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


INTRODUCTION: Professor Gregory Gilbertson was a police officer for 8 years in the cities of Atlanta and LaGrange, Georgia. In Atlanta he served as a police patrolman. In LaGrange he served as a SWAT Team officer, superior court investigator, senior patrolman, school resource officer, and stakeout squad member. Duty related injuries and two major surgeries ended his career. He then became a tenured Criminal Justice Professor and Private Investigator in Washington State. As a college professor, he also served as an International Police Trainer and Guardian ad Litem for at-risk children in Pierce County (Tacoma), Washington.

In 2002 Professor Gilbertson became a licensed private investigator and opened Gilbertson Investigations. He became a private investigator to maintain his state certification as a tenured Workforce Education professor at Centralia College. He specialized in criminal defense casework for 12-years, completing over 100 pretrial investigations for defense attorneys. In 2014 he expanded his practice to Expert Witness casework. To date Professor Gilbertson has consulted on 80 criminal and civil rights cases in 17 states. He has testified in both state and federal courts as an expert witness.

TRIAL TESTIMONY: Professor Gilbertson recently testified as an expert witness in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Alfontish Cockerham, age 23 (deceased), who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer on June, 20 2015. On December 13, 2018 the jury found the officer responsible for Mr. Cockerham’s Wrongful Death, and awarded his estate $1.18 million dollars in damages. Mr. Cockerham’s attorney made the following statement after trial: “Professor Gilbertson’s testimony played a critically important role in the successful outcome of this case. The jury clearly valued his opinion, and believed his expert testimony at trial.” Nenye Uche, Attorney at Law, Chicago, IL

Professor Gilbertson has testified as an expert witness in U.S. District Court before Judges Thomas Zilly, Richard Jones, and Marsha Pechman. In 2018 he testified in the case of Josiah Hunter v. The City of Federal Way. This case involved a dangerous choke-hold employed by a Federal Way police officer against Mr. Hunter. The jury agreed with Professor Gilbertson’s analysis of excessive force and awarded Mr. Hunter $640,000.00 in damages.  Mr. Hunter’s attorney made the following statement after trial: We thank our expert, Professor Gregory Gilbertson, for his tremendous efforts on this case. His analysis is top notch.” James Bible, Attorney at Law, Bellevue, WA  

In a recent U.S. District Court trial for the Western District of Washington, Moises E. Ponce Alvarez v. King County Sheriff’s Office, the presiding judge entered this opinion: “Mr. Gilbertson’s qualifications demonstrate extensive experience in policing. His experience includes work as a Georgia police officer, SWAT team officer, superior court investigator, school resource officer, stakeout squad officer, and senior patrolman.  After his law enforcement career, Mr. Gilbertson became a college professor and private investigator. He has taught courses in criminal justice and conducted pretrial investigations for attorneys in criminal cases. The Court finds his testimony can be expected to have a reliable basis in knowledge and experience.”

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS: These clients endorse Professor Gilbertson as an expert witness:

“Professor Gilbertson has twice served as my expert in search and seizure and false arrest cases. His analysis and opinions are always spot on. I was impressed with his willingness to process a considerable amount of information. Methodical and thorough, he took the time to interview each client and determine the veracity of the information they provided. His work ethic is extraordinary, and his credentials are unassailable. I highly recommend him to other attorneys.”  Darryl Parker, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA

I have been a personal injury lawyer for over 30 years. I have worked with many experts including Professor Gilbertson. He was our expert for an excessive force case in the U.S. District Court. He provided valuable input on the police on this matter, and on our cross examination of the respondent’s expert. He engaged with the jury and his testimony was solid. I recommend Professor Gilbertson as an expert witness in any case involving police misconduct.”  Patrick Trudell, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA

Professor Gilbertson brought a high level of professionalism and competence to bear as an expert witness in a  murder trial. Once the prosecutor made demands for an expert opinion, he responded quickly and his conclusion were dis-positive. The  judge mentioned the credibility of his report in hearings. We considered his contribution to be highly effective in securing a dismissal for our client.”  Stephen Pidgeon, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

“Professor Gilbertson was an expert in a criminal trial where self-defense was the primary issue. He was accessible, prompt, and thorough. He explained “use of force” and “self-defense” in a manner the jury easily understood. His 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. My family and I were victims of a violent, unlawful entry of our home by a SWAT Team. We were subjected to excessive force, false arrest, and defamation of character. Fortunately, I found Professor Gilbertson and contacted him. He was empathetic to my situation. I hired him to examine the facts of my case. I’m very pleased I did. His expertise uncovered legal findings that solidified my position of victimization. I strongly recommend Professor Gilbertson.” Nicholas Krakana, Scottsdale, AZ

EXPERT CREDENTIALS: The origin of Professor Gilbertson’s expert witness work is found in his service as an International Police Trainer. In 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice designated him a Subject Matter Expert in Police Practices and Procedures for a mission in Iraq. He deployed to Baghdad and worked with a team of Iraqi General Officers to develop a Bachelor’s degree in Democratic Policing for the Baghdad Police College. He also supervised training of 500 Iraqi police cadets by American, British, Czech, and Danish police trainers as Deputy Director of the Basrah Training Academy.

In 2008 Professor Gilbertson served again as an International Police Trainer, this time for the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan. He deployed to Kabul and developed a police policy manual with support from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Professor Gilbertson then served as Senior Mentor and NATO Liaison to the Commander of the Afghan National Police Academy, Lieutenant General Sayed Qudoosi. He assisted General Qudoosi in all aspects of academy operations for 2500 police cadets. He also worked with German, French, Norwegian, Italian, and Canadian officers to secure 50 million dollars in funding for academy renovations, curriculum, and technology upgrades. Professor Gilbertson lived and worked for over 2-years in active war zones, exposed to Al Qaeda and Taliban IED’s, small arms, rocket, and mortar fire nearly every day.

MILITARY SERVICE: Professor Gilbertson enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983 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. At graduation, 2nd Lieutenant Gilbertson was recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate (top 10%) of O.C.S. Class 501-86. He attended Airborne School and served as a commissioned officer of infantry soldiers. In 5-years of military service, Lieutenant Gilbertson was decorated 4-times and received two General Officer letters of commendation.

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: Professor Gilbertson earned a Master’s degree in Justice Administration while serving as a police officer. When duty related injuries and advanced arthritis made disabling surgeries inevitable, he left police work and began teaching criminal justice courses for Saint Martin’s University (1997 – 2008). He then became a tenured professor and Criminal Justice Program Director at Centralia College (1999 – present), and an adjunct professor at Brandman University (2010 – 2017). The curriculum and program he created and currently instructs at Centralia College was ranked in 2018 by BestColleges.com as a “Top 10” Criminal Justice degree nationwide. 

In addition, Professor Gilbertson recently spearheaded a groundbreaking academic initiative for Washington State law enforcement officers called a “Crosswalk Degree.” The Crosswalk Degree aligned state patrol and police academy training with Centralia College coursework. As a result, Centralia College is the only college or university in Washington State that confers 45 of 90 credits required for a criminal justice associate’s degree to police officers, deputy sheriffs, and state troopers for academy training and experience.

EXPERTS: An evolving demand for experts recently prompted Professor Gilbertson to collaborate with colleagues in related fields, to include:

  • Jansen S. Cheek – Police Training & Anti-Terrorism Analysis
  • Samuel Small – Information Technology & Artificial Intelligence
  • Professor Warren McLeod – Medicolegal Death Investigations
  • D. Glenn Foster – Homicide Investigations & Kinesic Interview Analysis
  • Jean Jorgensen, J.D. – Employment Law, Wrongful Terminations, & Agency Counsel
  • Superior Court Judge Nelson E. Hunt (Ret.) – Judicial & Prosecutorial Misconduct 
  • U.S. Probation Officer Frances Davis (Ret.) – Community & Institutional Corrections 
  • FBI Agent Christopher Holland (Ret.) – Federal Investigations & Kinesic Interview Analysis

SUMMARY: If you are an attorney whose client has been victimized by excessive force, false arrest, police misconduct, or acted in self-defense, contact Gilbertson Investigations. Professor 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.