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Should police use video cameras when they interview suspects?

Asked at Hastings, 1900 W. 23rd St. on August 15, 2005

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Photo of Mike Ireland

“Yeah, to a certain extent. They should only use them for serious cases.”

Photo of Faisal Absar

“Yes. They can keep it for their records if they need to use it in court.”

Photo of Lisa Egan

“Sure. Just to make sure that everything that’s said is recorded and everything is on the up and up for both sides.”

Photo of Amanda Cooper

“Only if they have been read their rights and know that they don’t have to participate until they have a lawyer present.”

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enochville 11 years, 5 months ago

I haven't thought through this question completely, yet. But, I think the tape would be useful to both sides. It would help the prosecution by showing that the answers or confession that the defendant gave was not coerced. The jury can tell better whether the person was lying. It can also help the defense by showing the defendant's story has been consistent or in showing a violation of the defendant's rights if one has occured.

In any case, the tape shows what happened objectively and truthfully what happened on camera (it doesn't show what happened off camera if anything); it doesn't give an unfair advantage to either side. And as far as some privacy argument goes, no one should have the idea that their interrogation is private. Their Miranda rights informed them that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 5 months ago

I would certainly demand my attorney be present.

tell_it_like_it_is 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't really see that it would hurt anything.

massst 11 years, 5 months ago

i think police should use their abilities

Grammaton 11 years, 5 months ago

In reponse to Ms. Amanda Cooper...

If one hasn't been read their rights, then camera use is illegal and cannot be carried out by the police.

neopolss 11 years, 5 months ago

They should also place cameras at every intersection to catch people running red lights.

oh, wait, they already do that.

They could place cameras around town that scan people and compare them to a database for criminal matches.

Oh wait, Miami already does that.

We've placed cameras everywhere. Hoping it would make us safer, it hasn't. Now we simply wonder what happens outside the range of the camera. Statistics are beginning to show that cameras on intersections cause MORE accidents, since many drivers are treating it as a checkpoint, and speed up past the range. We thought cameras would help deter crime - it doesn't. It has helped take away any sense of privacy these days, whether you at the park, at the store, or in the car - someone is always watching you.

Redneckgal 11 years, 5 months ago

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!!! Seriously though I don't think camaras would be a bad thing in this case for either side.

wichita_reader 11 years, 5 months ago

As to today's question, yes. Police should be allowed to use video cameras during interrogations. The PD or suspect would have an evidentiary record to substantiate the validity or invalidity of the suspect's waiver of their right to legal counsel.

I think video cameras or sound recorders in police cars and running the entire time a suspect is in the car would serve best to protect the suspects' rights. IMHO, I believe most violations of citizens' constitutional rights occur way before formal interrogation begins.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't understand why everyone is so concerned about cameras being places. If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. If you are, then you deserve to be caught. And if you're concerned aboiut privacy, think about it for a second...

Done? What did you figure out? You should have realized that the person who is watching the screen (if anyone even is, which probably isnt the case) doesn't give a rat's arse whether you pick your nose or butt. They don't know who you are, and probably don't want to if that's what you do.

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I think they should use video cameras when interviewing suspects.

macon47: Whether it's to beat or not I don't know. But I'm sure they have control over when they do or do not use cameras. When police are "caught" doing wrong on camera I think they must be too dumb to stay on the force.

extreme, your certainly not in a "crabby" mood today, must have been a good weekend.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

one_more_bob- what an intelligent retort! Could you elaborate on the cause for you "Laugh Out Loud"?

enochville 11 years, 5 months ago

In response to several posts: I don't think we have a right to not be observed in public places whether it be cameras or policemen. It used to be that communities and neighborhoods were small enough that everyone knew everyone. There was less crime then because if you did something, people would know it and it would damage your reputation. Reputation is important where anonymity does not exist. But, know many cities are so large that often we are anonymous in public places. As any social scientist will tell you, people become less inhibited when they are anonymous. That is why KKK members wear white hoods. We need something to counteract this. One partial remedy is to post cameras in public places so that people know they are being observed.

We will never know what crimes were not committed due to the cameras, but we do know they help with apprehending the criminals. The London Tube bombers were identified through cameras.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

Yes, let's put cameras in department store dressing rooms! If you're not doing anything wrong, then it's OK for them to watch you try on clothes.

TOB - I know what you mean about the big ass. I have one of those, but I love him anyway..hahaha

l_eustacy 11 years, 5 months ago

Wouldn't it be fun if we scheduled one day each year when the police couldn't carry weapons? and we could drink and drive and carry guns...ok paintball guns, and we could shoot everyone with paintballs if they broke the rules, including the police... and we had one other day each year where we lived out "The Lottery". ...and also, private citizens could go to Iraq to help the army for a month or two without having to actually enlist....and while you're gone your kids go to a boot camp that is like obedience training for your dog...and when you come back they sit quietly and wag their tails

enochville 11 years, 5 months ago

Dressing rooms and bathrooms are not public places in the same sense that areas outside those locations are. People expect some sort of privacy in there.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

TOB- Please just allow your eyes to wander up to the second paragraph of my first post. In short, they don't care how fat your ass is. Nobody does, unless they have to be behind you when you drop a Snickers...

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

I think I'll go buy you a rose in a glass tube.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

Ahah! I just saw the last sentence of enochville's 10:03 post. Excellent point, my dear or sir, whichever you are.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

Gootsie- Were I a spiteful person, I suppose I'd say those of your political persuasion must be devastated to have your cover blown. But I won't.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

It really wasn't. I know. But I can't think straight right now. I haven't picked up Ann Coulter's book from Borders yet. Sorry, I'll get right on that...

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 5 months ago

I think its a good idea to have interrogations videotaped. That eliminates the he said/she said bullcrap. (you would think) Not only the the protection of the police but also the suspect. We all know what happens when cops get a little pissy with someone. They start whuppin' hiney. Back in my husbands younger years he got roughed up a few times just for being caught with the wrong crowd. Tell you what, some cop beats my kid for no good reason he better watch out. No one escapes the wrath of the angry mother!!!!

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

swak tob.

MB, I don't understand why you have to be spiteful toward me (hypothetically, of course). I hate roundabouts!

rhd99 11 years, 5 months ago

I hate roundabouts too, Gootsie. In today's question/answer, when police interview suspects on video, let the cops use video cameras. The one catch in this, YOU BETTER produce other evidence, such as DNA or other fragments from the crime scene, & not base prosecutions on videos.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

Hypothetically, I apologize. It would be mean to say such a thing. Sorry a thought like that would ever pass through my noggin.

linux_chick 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree w/ smitty (and quite a few other posters), that video-recording interrogations are good for keeping police accountable as well as prosecuting suspects.

I'd actually be in favor of mandating video-recording of interrogation suspects and seriously considering throwing out confessions on film if there is ample evidence that police have "tampered" with the film or "edited (ie. shut the camera off for segments)" in any way.

tell_it_like_it_is 11 years, 5 months ago

I love it when republicans make themselves look stupid! Monday just got a whole lot better!

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

Who the hell are these uneducated morons? You are destroying my whole arguement that it's the liberals who are the baboons!

Carmenilla 11 years, 5 months ago

I think MasterBlue is having a case of multiple personalities...Please ignore him, he is going to get himself banned anyway if he carries on like that!

I think cameras are good for holding EVERYONE accountable. I saw a video clip recently where a guy goes up to a cop randomly and flips him off and shouts "F-You!" and the cop procedes to beat him down with a nightstick. The offending guy had said right before he decided to do it, "What can he do to me? I'm just gonna flip him off."

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Redneckgal 11 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

linux_chick 11 years, 5 months ago

So, are you glad the cop beat the guy senseless, Carmenilla, or in favor of police accountability?

I'm confused.

MasterBlue 11 years, 5 months ago

I swear that it's not me. I try to be serious on this site. Read my above posts for proof.

Carmenilla 11 years, 5 months ago

I was NOT glad that he beat him senseless at all. It seemed a little excessive. I guess I needed to make that part about the video clip its own paragraph. Sorry for the confusion.

Carmenilla 11 years, 5 months ago

When I say "a little excessive" I am being sarcastic. It was totally uncalled for. I seem to have lost the ability to type effectively. It must be the cold I have...ah-choo!

linux_chick 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm off to work.

Everybody have a nice day! :)

Carmenilla 11 years, 5 months ago

thanks, OMB....I feel like dookie. Stupid rain and cold snap!

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

Our network went down and I missed a bunch of posts that were pulled. Bummer! Or maybe not...

e_m: ouch on the $600.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

Which takes us to TOB's concern about it looking big in the Big Brother Video Series.

Ban big rumps!

You are funny people!!!

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

extreme: Big time bummer!!! I've only been bitten by one dog in my life -- a doberman -- I was scared to death. He had a grip on my thigh and I was just praying his owner would stop him before he decided my throat looked better. (If only a camera had been operating there :)

Carmenilla 11 years, 5 months ago

If we ban big rumps than who will shop at Wal-Mart?

Oh, I'm going to hell for that one!

wichita_reader 11 years, 5 months ago

Way off topic here, but interesting article from CNN website about converting conventional hybrids so the fuel economy is +200 mpg, if anyone's interested.

acg 11 years, 5 months ago

e_m, the same sort of thing happened to me. Had to have a two hour conversation with two FBI agents, one KBI agent and two local Lawrence cops because the week before when I was on vacation with my fam, my two roommates went on an 11 state convenience store robbing spree with their boyfriends. This was nearly 15 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.

BunE 11 years, 5 months ago

I like the idea of the police video taping things. It keeps them on their toes too.

What about crackpipes doubling as fake rose holders!?

cristBwithU 11 years, 5 months ago

Think of it this way... If your husband/wife recorded your interactions(conversations)...... Hmmmmm doesn't feel like America to me.

GreenEyedBlues 11 years, 5 months ago

Doesn't feel like America to me, either!

What's with Laura Bush wearing Oscar de la Renta to the Inaugural Ball? You'd think that she would go all Amurrican and get an evening gown at Wal*Mart. AND she should have put it on layaway for the full effect.

Joan Rivers would have a field day.

GreenEyedBlues 11 years, 5 months ago

Anyway, my point was that there's just something funny about opting for a designer from La Republica Dominicana over and American one when picking an ensemble for a national gala like that. What's Laura trying to say about American couture?

That's like spending hundreds of dollars on fifteen cents worth of paper and gunpowder made by Chinese eight-year-olds to celebrate our independence.

Redneckgal 11 years, 5 months ago

Hey what'd I say that was so bad as to get deleted? Oh well first time for everything I guess!

wichita_reader 11 years, 5 months ago


Thanks for the reply. I had thought about the implications of plugging the car in every night, but think the article indicated the electricity needed to charge the batteries was a relatively small amount. Something like an increase in the electric bill of $0.25/day. Of course, that extra $0.25/day becomes an incredibly large number if used by even 10% of the US population.

It's all a tedious balancing act with natural resource and environmental law. Unfortunately, one side of the scale keeps getting lighter and lighter, and the other side heavier and heavier.

wichita_reader 11 years, 5 months ago

Also Das_Ubermine, I'll hop right up on the soapbox w/ you and preach the need to use existing fuel efficiency technology.

wichita_reader 11 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, kind of hard to take the family camping if you don't have anywhere to store the gear.

Grammaton 11 years, 5 months ago

Extreme_Makover, Let me clarify. I realize that patrol cars have mounted cameras in order to document action. However, a video recording during an interrogation has more to do with statements made by the suspect, and also serves as behavioral documentation for psychiatrists and the like. Both of these are much more involved than patrol car cameras and operate under separate statutes -- although which exact ones escape me.

chevygal 11 years, 5 months ago

ohhh mike ireland! woot woot! hot-E! my new favorite country is ireland!

thats back! to check out the ljworld on the street men!

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