Police Excessive Force, Officer Misconduct & Self-Defense Expert Witness


INTRODUCTION: Professor Gregory Gilbertson was a Police Officer for eight years in Atlanta and LaGrange, Georgia. He served on a SWAT Team for five of these years. Duty related injuries and two major surgeries ended his career. He then became a Criminal Justice Professor at Centralia College. In addition to teaching, he worked as a Guardian ad Litem for children of broken families, and as a Private Investigator specializing in criminal defense casework. Professor Gilbertson also served two years as an International Police Trainer for the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Justice in Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.

Professor Gilbertson became a Private Investigator and opened Gilbertson Investigations in 2002. He specialized in criminal defense casework for 12 years. In 2014 Greg expanded his practice to include Expert Witness casework. To date he’s consulted with over 60 attorneys and law firms nationwide on over 80 excessive force, self-defense, false arrest, and criminal cases. Greg is frequently interviewed by television, radio, internet, and newspaper reporters. He has also appeared for nearly 30 depositions and routinely testifies in state and federal courts as an expert witness in police misconduct.

In a recent U.S. District Court case in Seattle – Moises E. Ponce Alvarez v. King County Sheriff’s Office, the presiding U.S. district court judge entered the following ruling and opinion at trial: “Mr. Gilbertson’s qualifications demonstrate extensive experience in policing.  His experience includes work as a police officer in Georgia, including assignments as a SWAT team officer, superior court investigator, school resource officer, stakeout squad officer, senior patrolman, and patrolman.  After his law enforcement career, Mr. Gilbertson went on to become a college professor—where he taught courses in criminal justice — and as a private investigator conducting pretrial investigations for attorneys in hundreds of criminal cases.  The Court finds that, based on his experience, Mr. Gilbertson’s testimony can be expected to have a reliable basis in the knowledge and experience of police practices.”

U.S. DISTRICT COURT: Professor Gregory Gilbertson has testified as an expert witness in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington before Judge Thomas Zilly, Judge Richard Jones, and Judge Marsha Pechman. In July 2018 he appeared as expert witness in the case of Josiah Hunter v. The City of Federal Way Police Department. This case involved acts of excessive force against Mr. Hunter by a Federal Way police officer. The jury agreed with Greg’s analysis and awarded the Mr. Hunter $640,000.00 in damages.  Attorney James Bible made the following statement after the trial: “We would like to thank our expert, Professor Gregory Gilbertson, for his tremendous efforts on this case. He presents well in front of a jury and his analysis is top notch.” 

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS: The following attorneys and clients have endorsed Professor Gilbertson expert witness casework:

1. “Professor Gregory Gilbertson has twice served as my retained expert in search and seizure and false arrest cases. His analysis and opinions were always spot on. I was most impressed with his willingness to take on and process a considerable amount of information. Methodical and thorough, he took the time to interview each client and determine for himself the veracity of the information they provided. His work ethic is extraordinary, and his credentials are unassailable. I would not hesitate to work with him again and highly recommend him to other attorneys.”  Darryl Parker, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA

2.I am a personal injury trial lawyer who has been trying cases in King County for over 30 years. I have worked with many experts including Professor Gregory Gilbertson. Greg was our expert witness in 2017 for an excessive force case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. When co-counsel and I met with Greg, he provided valuable input on the police conduct in this matter and on our cross examination of the respondent’s expert. He left us knowing he was available for other pre-trial work.

Professor Gilbertson direct examination went well. He engaged with the jury, his testimony was solid, and he did not over advocate. On cross examination he was consistent in his testimony and demeanor. Greg was a solid expert witness who testified with credibility. I recommend Professor Gilbertson as an expert witness in any case involving police misconduct issues. We look forward to working with him in the future.”  Patrick Trudell, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA

3.Professor Gregory Gilbertson has again brought a high level of professionalism and competence to bear as an expert witness in a most difficult murder trial. Once the prosecutor made demands for a rushed expert witness opinion, Professor Gilbertson not only responded quickly, but eloquently, and his language and conclusion were dis-positive. The trial judge mentioned the credibility of his report in hearings. We considered Professor Gilbertson’s contribution to be highly effective in securing a dismissal for our client. I intend to use him again when the necessity arises.”  Stephen Pidgeon, Ph.D., Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

4. “We used Professor Gregory Gilbertson as an expert in a criminal trial where self-defense was the primary issue. Professor Gilbertson was accessible, prompt, and thorough. He explained “use of force” and “self-defense” in a manner the jury easily understood. Professor Gilbertson’s testimony was an integral factor in achieving a not guilty verdict for our client at trial.” Michael Blanchard, Attorney at Law, New London, CT

5. “I reside in a gated community in Scottsdale, Arizona. My family and I were victims of a violent, warrantless entry of our home, based upon false pretenses, by the Scottsdale Police Department SWAT Team. We were subjected to excessive force, false arrest, and defamation of character by these officers. Fortunately, I found Professor Gilbertson online, read his credentials, and contacted him. Professor Gilbertson was receptive and empathetic to my situation. I hired him to examine the facts and circumstances of my case. I am very pleased I did. His expertise and insight uncovered legal findings that solidified my position of victimization by the Scottsdale Police Department. He genuinely cares, and worked diligently on my case. I strongly recommend Professor Gilbertson to anyone in need of his expertise.” Nicholas Krakana, Scottsdale, AZ

EXPERT WITNESS CREDENTIALS: The origins of Professor Gilbertson’s expert witness casework can be traced to his service as an International Police Trainer in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005 agents of the U.S. Department of Justice designated him a Subject Matter Expert in Police Practices and Procedures. Professor Gilbertson then deployed to Baghdad, Iraq where he worked with Iraqi National Police general officers developing a Bachelor’s degree for the Baghdad Police College. Upon completing this project, Professor Gilbertson was assigned as Deputy Director of the United Kingdom’s Basrah Training Academy. In Basrah he supervised the training Iraqi National Police recruits by American, British, and Czech police trainers.

In 2008 Professor Gilbertson was again designated a Subject Matter Expert in Police Practices and Procedures by the U.S. Department of Defense. He then deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan where he produced a policy and procedures manual for the Afghan National Police. Professor Gilbertson was then appointed Senior Mentor and NATO Liaison to Lieutenant General Sayed Mohammad Qudoosi, Commander of the Afghan National Police Academy. Professor Gilbertson assisted the Lieutenant General Qudoosi (the longest serving police officer in Afghanistan) with all aspects of academy operations in support of 3000 cadets and 500 faculty and staff. Upon completion of his tour of duty, NATO and Afghan general officers credited him with successfully securing $50,000,000.00 to rebuild the Afghan National Police Academy, originally founded in 1935.

To accomplish his missions, Professor Gilbertson lived and worked with NATO, Iraqi, and Afghan military forces for 25 months in active war zones. He was routinely exposed to insurgents armed with IED’s, car bombs, AK-47’s, rockets, grenades, and mortars.  During his two years of overseas service, Professor Gilbertson helped train thousands of Iraqi and Afghan police officers in these war-torn emerging democracies.

As an expert witness, Professor Gilbertson’s lifetime of public service seems to engender a special moral authority and easy rapport with judges and juries. In addition, his two-decades of classroom teaching experience enables him to explain unfamiliar issues and concepts to jurors in a manner they can easily understand.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: As a young man, Professor Gilbertson enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in History. He soon earned an appointment to the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning. Upon graduating from Office Candidate School, 2nd Lieutenant Gilbertson was formally recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate of OCS Class 501-86. He then served as a commissioned officer of infantry soldiers.

Professor Gilbertson earned a Master’s degree in Justice Administration from Columbus State University while working as a police officer with Atlanta and LaGrange, Georgia. In Atlanta he served as a Zone 3 patrolman. In LaGrange he served as a senior police officer, SWAT Team member, juvenile court investigator, stakeout squad member, and school resource officer. Duty related injuries and two major surgeries ended his career in 1996.

Professor Gilbertson then relocated to the Seattle-Tacoma area where worked in school district security during and instructed criminal justice courses at night for Saint Martin’s University. In 1999 he became a full-time criminal justice professor at Centralia College. The curriculum he’s designed and developed over the past two-decades is now ranked in the “Top 10” of all two-year criminal justice degrees nationwide by BestColleges.com.

Professor Gilbertson recently completed a groundbreaking academic initiative for police officers called a “Crosswalk Degree.” The Crosswalk program required him to align the Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission academy training with Centralia College criminal justice coursework. As a result of this work, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities authorized Centralia College to confer 45 of the 90 credits required for a criminal justice degree to police officers, deputy sheriffs, and state troopers for their academy training and work experience. Centralia College now awards working police officers 50% of the credits required to complete an associate’s degree for their academy training, more than any other college in Washington State.

EXPERTS: An evolving demand for expert witnesses by civil rights and criminal defense attorneys prompted Greg to partner with other justice professionals nationwide in a number of related fields, to include:

  • Police Training & Anti-Terrorism AnalysisJansen S. Cheek
  • Medicolegal Death InvestigationsProfessor Warren McLeod
  • Homicide Investigations, Kinesic Interview AnalysisD. Glenn Foster
  • Corrections & Community SupervisionU.S. Probation Officer Frances Davis (Ret.)
  • Employment Law, Wrongful Terminations, & Agency CounselJean Jorgensen, J.D.
  • Computer Forensics, Information Technology, & Artificial IntelligenceSamuel Small
  • Federal Investigations, Kinesic Interview Analysis – FBI Agent Christopher Holland (Ret.)
  • Legal Research & Prosecutorial Misconduct – Superior Court Judge Nelson E. Hunt (Ret.)

The credentials of our colleagues can be reviewed by clicking on the Experts tab above.

If your client has been victimized by excessive force, false arrest, officer misconduct, or if they’ve acted in self-defense and now face criminal prosecution or civil litigation, call Gilbertson Investigations. Professor Gregory Gilbertson and his colleagues have helped dozens of attorneys achieve positive outcomes for their clients, and they can help you too.

“Never be afraid to do what’s right, especially when the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.