The WSJ is reporting that the NYPD is not meeting expectations to implement video taping of interrogations.....
When New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced in February 2010 that his agency would begin to video record some interrogations in their entirety, defense lawyers and civil-liberties groups were guardedly optimistic: The test suggested the NYPD may eventually embrace a practice already used by the majority of police forces in the state.
Some 2 ½ years later, that is not the case. The department now is expanding the pilot program, but minimally: to five precincts from two.
At the same time, the NYPD appears to have done little to track results. After more than a dozen requests over the course of a month, police and court officials were unable to provide the total number of fully recorded interrogations, the dispositions of those cases or a comparison of conviction rates.
"It's extremely distressing that apparently the pilot never really got off the ground," said Steven Banks, attorney-in-chief at the Legal Aid Society. "Nevertheless, any expansion of the citywide initiative is a good thing, assuming it actually happens."
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the agency is widening the program from a precinct each in Brooklyn and the Bronx to one in each of the remaining boroughs. Once that happens, he said, "we'll have a better understanding of how it's working."
The NYPD has videotaped some confessions for years. But it has been slow to agree to record a messier aspect of policing: the precarious and confrontational nature of interrogations. Supporters say the practice protects both defendants and investigators, acting as a shield against coercion techniques that can lead to false confessions, and later, against untrue claims that suspects were pressured into admitting guilt. Read more...