Did Officer Darren Wilson’s Vocal Tone and Words Inflame Anger and Actions of Michael Brown Causing His Fatal Shooting?

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 7.28.00 PM

Before I begin I want to state that I have no agenda here and I am not taking sides. This post has no racial or political undertones. As a body language expert and communication expert, I pose questions which in my view, may give us some insight as to another underlying factor  that has not yet been discussed in the press until this blog post.

We all know that The Grand Jury has spoken after scrutinizing the evidence which lead to Michael Brown being shot and killed by Officer Wilson and Officer Wilson not being charged with murder or manslaughter.

In  reporting my observations about Officer Darren Wilson’s body language and tone of voice and speech content and facial language  during the ABC interview , I found it to be as  disturbing as when I watched Michael Brown’s body language in the surveillance video.

In examining Officer Wilson’s account of the events, he did appear to be telling the truth about what happened as I did not see any outward signals of deception. However, I was particularly struck by Officer Wilson’s  robotic and monotone vocal tone and command  terms  when relaying the exact words he used to Michael Brown. Thus, it  made me question  if Wilson’s tone and words may have possibly been a contributing factor to this disaster.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 7.45.42 PM

As we all saw on the video, Michael Brown robbed a store where he took some cigarillos. Brown then bullied and roughed up the store clerk as we can see in the screen shot above, leaving the clerk with a fearful body language. . While I have all the sympathy in the world for Michael Brown’s mother in losing a son, after her public comment that her son  would never do anything wrong, she needs to carefully examine the video with regard to her son’s entitled and bullying behavior. That said, many  teens have robbed and bullied and have not been shot dead.

No doubt when Michael Brown left the store feeling empowered that he was able to intimidate the clerk just by his size and  get away with taking whatever he wanted. Most likely, as Brown walked in the middle of street,  which was reported, he may have continued that feeling of empowerment and entitlement, especially when Officer Wilson approached him.

Reports say that when Officer Wilson saw him and a friend walking in the middle of the street. Wilson said he told Michael Brown to “get out of the middle of the street”.  But the question here is,  how did Officer Wilson tell Michael Brown to get out of the  middle of the street? What tones did he use and what exact words did Officer Wilson say to Brown?

The reason I bring this up is that even though Darren Wilson was doing his job as he repeatedly said, I wonder if perhaps it may have been Wilson’s tone or  the specific words he used that helped spark the fire that ignited an already entitled and empowered Michael Brown’s anger, which in turn escalated to the event that lead to Brown’s being shot to death.

Research has shown that the tone of a person’s voice and the words they use can either inflame or diffuse a situation. This is one of the things I continuously emphasize in my lectures to Police Departments across the country on body language and communication skills. Sometimes a simple “Please” before a command can change an entire attitude for all parties involved. Oftentimes a “please” doesn’t make the request sound like a threat. Perhaps Brown interpreted the command as a hostile threat and reacted as he did. So often things can escalate and get out of hand due to tones and words.

As a side note, throughout the years,  the Beverly Hills Police Department has been very aware of this very factor. One of the things that has been observed by many who have been stopped by a BHPD officer is that they are conscious of being very respectful and polite when they engage a person. In fact a friend of mine who is a retired Beverly Hills officer shared  with me that being respectful and polite was always drummed into all the officers.

In the Ferguson Police situation,  If Brown did attack Officer Wilson, Brown’s judgment was clearly impaired at that moment as any 17 or 18 year old high school student has to know that attacking a police officer will end badly. For Brown to return and attempt to tackle Officer Wilson, there was clearly something which enraged Brown which may very well have been a vocal and verbal stimulus from Wilson.

Also  as a side thought, why did the officer have to shoot Brown in the head as he charged towards him? Couldn’t Wilson have shot Brown in the legs or in the feet so he would fall down. It seems to me that shooting Brown in the head was excessive and  “overkill” to excuse the pun.

The first thing which struck me about Officer Wilson’s demenor on his ABC interview was his lack of facial animation and his tone of voice where there was a lack of vocal inflection and animation. He appeared detached in terms of emotion and robotic in his tones . This may be in keeping of the type of police officer he is – a “by the book” officer. As he described his actions of the night, this was quite evident. But his facial expression showed no sadness or distress when relaying how Brown died.

Since nothing happens in a vacuum and there is always a cause and affect, after listening to Wilson’s tones I wondered what it was that ultimately caused things to escalate to Michael Brown’s death. What caused this young man to react so angrily to Officer Wilson to led him to engage in a physical attack on the officer and the officer subsequently shooting him to death?

Was it the officer’s tone of voice when he first approached Michael? Did he speak in harsh hostile robotic and angry tones when he told him to get out of the middle of the street where Michael was walking with a friend?  Based on his account it is doubtful that Wilson used terms of politeness or respect  like “Can you please not walk out in the middle of the street?”  BAsed on the other harsh command terms he relayed, it is most likely that he  gave  Michael a harsh command? That may have made a huge difference  in what may have set the tone for what unfortunately followed.

Could all of this have been avoided if the officer would have used different words or different tones with this young man? What would have happened if he engaged Michael Brown and was polite and respectful, at least until his backup unit came by?

When Officer Wilson described the incident on ABC News , Wilson did reveal that he used the command terms “Get back or I’ll shoot you.” This resulted in Brown replying “You’re too much of a pu**y to shoot me.” In essence, an angry Brown was testing Wilson and reacting to what he perceived  as a threat.  But what if Wilson said “ Please get back. I don’t want to have to fire at  you? Would that have made a difference or was the dye already cast? Only Brown and Wilson will ever know the answer to this.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.55.26 AM

Another thing which disturbed me the most in the interview was Wilson’s detached vocal coldness, when asked by  ABC interviewer George Stassinopoulos about Wilson’s conscience. When Wilson  said he had a “clear conscience”, it sent off a red flag to me. If someone is shot and killed,  no matter the circumstances, their conscience should not have been  clear in my view.

Many officers have shot in the line of duty, in  fear of their lives,  or to save the lives of others.  For the majority of officers, their conscience is not clear but as a human being it is disturbed for taking a human life. No matter how trained they are, taking a human life does and should have an emotional effect on a person.

Look what has happened to Veterans in so many wars,  who have been trained to kill the enemy. Even though they are doing their job, it still often  affects their conscience, so much so that they get post traumatic stress syndrome, which  has ruined  so many Veteran’s lives. PTSD is an epidemic among Veterans as it has been since World War II where it was referred to as “shell shock.” Vietnam Vets were the first to put a face on this disorder.

Just like Veterans, police officers who have killed someone in the line of duty, can and have easily suffered from PSTD . Oftentimes their consciences are so disturbed that they often undergo extensive psychotherapy to deal with the implications of taking a life . They are  often  counseled right after the incident and many remain in treatment for a long period of time.

In listening to Darren Brown speak, his robotic and detached tones spoke volumes to me . Darren Wilson is not a warm nor engaging  or even a personable type of policeman based on his observed demeanor. I wonder if he had been such a police officer if would Michael Brown still be alive today?

With No Voice Analysis on 911 Tape Allowed Things Look Very Bleak for Zimmerman

 

Image

Things are not looking good for George Zimmerman in his trial. The fact that there are all women on the jury may stimulate innate feelings of motherhood and protection for those who have kids of their own. Whether they try to be impartial or not, it is “there by the grace of God go I” thinking”  in terms  that they  could have possibly lost their own child in a situation like this.

The fact that Treyvon’s fighting and thug past, poor behavior in school, and alleged drug use,  will not be allowed as evidence to show his  character also does not play well for Zimmerman. Showing the innocent  clean faced non gold- toothed photo of Treyvon in court will surely elicit a sympathetic response from these women like it did with President Obama who once said that if he “had a son he would look like Treyvon.”

Now the final blow to Zimmerman’s case is that the judge has not allowed into evidence the famous 911 tape where there was screaming. I am appalled at this decision because George Zimmerman cannot get a fair trial with this lack of crucial evidence. 

This 911 tape in my view is the deciding evidence. There are  clear ways to tease out who’s voice was on the tape and who was screaming. While they  They can can’t compare a smaple of Treyvon’s scream to the scream on the tape becuase he is dead, they can certainly do it with Zimmerman since he is alive. They can look at pitch and intensity  and voice quality. .  The pitch of the scream can be analyzed both  perceptively and objectively and compared with the 911 tape in question. There should alos be a double blind study done where people are asked to compare the two scream samples of Zimmerman, since he is the one on trial. 

I have used a similiar approach with a defendant who was accused of armed robbery. There was a tape of him saying  to the victim “I’m gonna blow your fxxxing head off.” The victim also described the suspect’s voice as being low in pitch and very clear and resonant with no hint of an accent .  I  then had the attorney go to the jail and record a  voice sample of the defendant saying the same words he allegedly said on the tap., it was completely different. The suspect’s voice was high pitched and he had a very distinct accent and a breathy quality to the voice.

I then did a vocal line up with the victim who could not discern the alleged suspect’s voice. In addition. As it turned out the suspect was not he armed robber who threatened murder.

Forensic voice analysis is key to this case. There are ways to  perceptually and technically dissect the voice pattern and scream from this tape. Both sides need to present their respective experts so that a jury can hear and see the results for themselves and then decide.

In my view, not presenting this evidence should result in a mistrial because the jury needs to make up their own mind as to who’s voice is yelling and who’s voice is screaming  on the crucial tape without the help of experts to guide them.

I believe that justice needs to be served but it cannot be served if we don’t have all of the evidence materials including the 911 tape.

The screams are crucial pieces of evidence because they could determine who the aggressor was in the confrontation before Zimmerman  shot unarmed  Treyvon Martin . While Martin’s family swears it was Treyvon screaming, Zimmerman’s father is certain it was his son. Only a jury can decide this. 

Audio experts from both sides testified at different times during the hearing, which stretched over three weeks. Voice experts were hired by lawyers and news organizations to analyze the calls, which were made during the confrontation between the two. The experts arrived at mixed conclusions.

 In deciding whether to admit the voice-recognition technology used by prosecution audio experts Tom Owen and Alan Reich, the judge had to determine whether it is too novel or whether it has been accepted by the scientific community at-large and found that there is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable,” the judge said in her ruling.

 Tom Owen was hired by the Orlando Sentinel last year to compare a voice sample of Zimmerman with screams for help captured on 911 calls made by neighbors. He said Zimmerman’s voice doesn’t match the screams.  But in my strong opinion,  Owen’s  work is flawed since he only compared Zimmerman’s voice to the 911 calls  and because he didn’t have a voice sample for Martin at the time. 

Since screaming is the focus of the voice sample, he obviously needed to get a sample of Zimmerman’s scream since he is still alive and since he is the one on trial. The voice sample of the 911 tape is irrelevant without a scream sample to compare with the scream sample on the 911 tape. 

 Owen  says that “The screams don’t match at all,”as he  testified during the hearing. “That’s what tells me the screams aren’t George Zimmerman.” But Own didn’t get a scream sample from Zimmerman and compare the two. What he did  here in my view was compare apples to oranges- speaking voice to a screaming voice. 

Had he testified about what he had done,  the defense could rip holes in his testimony based on the lack of comparing of two scream samples from the same person. 

 The other “expert” Alan Reich testified in a report for prosecutors that the screams on the 911 tapes were from Martin. How would he know they were from Martin if he doesn’t have a scream sample from Martin since Martin is deceased. 

  A  British audio expert  Peter French testified for the defense that it would be extremely difficult to analyze voices by comparing screaming to a normal voice said the right thing and this is even more evidence for why a scream sample is needed from Zimmerman.

 A second audio expert for the defense, George Doddington, also criticized prosecution experts who said Friday that screams and pleas on a 911 recording likely belonged to Martin.

Once again you can’t tell if it is Zimmerman’s scream unless you get a sample of him screaming. While there may be differences due to circumstances and not being able to replicate the scream exactly, you can record Zimmerman’s  scream as he calls into a number that records  the scream and you can record the scream as he attempts to renact what happened that night while he was on the ground with Treyvon, as keep some of the variables consistant. The  pitch level and other aspects of the voice pattern could be teased out. While it is not the best scenario, it is better than anything else that  has emerged thus far in terms of analyzing the scream and not the speech. 

 

 

 

 

Jodi Arias’ Body Language- Her Cockiness, Newly Resonant Voice and Smug Facial Expressions May Make her A Dead Woman Walking

Image

I have held off on writing about Jodi Arias until I had something significant to say. But  after watching  her on the stand  for eight days  and listening to her sickeningly sweet phony vocal tones and watching one signal of deception after another I have something to say. Today the REAL Jodi showed up on the stand and I am here to talk about it. .

I have always said in my books that you MUST  beware of anyone that has a sickening sweet soft spoken voice, where  you can barely hear them at times. I have said they are phonies  and  you must RUN because there is a lot of built up anger and hostility that this type of voice pattern masks. Now here is  living proof  of what I have been talking about in the Jodi Arias trial. She went from meek mouse tone to roaring lion tone as she displayed cockiness and anger toward the prosecutor.

This is Not good for her because juror swill clearly see the REAL Jodi as they

Image

will get a glimpse of her anger and what she must have been like around Travis. They will see how she could turn on him on a dime. They can now see her anger up close and personal.

Image

The jury also  also saw her lying first hand. Prosecutors had her hold her up her hand. Her finger was bent . She said it got that way months before Travis’ death as he abused her.

Image

Then the prosecutor showed a photo of her after Travis was killed and the hand was not  bent. It was a photo taken allegedly months after he beat her.

She sat there and LIED in front of everyone that her finger was bent. There was no way her finger was bent as anyone with eyes could see that.  This is yet another nail in her coffin towards the death penalty.

The prosecutor asked her about her memory and when it fails he and she look aways and said “Usually when men like you are screaming

 

 

 

Image

 

at me or grilling me or someone like Travisdoing the same.

That was a BAD move on Jodi’s part as she just lost her “sympathy” vote from any of the jurors who are gullible enough to have previously fallen for her poor me victim testimony.

Her nasty retort was anything but victim like. It was a dig at the prosecutor  and it  will in my estimation but another nail in her coffin.

Image

Then he asks so that affects your memory. Her she shows DUPING DELIGHT where there is a  slight smile on her face as she says “Yes that makes my brain scramble.”

Her slight smile which leaked out showed she was happy she felt she got a dig into the prosecutor and compared him to Travis. But what this stupid woman doesn’t realize is that it may have cost her  her life . It  may have angered jurors that she painted the prosecutor with the same brush she painted Travis. The jurors saw how he asked her  simple question about her memory and now she took it to a level  of  indirectly accusing the prosecutor of verbally abusing her.

Image

Her  smiling during  the prosecution’s questioning is not good either. There is NOTHING to smile about when a man has been brutally  killed  like Travis was and when her life is on the line. Jurors will pick that up and it will be a turn off to them. Perhaps she has been conditioned by others that her smile gets her what she wants. But it certainly won’t be the case here. Her smile for the first time in her life will work against her.

Will Jodi die by lethal needle?  Usually  it is reserved for people who have  killed  their children or spouses  or a both, or a parent,  in Arizona like the three women  who are already on death row there.  Each of these women also sought to benefit financially from the death where Jodi did not. So Jodi’s cases a little different in that regard.

However given the brutality of the murder that the jurors  were forced to see, Jodi’s lies from the past and witnessing her lies right in front of their eyes with regard to her finger, her smugness, and her belligerent attitude with the prosecutor, Jodi Arias may very well be joining these three woman.

It is a myth that because a woman is pretty she won’t get the death sentence.One woman who was on death row and  executed in Texas was quite beautiful and could pass as a Kardashian with her long brown hair, dark eyes, olive skin, and pretty features.

All three women who are on  Arizona’s death row are attractive. So it  shows that looks really don’t  matter these days as far as the death penalty is concerned.

Actually Jodi is doing all she can to not be attractive with her greasy hair limp hair, no makeup, and glasses in her attorney’s or a jury consultant’s misguided coaching to have her not look like a sexy bombshell she looked like in the photos with Travis.

Was Travis and angel? Far from it! Was he a hypocrite with regard to his Mormon religion which doesn’t believe in premarital sex. Yes. Was he a jerk in that he used  Jodi for sex and wanted to marry a decent Momon girl. Yes. Did he give her mixed messages? You bet . But did he deserve to die in such a brutal way? No way!

If the man was wet and naked it made him even more vulnerable and juror will pick that up. Even if he did get mad at her for dropping the camera  and she claims she killed him in self defense. It was OVERKILL which means she despised him and most likely planned this attack at one point or another.  Maybe it was a fantasy that ran through in her mind from time to time for how awful he treated her. But the fact that she executed it with such force  shows the built up anger and hate she was harboring towards him.

That leads me back to her voice. The voice mirrors what goes on in your head and your heart as Galen the Greek philosopher once said. Jody hand a lot of rage and anger in her heart and it was clearly mirrored in her voice until it was unleashed today by the prosecutor.

Sandusky’s Voice on Audiotape On Eve Before Sentencing Shows Extreme Fear and Anger

Convicted pedophile, Jerry Sandusky  released an audiotape  the evening before his sentencing for 45 counts  of child sexual abuse.

While he shifts he blame on to the victims, the media, and the justice system,  Penn State, psychologists, and attorneys, calling it  “a well orchestrated” conspiracy, there is a shakiness to his voice and an overcompensated volume to his voice  which shows  displaced anger and  extreme fear.

His statement speaks volumes about this vapid man who looks at life as wins and losses calling this “the worst loss of my life.”  He then goes on to say  “They’ve won.  “I’ve wondered what they’ve really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary.”

It is as though he is looking at this as a football game.

In fact , his cadence as he read his statement, sounds like a like a coach giving his players a pep talk. In essence his statement  was clearly  a pep talk to himself.

As he read this speech there was no emotion as it  was read in a monotone with the pitch breaks indicating fear and loudness bursts indicating anger.

He is incomplete denial as he convinces himself that “in his heart” he knows he didn’t do these disgusting acts.” He then goes on to share too much information about his sex life stating his “wife  was his only sexual partner, only after marriage”. This “only after marriage” statement is to  convince himself and others  how  moral and chaste  he considers himself and how  sexually pure he is. But  that is far from the truth. When someone gives away too much information, it is usually a signal of deception.

Sandusky very well knows what will happen to him during the sentencing as he has mentally  prepared himself by stating that he asks “that he has the strength to surrender himself to God regardless of the outcome.”

The outcome will be that he will leave prison in a pine box and spend the rest of his days in solitary confinement for his own protection as a sexual predator. This could be the worst punishment for someone who spent his life in the limelight and has had the adulation of thousands of people If by chance he does encounter other inmates, he will most likely be getting a taste of his own medicine.

Lindsay Lohan’s New Image and Body Language Needs Vocal Rehab

Lindsay Lohan recently  looked  a lot more mature than the fresh faced girl next

door look we once knew as she appeared on all the talks shows on NBC to promote her SNL gig to give her career a  well needed boost.

Looking more and more like her stage mom Dina Lohan , she looked pretty with her  desperately needed newly veneered teeth. She also eliminated of the lip trout that  made her face look out of proportion in relation to to her facial features.

Despite her new classical facial appearance and  curvaceous figure the one thing she still really needs to work on is her voice. As someone who did voice and speech and body language coaching with A list actors for various movie roles  over the years, I know what I am talking about here.

VOICE THERAPY NOW!

She sounded hoarse, gravely and harsh. I think that as she ventures into acting and gets her life and acting career back on track it would be in her best interest to also get some desperately needed vocal therapy.

Her voice sounds  so bad because of the vocal abuse from what often happens when one abuses drugs and  or alcohol . This is what people sound like who abuse themselves for a long period of time. Vocal muscles  and tissues get taxed and there can be damage to them. The wasy she sounds will clearly limit her roles because she has a harsh limited note range. As a performer you need a wide range.

To Read More Click Link Below

http://drlillianglass.com/body-language-blog/2012/03/03/lindsay-lohan’s-new-body-language-and-image-desperately-needs-voice-work-as-well/

Casey Anthony’s Body Language More Contained on Day 5, But Still Leaks Out Significant Signals, Especially Around Newest Member of Her Team

There has been a  major  change in Casey’s courtroom demeanor from Day 1, to Day 2 to Day 3 to Day 4 to now  Day 5.  While she is less frigidity she still leaks out some significant body language cues,. Here she is with apparent “cotton mouth” as she licks her lips and purses them,  indicating nervousness right before jury selection begins on Day 5.

Here we see her touching her throat area which indicates that she is feeling vulnerable.

She holds on to this are which is one  of the most vulnerable areas of the body for a significant length of time as she looks at  the newest member of the team Rosalie Bolin. The fact that she is pressing hard on this area which controls her breathing and airstream is also significant in my view. It is especially  relevant in light of the fact that she is accused of snuffing out little Caylee’s airstream and respiratory  life line.

Here we see Casey with a very happy and genuine full- on toothy  smile. We don’t usually see her with such a broad smile and happy face.

The fact that her fingers are intertwined and clasped together shows she is trying her best to contain herself.   This incongruent body language indicates that she has most likely been told how to act (more contained) . Even so, she can’t help leaking out her real emotions.

The bottom line is that no matter how coached Casey is to sit still , she  always leak out significant body language tells because  THE BODY DOESN’T LIE! If she gets on the stand,  we will salso discover  that her VOICE  AND SPEECH PATTERNS WILL NOT LIE either.

When people hear what you have to say and listen to the tone of your voice, there are such significant tells that people pick up which show that you are lying. So if Casey takes the stand she cannot  help but leak out these signals to a juror. 

 I belive her team knows this and that is why they may not want her on the stand. If she is grilled by the prosecution there may be all kinds of speech, vocal and body  language slip ups on Casey’s part.

While  she may be coached to sit still  making  jurors  less distracted by her ,  over a two month period, seeing her on a daily basis, jurors  will be paying  very close attention to her. As a result they wull scrutinize her every move as they continue to  form their opinions of her.

It is interesting to note that Casey has been in  much better spirits since her  mitigator Ms. Bolin has arrived on the scene.  She is chatty and smiley and happy.

Even though  Ms. Bolin’s personal life has raised eyebrows with her having left her attorney husband and children, only to be married to a man on death row who is  a convicted serial killer, Ms. Bolin project does  manage to project  a warmth and friendliness towards Casey.

This warmth  is  complete with  physcial touches,  pats, and back holding,  for which Casey no dount  hungers.  After being deprived of human contact for so many years, Casey thrives on the warm touch of another person. Ms. Bolin is now  there to fill this role.

When Baez and Mason kept touching her it gave mixed signals and  the impression of flirtation  which could even be misconstrued as  sexual harassment. But now that motherly looking  and acting Ms. Bolin is on the scene to provide touches and caresses towards Casey, it gives an entirely different impression

As the jury sees Casey’s and Ms. Bolin’s warm and friendly interaction, it may reflect a sharp contrast of Casey’s realtionship with her own  mother Cindy, whom Casey and her team will portray as “abusive”.   

The bottom line is that  Casey’s  change in body language indicates  that she is extremely happy about the new addition to her team . www.drlillianglass.com