Request to Impeach An Off-Duty Officer (On Suspension) Who Was Shot

In People v. Phillips, 95 Ill. App. 3d 1013, 420 N.E.2d 837, 51 Ill. Dec. 423 (1981), the court reversed a trial court's decision to deny the defendant's request to impeach an off-duty officer shot by defendant. The officer had 15 prior suspensions, at least two of which involved instances where the officer improperly displayed his weapon and then filed a false report. The defendant claimed he shot the officer after the officer brandished a pistol at defendant's brother without provocation. The Phillips court reversed the trial court, holding that if the officer was suspended on 15 prior occasions, he could have a motive to testify falsely to avoid a further suspension or termination, or to insure the continuance of his medical coverage and compensation. The court also found that the officer's testimony was crucial to the State's case. Phillips, 95 Ill. App. 3d at 1019-24, 420 N.E.2d 841-45.