TERRY, Associate Judge:
This is an appeal from a judgment for the defendants in an action for battery, false imprisonment, and defamation. Appellant alleged in her amended complaint that she purchased two items of merchandise in a drug store and was about to leave the store when she was accosted by a security guard, who asked her if the goods she was carrying had been paid for; she said that they had been and showed him the sales slip, then continued out the door. She further asserted that after she was outside on the public sidewalk, the security guard came up from behind and tapped her on the shoulder, then moved around in front of her and ordered her to return to the store. There the manager,
Appellant makes two arguments here. First, she contends that the trial court erred in failing to strike a juror whom she allegedly challenged for cause. Second, she contends that the trial court committed error in responding to a note from the jury, and that the error was magnified by the "inadequate, unfair and confusing" verdict form by which the court submitted the case to the jury. The first claim of error fails for lack of an adequate record; the second we reject for other reasons.
A judgment of any trial court is presumed to be valid. Harvey v. United States, 385 A.2d 36, 37 (D.C.App.1978); see United States v. Alston, 412 A.2d 351, 359 (D.C.App.1980) (en banc). A losing party who notes an appeal from such a judgment bears the burden of "convincing the appellate court that the trial court erred." Harvey v. United States, supra, 385 A.2d at 37; accord, Higgins v. Carr Bros. Co., 317 U.S. 572, 574, 63 S.Ct. 337, 338, 87 L.Ed. 468 (1943). In meeting that burden, it is appellant's duty to present this court with a record sufficient to show affirmatively that error occurred. T.V.T. Corp. v. Basiliko, 103 U.S.App.D.C. 181, 183, 257 F.2d 185, 187 (1958); see Palmer v. Hoffman, 318 U.S. 109, 116, 63 S.Ct. 477, 481, 87 L.Ed. 645 (1943); Murchison v. Peoples Contractors, Ltd., 250 A.2d 920, 922 n. 7 (D.C.App.1969); D.C. Transit System, Inc. v. Milton, 250 A.2d 549 (D.C.App.1969); Walker-Thomas Furniture Co. v. Jackson, 189 A.2d 123 (D.C. App.1963). The responsibility of perfecting the record remains with appellant and "cannot be shifted to either the trial court or this court." Brown v. Plant, 157 A.2d 289, 291 (D.C.Mun.App.1960).
Our rules provide two methods by which an appellant may discharge this responsibility. The normal practice is to obtain a verbatim transcript of the pertinent trial proceedings from the court reporter. See D.C.App.R. 10(c)-(g). In certain cases a statement of proceedings and evidence may be filed in lieu of a transcript. Such a statement may be prepared either by the appellant or by the parties acting in concert; in either instance, however, it must be approved by the trial court. See D.C. App.R. 10(j)-(k). A statement of proceedings and evidence, based as it usually is on fallible human recollection or on sketchy notes, hastily taken — or, in this electronic age, on a sometimes unintelligible tape recording — has obvious shortcomings which the court recognized in Lee v. Habib, 137 U.S.App.D.C. 403, 409-410, 424 F.2d 891, 897-898 (1970). Recalling that transcripts are required in "many" criminal cases,
From the record before us
Some time after it began its deliberations, the jury sent the following note to the court:
After an extended discussion with all counsel, the court sent a written response back to the jury, saying, "The answer to the question asked is yes." Appellant now contends that the court erred in failing to amplify its answer by instructing the jury on the limited law enforcement powers of security guards.
In United States v. Burrell, 286 A.2d 845, rehearing en banc denied, 288 A.2d 248 (D.C.App.1972), a police officer noticed the defendant acting suspiciously on a downtown street. After watching him for a few moments, the officer walked up to him, placed his hand on the defendant's arm, and said, "Hold it, sir, could I speak with you a second?" An incriminating answer led to a search and the discovery of a concealed pistol. We held that the officer's question, accompanied by the touch on the arm, did not amount to an intrusion on the defendant's constitutionally protected rights. Burrell simply illustrates a basic proposition which the courts have long recognized: that "[t]here is nothing in the Constitution which prevents a policeman from addressing questions to anyone on the streets." Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 34, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 1886, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968) (White, J., concurring); see United States v. Wylie, 186 U.S.App.D.C. 231, 569 F.2d 62 (1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 944, 98 S.Ct. 1527, 55 L.Ed.2d 542 (1978) (distinguishing between mere police-citizen "contacts" and investigative stops). The right of a police officer to ask anyone on the street a question does not depend on his status as an officer; on the contrary, "every citizen" has the right "to address questions to other persons, for ordinarily the person addressed has an equal right to ignore his interrogator and walk away . . . ." Terry v. Ohio, supra, 392 U.S. at 32-33, 88 S.Ct. at 1885-1886 (Harlan, J., concurring). In other words, a police officer — or the security guard in this case — has the same right that "every citizen" has to question another person in a public place because the other person has an "equal right" to pay no attention to the question. Since the jury's note dealt only with the guard's right to ask a question, we cannot say that the trial court erred in answering the note as it did.
Appellant's corollary argument regarding the verdict form appears to be based on the misconception that the form was a set of written interrogatories submitted to the jury under Super.Ct.Civ.R.
There being no discernible error on the record, the judgment of the Superior Court is