Can anybody tell me why the police are a little bit edgy about cameras popping up everywhere? That’s what the American Bar Association is saying… it’s a pretty interesting read. This might come as a surprise to the 99.92343% who are not experienced, bitter, and cranky criminal defense attorneys, but it’s not us who oppose recording police-citizen interactions. It’s them.
There’s a been a trend to mandate that “confessions” be recorded in certain circumstances. Of course it’s been opposed. Not by us, though. Why is that? You would think having all of these “blatantly guilty” people on video would make our jobs harder, right? Maybe… if that’s what the videos showed.
I was talking this over with a couple other lawyers last week. I’m all for video recording everything that happens between the police and non-police. And, by that I mean that I want the cameras rolling from the minute a suspect/witness/interviewee walks into a police station to the time he is released or taken to jail. Seems simple enough.
Even when police video a confession, they don’t do it like you’d think. They may have somebody in custody for hours. They may be interrogating him for hours. Once they know what the person is going to say, then they turn on the cameras. What is there to hide? Shouldn’t we be able to see what the government is doing? There are no secrets in a police interrogation… are there? There are no secrets at trial, why should there be any in an interrogation?
If traffic stops can be recorded in their entirety, there’s no reason interviews can’t… except that the police don’t want the cameras on. That’s all I’m saying.