Police Excessive Force, False Arrest, Misconduct & Self-Defense Expert Witness


INTRODUCTION: Professor Gregory Gilbertson was a Georgia police officer for eight years. Duty related injuries and two orthopedic surgeries ended his career. After leaving law enforcement, he became a criminal justice professor at Centralia College. In addition to teaching, Professor Gilbertson has worked as a private investigator, guardian ad litem, and international police trainer in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014 he expanded his private investigations practice to include expert witness casework. In just four Professor Gilbertson has consulted with attorneys nationwide on over 70 excessive force, false arrest, officer misconduct, self-defense, and criminal defense cases. He has appeared for dozens of depositions and testified in both state and federal courts as an expert in police practices and procedures.

Professor Gilbertson and his colleagues now consult with civil rights, personal injury, and criminal defense attorneys nationwide. In a recent U.S. District Court excessive force trial in Seattle – Moises E. Ponce Alvarez v. King County Sheriff’s Office, the presiding judge entered the following ruling to the respondent’s motion too exclude his testimony:

“Mr. Gilbertson’s qualifications demonstrate extensive experience in policing.  Mr. Gilbertson’s 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 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: To date, 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 Professor Gilbertson testified as a Use of Force expert for plaintiff’s attorney James Bible in the case of Josiah Hunter v. The City of Federal Way Police Department. This case involved a claim use of excessive force by Mr. Hunter against a Federal Way police officer that used a Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint to arrest him in September 2014 for misdemeanors that were later dismissed by city prosecutors.

The U.S. District Court entered a judgment against the arresting officer and Federal Way Police Department for excessive force totaling $640,000.00 in actual and punitive damages.  Mr. 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 clients endorse Professor Gilbertson as an expert witness in civil rights and criminal defense casework:

“Professor Greg 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

I am a personal injury trial lawyer who has been trying cases in King and Snohomish Counties for over 30 years. I have worked with many experts including Police Misconduct Expert Professor Gregory Gilbertson. Professor Gilbertson was our expert witness in 2017 for a 42 U.S.C. 1983 case at the United States Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. This case proceeded to a jury trial.

My co-counsel and I met with Professor Gilbertson at a local college. Professor Gilbertson was prepared for our meeting. He listened to our input on the facts of the case, took time to insure his understanding was accurate, and provided input on the police conduct in our case.  He also provided us with guidance on his direct examination, and on our cross examination of the respondent’s expert witness. We were never rushed and were able to bond with him as our expert. He left us knowing he was available for other pre-trial work.

Professor Gilbertson arrived early for his trial testimony. His direct examination went well. He engaged with the jury, his testimony was solid, and he was did not over advocate. On cross examination Professor Gilbertson was consistent in his testimony and demeanor. He 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 Professor Gilbertson in the future.”  Patrick Trudell, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA

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

“We used Professor Gregory Gilbertson as an expert witness 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

“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 CASEWORK: The origins of Gregory Gilbertson’s expert witness casework can be traced to his service as an International Police Trainer in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense have twice designated Professor Gilbertson a Subject Matter Expert in Police Practices and Procedures. During two deployments to Baghdad and Kabul, Professor Gilbertson developed curriculum for the Baghdad Police College, served as Deputy Director of the United Kingdom’s Basrah Training Academy, developed a policy and procedures manual for the Afghan National Police, and served as Senior Mentor and NATO Liaison to the Commander of the Afghan National Police Academy.

To accomplish his missions, Professor Gilbertson lived and worked with NATO military forces for 25 months in two active war zones. He was often exposed to IED’s, car bombs, and suicide bombers – or found himself the target of small arms, rocket, and mortar fire in Baghdad, Basrah, and Kabul.  He helped train and equip thousands of Iraqi and Afghan police officers. Professor Gilbertson’s professional background and overseas service engenders moral authority and a natural rapport with juries. His unique life experience enables Professor Gilbertson to personally connect with jurors and explain unfamiliar issues and concepts in a manner they can understand.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Professor Gilbertson began his career as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School. He then served as a commissioned officer of infantry soldiers. Later he became a police officer with the cities Atlanta and La Grange, Georgia. In Atlanta he served as a police patrolman. In La Grange he served as a senior police officer (Corporal), SWAT Team member, juvenile court investigator, stakeout squad member, and school resource officer. Duty related injuries and two major orthopedic surgeries ended his law enforcement career.

After leaving law enforcement, he became a tenured criminal justice professor at Centralia College. The curriculum Professor Gilbertson designed and developed over two decades is now ranked in the “Top 10” of all online criminal justice degrees nationwide by BestColleges.com.

In addition, Professor Gilbertson recently led a groundbreaking academic initiative at Centralia College known as a “Crosswalk” degree program. This initiative aligned the State Patrol and Criminal Justice Training Commission academy training with Centralia College criminal justice curriculum. As a result of this work, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has authorized Centralia College to confer 45 credits to Washington State police officers, deputy sheriffs, and state troopers for academy training and experience. The Centralia College Crosswalk degree is unique in Washington State and unmatched by any other college or university for the number of credits conferred for academy training and work experience.

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 Analysis – Jansen S. Cheek
  • Medicolegal Death Investigations – Professor Warren McLeod
  • Homicide Investigations, Kinesic Interview Analysis – D. Glenn Foster
  • Corrections & Community Supervision – U.S. Probation Officer Frances Davis (Ret.)
  • Employment Law, Wrongful Terminations, & Agency Counsel – Jean Jorgensen, J.D.
  • Computer Forensics, Information Technology, & Artificial Intelligence – Samuel 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, or officer misconduct, or if they’ve acted in self-defense and now face criminal prosecution or civil litigation, call Gilbertson Investigations. Professor Gilbertson and his colleagues have helped dozens of attorneys achieve positive outcomes for their clients, and they can help you too.

“All that is necessary for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke