0870.80, Eyewitness Identification
- State v. Lawson, 352 Or. 724 (2012)
- DIR 0640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging
- DIR 0640.36, Communication with Hearing Impaired and Limited English Proficient Persons
- DIR 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures
- DIR 0900.00, General Reporting Guidelines
- Eyewitness Identification Form (Photo Lineup)
- Eyewitness Identification Form (Show-up)
- Blind Presentation: The presenter conducting an identification procedure, and the witness participating in the identification procedure, both do not know the suspect’s identity; also known as a double-blind presentation.
- Blinded Presentation: The presenter conducting an identification procedure knows the suspect’s identity, but due to procedural safeguards, does not know which person the witness is viewing at any given time during the presentation.
- Confidence Statement: A statement in the witness’s own words, taken immediately after the witness makes an identification, stating their level of confidence in the identification.
- Eyewitness: A person who observes a crime by seeing it first-hand.
- Filler: A live person, or photo of a person, included in an identification procedure, who is not considered a suspect.
- Photo Lineup: A presentation of photos of persons to a witness to identify or eliminate suspects.
- Presenter: The Bureau member conducting an identification procedure.
- Sequential Presentation: A presentation of photos in a photo lineup one at a time, where the presenter retrieves one photo before presenting another.
- Show-up: A presentation to a witness of a live person in the environment that is close in time and proximity to the incident under investigation.
- Witness: A person who observes a crime. For the purpose of this directive, “witness” includes eyewitnesses and victims who are eyewitnesses.
1. Scientists and researchers continue to study identification procedures to improve the accuracy of eyewitness identification evidence. The Portland Police Bureau recognizes the importance of keeping pace with new laws and scientific standards to ensure the integrity of identifications and further criminal investigations.
2.The Portland Police Bureau strives to investigate criminal activity in a way that brings justice to victims and is fair to alleged perpetrators. This directive establishes the guidelines for members conducting photo lineup and show-up presentations with witnesses.
- Identification Procedures.
1.1. Members shall read the instructions from the Eyewitness Identification form to witnesses, and use that form to document the witness’s identification statements.
1.2. Members shall audio and/or video record all identification procedures they conduct, when practicable. Members shall document any reason for not recording an identification procedure in a police report.
1.3. The presenter shall preserve as evidence the Eyewitness Identification form, any photos or recordings shown to the witness as part of an identification procedure, and any recordings of the identification procedures, regardless of whether the witness made an identification. The case file shall include color copies of said evidence when applicable.
2. Photo Lineups.
2.1. Blind and Blinded Presentations.
2.1.1. Whenever possible, members shall use a blind sequential presentation for photo lineups.
2.1.2. When a blind sequential presentation is not feasible, members shall use a blinded sequential presentation.
2.1.3. During a blind sequential presentation, no one who is aware of the suspect’s identity should be present during the presentation of the photo lineup.
2.2. Developing a Photo Lineup.
2.2.1. Members shall have evidence-based suspicion for including any person as a suspect, not a filler, in a photo lineup. Evidence-based suspicion requires articulable evidence supporting why a person is a suspect.
184.108.40.206. Examples of evidence-based suspicion include, but are not limited to:
220.127.116.11.1. A person’s self-incriminating statements;
18.104.22.168.2. A person fits the general description of the suspect, and there is physical evidence connecting the person to the crime scene.
22.214.171.124.3. A person uniquely fits a specific description of the suspect, such as having a blue teardrop tattoo under their left eye.
126.96.36.199. Members shall document evidence-based suspicion for including a person as a suspect in a photo lineup in a police report.
2.2.2. Members shall obtain a thorough suspect description from each witness before developing a photo lineup. Differing suspect descriptions among witnesses may require the presentation of different photo lineups to different witnesses.
2.2.3. A photo lineup shall consist of no fewer than six (6) photos, including one (1) of the suspect.
2.2.4. All photos shall be similarly sized and of similar-appearing individuals. None should be obviously different from the others.
2.2.5. Filler photos should be reasonably similar in age, height, weight, and general appearance and be of the same sex and race, according to the witness’s description of the suspect.
2.2.6. When there is a limited or insufficient suspect description, or when the witness’s description of the suspect differs significantly from the available photo(s) of the suspect, the filler photos should resemble the suspect photo, not the witness’s description of the suspect.
2.2.7. When conducting a single lineup for multiple witnesses, the presenter shall present the photos to each witness in a different sequence.
2.3. Altered Photos in a Photo Lineup.
2.3.1. Members may use altered suspect and/or filler photos when necessary to ensure that the suspect’s photo is not suggestive or conspicuous among the photos in the presentation.
2.3.2. Members shall have an evidence-based reason to alter a suspect photo.
2.3.3. Members shall use altered filler photos in preference to altered suspect photos, whenever practicable.
2.3.4. To use altered photos, members shall discuss and receive approval from their direct supervisor before requesting alteration services through the Forensic Evidence Division (FED). Members shall document any alterations to photos, the reason for the alterations, and the supervisory approval in an appropriate report.
2.3.5. Any FED member who digitally alters a photo under this section shall document in an appropriate report the alterations made and the techniques and/or software used to make the alterations.
2.4. Presenting a Photo Lineup.
2.4.1. Instructions to Witnesses.
188.8.131.52. Before a presentation, the presenter shall read the witness instructions from the Eyewitness Identification form, ask the witness, “Do you understand these instructions?” and document the witness’s response.
2.4.2. Blind Presentation.
184.108.40.206. The presenter shall present the photos in a blind and sequential presentation. After presenting each photo, the presenter will ask, “Is this the person you saw during the event in question?” The presenter shall then document the witness’s response before presenting the next photo.
220.127.116.11.1. Presenters may replace the words “during the event in question” with the facts specific to the investigation, such as asking “Is this the person you saw assault the victim?”
18.104.22.168. If the witness makes an identification before viewing all of the photos, the presenter will remind the witness that they must show the witness all of the photos. The presenter shall continue the procedure, documenting the witness’s response to each photo.
22.214.171.124. If during the same presentation, the witness asks to see one or more photos again, the presenter may conduct the same presentation a second time. The presenter must present all of the photos, using the same method and order of presentation. If the witness gives a different answer as to a particular photo(s), the presenter shall ask them to explain the reason for the change.
2.4.3. Blinded Presentation.
126.96.36.199. When a blind presentation is not possible, members shall follow the steps outlined in Section 2.3.2., and must take additional precautions to prevent the presenter from discovering which photo is being shown to the witness as the presentation occurs.
188.8.131.52.1. For example, members may place the photos in identical folders, with the folders numbered inside, and then shuffle the folders. The presenter will then present the folders to the witness as outlined in Section 2.3.2.
184.108.40.206.2. The presenter should take a position so that they cannot see inside the folders as the witness views the folders.
220.127.116.11.3. Following a blinded presentation using this method, the presenter shall record the order of presentation, using the number inside the folder.
18.104.22.168.4. Presenters may use any equivalent method if they document the method.
2.5. Multiple Presentations of the Same Suspect to a Witness.
2.5.1. Members shall not conduct multiple identification procedures where the same witness views the same suspect, in any form, more than once, without first consulting a Detective Sergeant. If a Detective Sergeant authorizes a second identification procedure, the member shall document the Detective Sergeant’s approval in a police report.
2.5.2. These requirements do not apply when a witness asks to see a photo again during the same presentation.
2.6. Post-Presentation Interview and Documentation.
2.6.1. After presenting a photo lineup, the presenter shall avoid any words or actions that might identify the suspect or hinder the investigation. Presenters shall not tell the witness the suspect’s identity or tell the witness whether the witness identified the suspect, unless disclosure is necessary for the investigation or public safety reasons. Presenters shall document the circumstances and reasons for disclosure in a police report.
2.6.2. The presenter shall ask the witness to describe, in their own words, their reason for making or not making a selection.
2.6.3. If the witness selects a photo, the presenter shall ask them to describe, in their own words, their confidence in their selection.
22.214.171.124. Presenters shall not encourage the witness to use a scale of 1-10 or a percentage to describe their confidence, but shall document the witness’s own words on the Eyewitness Identification form.
126.96.36.199. Presenters should document any variables that could affect the identification’s accuracy, such as the witness’s stress, focus, or attention during the crime, or the witness’s physical and mental conditions.
2.6.4. The presenter shall ask the witness to review the confidence statement on the Eyewitness Identification form, and the witness shall sign the form if the witness affirms the statement is accurate. The presenter shall document any refusal to sign the form in a police report.
3.1. Show-up Use.
3.1.1. The Bureau encourages members to use a photo lineup whenever possible; however, the Bureau acknowledges that certain circumstances require the prompt presentation of a suspect to a witness.
3.1.2. Members may conduct a show-up when they detain a suspect within a reasonably contemporaneous time after the alleged crime and within close physical proximity to the location of the alleged crime. Show-ups should usually occur within one (1) hour of the crime.
3.1.3. Members shall not use show-ups when there is already probable cause to arrest the suspect.
3.2. Conducting Show-ups.
3.2.1. Members shall adhere to the following guidelines regarding show-ups:
188.8.131.52. Obtain a thorough description of the suspect from each witness before the show-up.
184.108.40.206. During the show-up presentation, all participating members shall avoid words or conduct suggesting that the individual presented is criminally liable.
220.127.116.11. Avoid conducting a show-up when the suspect is in a patrol car, handcuffed, or physically restrained by members unless safety concerns make this impractical.
18.104.22.168. Transport the witness to the location of the suspect whenever possible, rather than bringing the suspect to the witness.
22.214.171.124. Do not take a suspect to the witness’s residence.
126.96.36.199. Do not conduct the show-up with more than one witness present at a time.
188.8.131.52. Separate witnesses before, during, and, to the extent reasonably possible, after the show-up to avoid communication between them. If witnesses cannot be separated afterward (e.g., they are family members, friends, or co-workers), then ask them to not discuss their identifications with each other.
184.108.40.206. If one witness identifies the suspect during the show-up, use a photo lineup for any remaining witnesses.
220.127.116.11. Read the instructions from the Eyewitness Identification form and document that the witness understands the instructions.
18.104.22.168. Document the witness’s confidence statement on the Eyewitness Identification form.
3.3. Post-Show-up Interview and Documentation.
3.3.1. Members shall document in their report the justification for conducting a show-up.
3.3.2. Members shall document the following circumstances of the show-up:
22.214.171.124. The time the show-up takes place;
126.96.36.199. The lighting conditions;
188.8.131.52. The approximate physical distance between the witness and the suspect;
184.108.40.206. The instruction given before the show-up;
220.127.116.11. Any variables that could affect the identification’s accuracy, such as the witness’s stress, focus, or attention during the crime, or the witness’s physical and mental conditions; and
18.104.22.168. Any conversations the witnesses may have had with each other before or during their identification.
22.214.171.124. Any deviation from the show-up guidelines listed under Section 3.2.1, and reason for that deviation.
3.3.3. Members shall document the suspect’s appearance:
126.96.36.199. When feasible, members shall photograph the suspect, regardless of whether the witness made a positive identification.
188.8.131.52.1. Photos should capture the clothing and accessories worn upon apprehension, and any physical characteristics relevant to the identification.
184.108.40.206. Consider seizing clothing and accessories relevant to the identification, pursuant to an arrest warrant or as evidence of the crime, if applicable.
3.3.4. Members shall document the witness’s response, including the following:
220.127.116.11. All statements made by the witness during the show-up;
18.104.22.168. Exactly what the witness said about the identification;
22.214.171.124. The reason the witness did, or did not, identify the suspect; and
126.96.36.199. The witness’s confidence in their selection.
188.8.131.52.1. Members shall not encourage the witness to use a scale of 1-10 or a percentage to describe their confidence, but shall document the witness’s own words on the Eyewitness Identification form.
3.3.5. After the show-up, members shall avoid any words or actions that might identify the suspect or hinder the investigation. Members shall not tell the witness the suspect’s identity or tell the witness whether the witness identified the suspect, unless disclosure is necessary for the investigation or public safety reasons. Members shall document the circumstances and reasons for disclosure in a police report.
3.3.6. Members shall ask the witness to review the confidence statement on the Eyewitness Identification form, and the witness shall sign the form if the witness affirms the statement is accurate. Members shall document any refusal to sign the form in a police report.
4. Interpreter Services Required.
4.1. If a witness to a criminal offense has difficulty communicating (e.g., d/Deaf or hard of hearing, or limited English proficiency), then members shall arrange for an interpreter before proceeding with any eyewitness identification procedure. Members shall document the name of the company and the interpreter providing services in an appropriate police report.
4.2. Before the interpreter discusses any matter with the witness, the investigating officer shall explain the procedure to the interpreter. Once the interpreter understands the procedure and explains it to the witness, the eyewitness identification may proceed.
5.1. All sworn personnel shall receive training on this directive and the presentation of lineups and show-ups.
- Originating Directive Date: 09/06/01
- Last Revision Signed: 02/04/21
- Effective Date: 03/06/21
- Next Review Date: 03/06/23