Department of Justice Passes New Policy Requiring the Recording of Law Enforcement Officials

Posted by Seth Chazin | Jun 04, 2014 | 0 Comments

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A new policy, set to take effect on July 11, will require that certain law enforcement agencies enforce recordings while others don't. Some of the agencies that will be enforcing this new policy will include the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Prisons.  These agents will start electronically recording statements and interrogations made by individuals in their custody.

This policy will not apply in cases where agents need urgent national security-related information that could expose sources or methods. Also, if interview subjects refuse the agents do not have to record video or audio.  For now this new Department of Justice police applied to cases where suspects are in federal custody.If agents record a suspect in custody before they appear in court then it will eliminate many problems that arise within trials.This is why many defense attorneys favor this approach. Jerry J. Cox, the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer stated that it is a way to prevent wrongful convictions, coercive police techniques, and compromised mental states that result in false confessions.

For several years the FBI has refused recording confessions and interviews. They believe that it interfered with and undermines the successful rapport building interviewing techniques which they practice.  Yet, the new policy will now require the FBI to enforce the police unless the suspect refuses.

The recording of confessions and interrogations will help protects suspects from police misconduct, prevent law enforcement officials from posing false allegations, and protects public safety by ensuring a word for word record of the interrogation process.

This is not the first time this type of policy has been considered. In the bay area alone, many state officials have suggested that law enforcement officials be required to wear a camera while on duty. Due to the known police misconduct and the deaths of innocent suspects, the use of cameras on duty will help prevent many travesties seen while law enforcement officials are on duty.

For more: NPR - New DOJ Policy Calls For Videotaping The Questioning of Suspects

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About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 25 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


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Seth P. Chazin is a San Francisco Bay Area Criminal Defense Lawyer with over 30 years experience.

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