establish positive ID on somebody


Senior Member
Dear all,
Could you please help me out with a difficulty in the novel by Dennis Lehane 'Gone, Baby, Gone'?

“Mullen has left Devonshire Place in a Yellow taxi heading west on Storrow. We are attached. Over.”
“West?” Broussard said. “Why’s he going west? Why’s he on Storrow?”
“Fifty-nine,” Doyle said, “did you establish positive ID on Mullen?”

Context: A suspect named Mullen seems to leave home and head west on Storrow [drive]. Broussard is a detective, lieutenant Doyle is an investigator. Broussard thinks Mullen has no business to do west on Storrow. So the policemen suspect the guy heading west is not Mullen.
I think 'to establish positive ID on somebody' means to make sure by checking documents or some other means that a person is really the one he/she seems or pretends to be. Is it really so?
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Yes, it's just a fancy cop way of saying are you sure it's the right guy. It doesn't need to be done by documents, if you know what someone looks like it would be enough to just get a look at someone's face rather than, say, a back view or a hat as he got into the car.
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