor and attorney ever since. Davies is a firm believer in our system of justice. He admits that there are many things wrong with it and that changes should be made -- especially in the area of jury selection. In the particular case represented by the NET film, jurors were selected from the city directory, and in that, instance none of them could be considered to be anywhere near Watson's peers. They did not live in his part of town, nor did they know anything about black people. Davies felt sincerely that Watson could not get a fair trial. Still, he maintains that it is important for men and women to serve as jurors, because if nothing else, it makes them think. Born in England and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Durango, Colorado, a small town in the southwest corner of the state, Davies received his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State in August 1962, and graduated Denver University Law School in December 1965. He began practicing law in May 1966. He is an equal partner in the firm of Davies and Dikeou. Davies is married; the couple has two children; they moved to Denver in November 1962. Additional Information from NET Press Release on Robert C. Cantwell: "... No one - no matter who he is - is above the law." For police officer Robert C. Cantwell this strongly held belief became one that involved him personally when he arrested Black Panther Lauren Watson. The legal aftermath of what followed is recounted for four evenings on NET Journal when Channel "Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson." In these four evenings the course of the trial - and the entire American system of jurisprudence - are illuminated for a television audience. Officer Cantwell also believes that "no group has a special privilege when it comes to the law. Then a law is broken the police are going to arrest that individual or group and prosecute." Cantwell is a "spit and polish" police officer and a 100% believer in upholding law and order. Born in Fort Lupton, Colorado, and raised in Breckenridge, Texas, Cantwell came to the Denver area in 1958, and was graduated from Thornton High School in 1960. He wanted to be a police officer as far back as he can remember, "Because it's a very important job and it should be done by someone who firmly believes in what he's doing." After finishing high school young Cantwell went to work for the Denver Water Department and dug ditches for a period of four years. In 1964 the police department lowered the age limit and height requirements from 24 years and 5'9" to 21 years and 5'8". Cantwell stands right at 5'8". He enrolled in the first class for 21-year-olds and upon completion of his training was assigned as walking patrolman. He remained a patrolman for three years and then was assigned to the intelligence and vice squad. When a new police chief took over and the department was reorganised in 1968 Cantwell was reassigned to a patrol car where he remained for approximately 11 months. It was during this period that he made the Watson arrest, (prior to the Watson trial Cantwell was promoted to detective and assigned to narcotics). The young officer sees his duty as a limited one. To him the jury must decide guilt or innocence. "I've done my job when I arrest the person. We don't go around arresting people just because we don't have anything else to do. We arrest him because he broke a law." But Robert Cantwell is not disinterested in the fate of those around him. During an NET reporter's interview with him the phone rang. It was a narcotics user asking for help. The young man was on parole from the state prison and he was due to see his parole officer the next day. He had been sent up as a user and was out just a little over a month and didn't want to go back on the hard stuff. So called Cantwell because he knew he could trust him. He needed a fix, but he knew his parole officer would have him sent back to prison if he found signs of drugs in the urine sample. (Urine samples are taken from drug users whenever they report to their parole officer.) Cantwell told the young man he would make arrangements for him to go into the city hospital where they would give him something to quiet him down and help him get over the hump. "I'll see you in about 20 minutes," he said, "and we'll go over together. You meet me in my office." Asked why he did this he answered, "We're not out to make trouble for these guys. This kid is out less than a month. He's trying to stay off the stuff. If we can help keep him clean maybe he'll stay off for good. One thing he doesn't need now is to be sent back." Concerning Denver's black community: "In all honesty I really couldn't say that the Denver police have any more trouble with the blacks than the whites. There aren't too many people who go around looking for trouble blacks or whites." Random comments: "One thing I would like to say, and that is that every time a policeman has to go and testify about a case he's involved with, he's on trial just as much as the defendant. His emotions are strained because he knows that both his reputation as a good officer and his competency in making decisions are being weighed. Every time you lose a case it hurts you in your work." Cantwell is married and has two children. He is currently attending Regis College and hopes to get a degree in Social Science. This set of 4 episodes aired as NET Journal episode 269A-269D in 1970. PBS later rebroadcast them in 1971. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Episode Description
- Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson consists of four 90 minute episodes produced for NET Journal and broadcast in 1970. Originally produced in black and white on videotape.
- Episode Description
- The second day - Officer Cantwell on the stand. The prosecution's case rests on the testimony of two witnesses - Officer Cantwell and Frizzini. Davies, therefore, attempts to stress the discrepancies in their testimony and in an arrest report filed by Cantwell at the time of the incident. His "grilling" of Cantwell is relentless and highly dramatic. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Broadcast Date
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Media type
- Moving Image
Camera Operator: Fresco, Robert M.
Camera Operator: Sanders, Denis
Director: Sanders, Denis, 1929-1987
Editor: Silver, Harold
Interviewee: Davies, Leonard
Interviewee: Cantwell, Robert C.
Interviewee: Morgan, Wright
Interviewee: Weinshienk, Zita
Interviewee: Watson, Lauren R.
Producer: Sanders, Denis, 1929-1987
Producer: Fresco, Robert M.
Producing Organization: Educational Broadcasting Corporation. NET Division
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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- Chicago: “NET Journal; 269b; Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson. Part 2,” 1971-04-28, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-h41jh3f08x.
- MLA: “NET Journal; 269b; Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson. Part 2.” 1971-04-28. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-h41jh3f08x>.
- APA: NET Journal; 269b; Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren R. Watson. Part 2. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-h41jh3f08x