Newly adopted state guidelines allow police to videotape interrogations in an effort to decrease claims of police misconduct and to protect suspects from making false confessions.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – December 22, 2010 – In an effort to protect against convictions reached from false confessions and to protect officers from claims of coercion and police misconduct, suspect interrogations can now be recorded on video tape. The filming can be done with hidden cameras or ones in plain view, according to new state guidelines.
Each New York City Police Department can decide whether they want the camera to be hidden or not.
The guidelines also require interrogators to tell the suspect if the suspect asks whether he or she is being recorded. If the crime suspects do not ask, they will not know if they are being videotaped when questioned by police. The guidelines are set so there will be no issue on claims of police misconduct regarding a suspect’s rights on videotaping.
“Both defendants and police deserve the protection of videotaping in New York,” civil rights violation attorney David Perecman said. “It’s win-win in that police are protected from claims of police misconduct and suspects are protected from police harassment in the interrogation room.”
A 1993 study published by the National Institute of Justice, found that since the adoption of videotaping in criminal interrogations, claims of police misconduct were reduced.
“Not all false confessions are the product of police misconduct,” clarified New York civil rights violation attorney Perecman.
Pilot programs in the Bronx and Brooklyn are scheduled to begin next year. According to the New York Post, almost all of New York’s counties have started taping some felony interrogations.
Videotaping suspects is a policy change that was recommended by the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Nassau County Chapter and agreed with by New York civil rights violation attorney David Perecman.
If your confession has been obtained falsely by law enforcement, or you have been the victim of a civil rights violation in New York, contact a civil rights violation lawyer at The Perecman Firm.