State v. Belk, 201 N.C. App. 412 (Dec. 8, 2009)

The trial court committed reversible error by allowing a police officer to give a lay opinion identifying the defendant as the person depicted in a surveillance video. The officer only saw the defendant a few times, all of which involved minimal contact. Although the officer may have been familiar with the defendant’s “distinctive” profile, there was no basis for the trial court to conclude that the officer was more likely than the jury correctly to identify the defendant as the person in the video. There was is no evidence that the defendant altered his appearance between the time of the incident and the trial or that the individual depicted in the footage was wearing a disguise and the video was of high quality.