Local attorney discusses pressures of testifying - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/15/09

Local attorney discusses pressures of testifying after officer faints on stand

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Attorney Tommy Turner Attorney Tommy Turner

By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's likely you have never testified in court before, so it's hard to imagine the stress and pressure one feels when doing so. But after a Lubbock police officer at the center of a taser lawsuit against the city, fainted on the stand Thursday, we decided to get some insight from Lubbock attorney Tommy Turner - who is not involved in this trial.

L.J. McCallan is suing the Lubbock Police Department because he felt he was unjustly tased by LPD officer Marsh Blackmore back in 2006 during a traffic stop.

It was a moment in court that was not expected. Officer Blackmore was testifying Thursday in the trial that is centered around his actions, when he suddenly passed out. "I've never had it happen in any cases that I've tried and I've been practicing in Lubbock since 1974," said Lubbock attorney Tommy Turner.   

Turner says although he has never seen anyone faint while on the stand, he can understand how it could happen. "It's unlike anything most of us have ever done. Number one you understand that you've been placed under oath and if you don't tell the truth you could have some serious repercussions over that," said Turner.   

Even though Blackmore has experienced high stress situations before, as both a police officer and while serving as a solider overseas, Turner says the courtroom is a completely different world. "It's not something that he is used to. It's not something you can train for. He knows that all the eyes are on him, he knows that he may have some career repercussion," said Turner.   

A Lubbock Jury will decide if Blackmore had reason to tase McCallan or if he was treated with excessive force during this traffic stop in July of 2006.

McCallan is suing Blackmore and the city of Lubbock Police Department for medical expenses and punitive damages. "He probably feels like he is on trial because his actions have been called into question and in result to what he did, his employer has been sued. So I'm sure he has some high anxiety levels because of it, I think anybody would," said Turner.

It's not known what caused Blackmore to pass out, but he was taken to University Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Court will resume Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. with Blackmore back on the stand.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

10/15/09
Taser trial officer faints on stand; trial delayed
NewsChannel 11 was in the courtroom on Thursday as day three of the taser trial lawsuit was underway, when a police officer on the stand fainted.

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