Monday, July 09, 2007


Ivory Webb case - Acquited! - Not guilty!

Not guilty. On all counts. After deliberating on 2 1/2 hours the jury brought back their verdict.

The suspect went through 4 stop signs and 1 stop light and then played chicken with the deputy before the suspects crashed into a wall. The crash occured in a residential neighborhood.

It was 10:30pm and the neighborhood had no street lights, so it was very dark except for the officer's headlights and his flashlight. The suspect car's truck was open.

Then the suspects' passenger car door opened and a leg came out of the car. The deputy feared the suspect was going to flee, run into a nearby residence, and create a hostage situation. The deputy approached the suspect to stop him. Later this suspect was found out to be Elio Carrion, a recent military officer back from duty in Iraq, but to Deputy Webb he was a nameless, faceless, suspect.

A bystander across the street heard the car crash and pulled out his video camera.

The next minute and 11 seconds prior to the shooting were recorded on video.

After a minute of verbal confrontation and physical non-compliance, with the suspect refusing to be quiet and refusing to get onto the ground, the officer saw the suspect put his hand toward his coat and lunge toward the officer, and the officer shot the suspect three times.

For the last few months I have been analyzing this video footage, boosting the audio and video with various filter to try and glean any new details from the video evidence.

In addition to my work, the FBI, the San Bernardino Sherrif's department, and other private firms did work on both the video and audio in the original footage.

One of the pieces of evidence I uncovered in the video was something no one else found. This one piece was mentioned by 3 jury members after the case as something that was very important in their understanding of the case.

It has been a bit frustrating reading the news, seeing clips on the internet, and hearing directly from people about the manner in which this case is covered - and NOT covered. The news was so biased that even I, who worked in news for 1 1/2 years as a producer, writer, and editor, was shocked. Webb's side of the story has been largely ignored, and so viewers are left with believing he should be found guilty. So many crucial bits of evidence I wanted to tell people, but of course we had to wait for the jury verdict for saying anything to the press.

See the dramatic verdict read in court

Even after the case, the news did not cover the evidence that led the jury to believe the just verdict was "not guilty," and so television viewers are left confused. Of course they are asking, "Was the jury just plain dumb? Were they tricked? Were they bribed or payed off? Is justice possible in this country?"

View the Today Show interview of Ivory Webb and Michael Schwartz

It is very clear to me that justice was done in this case, and I am proud to have helped a man to be free.

After the verdict, a most wonderful moment was when the judge said, "Mr. Webb, you are free to go."

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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Video expert for Ivory Webb court case

They sometimes call me the "tech guy" in court.

I've been spending a lot of time lately as a video expert to help the defense of Ivory Webb, a deputy for the San Bernardino Sheriff's department at the time of an incident in which Deputy Webb shot a suspect after a 100 mile an hour car chase and resulting crash.

A part of the incident, including the shooting itself, was captured on video by a bystander who lives across the street from the scene of the car crash.

The case has received national attention, and I was asked to help the defense enhance and analyze that videotape.

I was also asked to setup the video system in the court and to run the system during the court case.

It's been a fascinating few months.

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