Over a year ago, the NYPD announced that it would soon begin videotaping interrogations, despite the reluctance of many cops. Now, after an eight-month survey, that pilot program has finally begun: on Wednesday, interrogations started being videotaped in the 48th Precinct, which covers East Tremont and Fordham in the Bronx, and in the 67th Precinct, which covers East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said that the program will initially only focus on felony assault suspects, because they "are broad in type - assault with a gun, domestic assaults, gang assault, etc.,"—that will provide the police with the opportunity to assess the program's strengths and weaknesses. While confessions are currently taped, the NYPD has long balked at the idea of taping interrogations because it would be "too expensive and cumbersome to be practical for the nation's largest police department." But Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said advances in digital technology had stripped away some of those concerns—hopefully they've replaced some of the typewriters by now.
Police aren't required to tell suspects they are being taped unless they ask. Michael Palladino, head of the NYPD detectives union, said videotaping suspects will get in the way of making convictions: "I think once a jury see what goes on in an interrogation - the tricks of the trade that are legal, such as trickery and deceit - there will be sympathy for criminals. Criminals will wind up on the streets instead of behind bars." Below, you can see an example of such trickery: